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May 17, 2023

Key questions we’ll be exploring and answering at Impact Forum: Cardiff

We’re looking forward to seeing you at Impact Forum: Cardiff on 24 May 2023

The day will see hundreds of people who work in and around the homelessness sector, or have an interest in ending homelessness, come together both in person and online for a day of discussion, debate and expert insight. 

At this year’s event, we’ll be exploring the theme of Learning in adversity: Creating change in a cost-of-living crisis. As inflation continues to remain high and services continue to be stretched beyond their limits, the number of people needing extra support to meet the rising costs of living continues to increase. How can we find the time and headspace to evaluate the impact of what we do, engage with the evidence of what works and out and test new approaches to accelerate our work to tackle homelessness as the sector bears the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis?

Take a deep dive into Impact Forum: Cardiff’s programme with us as we look at the key questions our sessions will be exploring at our Impact Forum on 24 May.

How can we best support people who are experiencing, or are at risk of, homelessness who identify as LGBTQ+?

People who identify as LGBTQ+ are more likely to experience homelessness than their peers, but little is known about their experiences. The lives of people who identify as LGBTQ+ in the United Kingdom have seen a marked improvement over the last several decades, both in the law - from the repeal of section 28, to the legalisation of gay marriage, to recent moves to facilitate gender recognition. But despite the progress, most sources of data still suggest that LGBTQ+ people face a higher risk of  homelessness. 

Join our panel made up of experts with lived-experience of homelessness and people who work in the sector who will explore the challenges surrounding housing and homelessness that people who identify as LGBTQ+ face, how we can best support them and how better data collection can help us do so.

The discussion will follow a screening of sections of the play, Faun, a piece of theatre commissioned by Cardboard Citizens as a way to explore the experiences of transgender people who are sofa surfing in the UK. 

Content warning: please note that the screening includes adult language and adult themes

What are the financial and family costs of Temporary Accommodation?

Often only ever intended as a short-term solution to homelessness, Temporary Accommodation (TA) is where an increasing number of households are finding themselves accommodated for the long-term.

As the number of households in TA reaches record levels across the UK, our panel discussion will look at the financial and family costs associated with being placed in temporary accommodation.

From the disruptions caused by being placed miles away from their original home, impacting academic performance, emotional wellbeing, to assessing whether temporary accommodation offers value for money across the UK, attendees will have the chance to hear from a range of speakers including Anne Taylor, lived experience expert, Matt Wilkins, the Head of our new Value for Money project at the Centre, Matt Dicks, Director of the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru, and many others on the topic.

How can we use evidence to create change?

Evidence is the basis of informed decision-making. It holds the power to highlight the truth and guide us towards the most effective actions. However, even the most compelling evidence will lack the power to have an impact unless we master the art of presenting it in a way that allows its significance to resonate with others.

In this keynote speech, we will hear from Professor Dame Carol Black, ​​author of an independent review of drugs policy for the UK government, on how to use evidence to drive change. She will also talk about the importance of why she decided to do her independent review of drugs in a specific way - dividing her review into two parts, with the first part focussing on laying a solid foundation of evidence-based analysis and devoid of recommendations. 

How can we challenge the negative perceptions of homelessness?

The portrayal of homelessness in the media has led to the public having skewed perceptions about homelessness and what it looks like - often an older white man sleeping out at the front of a shop. But we know that this is not the case. Homelessness has many forms - from people earning low wages and families living in temporary accommodation, to young people who are sofa surfing. As the cost-of-living crisis continues to impact the UK, we expect to see an increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness, and it’s important to raise awareness about the many forms it can take.

Earlier this year, we published an open-source image library which depicts people experiencing homelessness in natural and non-stereotypical ways to offer an alternative to the archetypal depiction of single, middle-aged men sleeping in doorways, and instead capture a wider breadth of experiences of homelessness in the UK. 

Join our panel of lived-experience experts, all of whom featured in our images library, to find out more about what else needs to be done, and how we can effectively challenge negative perceptions of people who are experiencing homelessness.

How can we support staff wellbeing in a cost-of-living crisis?

The unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic and the cost of living crisis have amplified the demands placed on frontline workers, leaving them vulnerable to job losses, redundancies and burnout. In this session, we will explore evidence-backed interventions that have been proven to be effective in supporting staff wellbeing. From investing in housing support services, to ensuring fair wages for employees. We will take a look at key strategies that can help to cultivate a resilient and content workforce at a time when employees continue to carry the burden of rising costs.

Speakers for this session include Katie Dalton, Director, Cymorth Cymru, Grainia Long, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, and Rahima Rahman, Work & Employers Wellbeing Implementation Lead, What Works Centre for Wellbeing, and Jack Larkham, Research and Policy Analyst, Pro Bono Economics

How can we prevent homelessness amongst people seeking asylum?

In the midst of the cost-of-living crisis, the plight of asylum seekers, particularly young people, is intensified as they face the risk of homelessness. 

In this discussion, we will hear from speakers including Svitlana Stadnyk, Head of the Association for Family Mediation of Ukraine Esther Muchena, Services Manager at Scottish Refugee Council Hannah Courtney-Adamson, Strategic Lead Housing (People), Rochdale Borough Council, as we look at what works in preventing homelessness amongst young people seeking asylum. Addressing this issue requires a multifaceted approach that takes into account the unique challenges faced by families who are navigating the asylum system. The panel will also look at how we can ensure the asylum system delivers the best outcomes for children and young people.

How can we tackle the financial insecurity that leads to homelessness?

We know that financial insecurity and cost of living pressures play a direct role in causing homelessness. In this session we will shine a light on the impact these forces can have on individuals who are receiving welfare. We’ll take a deep dive on interventions that can help to effectively combat financial insecurity, such as cash transfers as we ask what works in tackling financial insecurity.

For this session we will be joined by Jen Kiernan, Community Organiser, Centre for Homelessness Impact, John Kempton, Lived experience partner and trustee at the Trussell Trust, Jonathan Tan, CEO, Greater Change, and Tom Hall, Director of People and Talent, The Wallich.

If you want to get involved in these conversations, we invite you to join us for the day, either in-person, or online. Book your free tickets now.

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