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    A full day of talks and discussions dedicated to the subject of Housing First in Wales

This week's online conference - all things Housing First

Gwyn Thomas de Chroustchoff


We're excited for this Thursday's online event: a full day of talks and discussions dedicated to the subject of Housing First in Wales, following 2019's inaugural Housing First Wales conference.

The day begins with an address by the Welsh Government's new Minister for Climate Change, Julie James MS. Following confirmation of her continued responsibility for housing, we're delighted to be hearing from the Minister about her vision for service transformation and ending homelessness in Wales, including the importance of Housing First. Up next, Catherine Docherty and Yvonne Connolly of Salvation Army will talk about their Housing First project in Cardiff along with Cymorth Cymru's Housing First and Lived Experience Manager Alex Osmond, who leads on the accreditation work and was a key figure in establishing the process and the principles as part of the Housing First Network Wales.

Next, Cymorth Cymru director Katie Dalton will chair a discussion with Alex Smith of Homeless Link in England and Claire Frew of Homeless Network Scotland, to give delegates a UK-wide awareness of Housing First work thus far across the UK, considering the different political and policy contexts. The pair of speakers are perfectly positioned to give a broad but expert view on efforts to progress Housing First projects in England and Scotland.

For the third session of the day, Francesca Albanese will talk in her capacity as Research Cluster Coordinator for FEANTSA's Housing First Europe Hub from an even wider perspective about the implementation, strategy and fidelity of Housing First approaches across the whole of the EU. This will provide a snapshot of how quickly Housing First is being adopted, the extent to which it is present in local, regional, and national strategies and homelessness programmes, as well as to provide a broad overview of fidelity to the model and the scale of service provision

After a lunch break, the focus moves to specific areas of Housing First policy and practice - firstly, coordination and cooperation with mental health services. For this session, two senior figures from the north of England, present and discuss their important work - Martine Whitehead of Greater Manchester Housing First, and Adam Clayton of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, will discuss how collaboration can improve access to mental health services for people engaged with Housing First.

Next up are a pair of key members of the Welsh Government's homelessness policy team - Simon Prothero and Carl Spiller. This will be a chance to hear more detail on how Housing First fits into the Welsh Government's vision for 'rapid rehousing' and the large-scale transformation of housing and support services across the country, with a plenty of opportunity for discussion and feedback.

The final session takes a much-needed look at Housing First for Women, with two speakers who are in charge of housing and homelessness at their respective domestic abuse organisations. We will hear the insight of Linda Olsen, representing Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence in the USA, and Louisa Steele, of Standing Together, in London. They will talk about how this model can benefit women who have survived domestic abuse and other forms of trauma, providing valuable insight to organisations exploring this model in Wales.

We're really looking forward to a day packed full of exciting speakers and engaging topics – we hope you see you there. To see the full programme and schedule, or book your place, click here

*Bookings close at 12 noon today*

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© Cymorth Cymru 2021
Company Registration No: 5093332
Charity No: 1116774