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Comic Relief Partners

Updated: May 12, 2020

Who is part of this community of practice? Below you can find the list of Comic Relief partners, their geographical scope and what they do/will do with Comic Relief's grants. Don't forget that we are having a round of introductions in our forum as well!

Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA)

Country: India

The project will address homelessness and inadequate housing through a 'right to the city' lens in three Indian cities, Guwahati, Indore and Mumbai. It will facilitate improved access to housing and support for livelihoods, seek to prevent evictions and strengthen collectives of people, particularly young people to advocate for changes in their lives. YUVA will also advocate for systemic changes to the housing context and engage in positive narrative building work in each of the cities as well.

Vineyard Compassion

Country: United Kingdom

Vineyard Compassion will establish emergency temporary housing for rough sleepers, who are often housed outside of Coleraine and their communities. On top of this they will provide wraparound support and services that ensure progress to independent and healthy living. They also want support to strengthen their case management system, ensuring they have easily accessible and correct information on the people they support and their needs.

Tshwane Leadership Foundation

Country: South Africa

In the winter of 2014, the City of Tshwane (Pretoria) gave 600 people staying in an overnight shelter a letter of notice to vacate within one day, with no other shelter offered. A public outcry eventually led to partners, homeless people and government working jointly to agree a social contract, policy and plan to address homelessness in Tshwane. Comic Relief funding will support four partners to work toward the priorities in the plan. It aims to increase housing for elderly homeless people and those with chronic mental illness, and will support frontline services for homeless people. It will educate homeless people on their rights, and prevent homelessness through Citywide partnerships.

The Marie Trust

Country: United Kingdom 

Many people who are homeless have experienced some form of trauma, often during childhood, and this can have a significant effect on their mental and physical health and act as a major barrier to their attempts to break out of homelessness and move forward in their lives. The Marie Trust provide access to long term counselling for people who are homeless or have experience of homelessness to enable them to work through trauma and recognise how it effects their behaviour and choices so they can resolve their past and thrive. The project provides one to one and group therapy in a range of settings and 50% of clients are women.

Standing Together Against Domestic Violence

Country: United Kingdom

Domestic abuse and housing are intersecting issues; domestic abuse brings violence into the home/ causes women to leave their homes, and a high rate of homeless women have experienced domestic abuse (St Mungo's, 2014). Standing Together Against Domestic Violence (STADV) seeks to improve the response of UK Registered Social Landlords to domestic abuse. It will do this by building on the last two-years of running the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA); this is an alliance of STADV and two UK housing associations (Peabody & Gentoo). Through the DAHA accreditation scheme, the project is seeking Social Landlords to take fast and robust action to support tenants experiencing domestic abuse.

The Social Bite Fund

Country: United Kingdom

This Housing First Programme is a major new initiative (launched Aug 2018), which will bring 830 people experiencing homelessness with complex needs into mainstream housing with wrap-around support in five cities: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling. The project aims to shift the structural response to homelessness across Scotland. This funding contributes a small proportion to a much larger project comprised of funds from the Scottish government (£6.5m over 3 years) and significant fundraising from Social Bite (£3m over two years).

Shelter Cymru

Country: United Kingdom

Street homelessness in Wales is an increasingly visible and pressing issue. Evidence suggests there has been a 44% increase since 2015. In 2018 there were 345 rough sleepers in Wales. Shelter Cymru has an extensive track record of preventing homelessness using a rights-based approach and with this investment it will employ three Street Advisors to take legal advice and advocacy support onto the streets of Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham, so that rough sleepers can have access to specialist legal advice about their housing rights. As a result, more rough sleepers can get off the streets and into secure housing as well as access other support services to meet their needs.

Prisoners Abroad

Country: United Kingdom

Prisoners Abroad support British ex-prisoners at high risk of homelessness, who are deported or returning to the UK following imprisonment overseas. Often people have not lived in the UK for many years, have no friends, family or support networks and no access to advice, benefits or housing. People come through the prison gates are put on a plane and arrive at a UK airport with the clothes on their back. Prisoners Abroad provide support to people in the period before release, as well as on return to the UK. They help newly returned ex-prisoners to access advice and emergency resources, housing and the welfare system and to start to rebuild their lives.

Positive Action in Housing

Country: United Kingdom

Positive Action on Housing works with vulnerable and or destitute people from minority ethnic, asylum seeking, refugee or newly arrived migrant communities to access the support and services they need to avoid homelessness and poverty and rebuild their lives. This is done through a hosting scheme that provides accommodation in volunteers homes across the UK while legal issues are resolved, direct advice, support and advocacy to access benefits,and overturn wrong decisions, meeting people's basic needs for food, clothes, hygiene and travel expenses through crisis grants and training and support to improve money and life skills and access employment and sustainable and appropriate housing.

Oasis Cardiff

Country: United Kingdom

Receiving refugee status can provide security and safety, but the transition from being an asylum seeker to gaining refugee status can bring its own challenges. The initial 28-day period when people have to rapidly move from one system of support to another can be difficult as they may not be familiar with the systems, may not speak good English and will have to quickly obtain housing. Oasis Cardiff has been supporting refugees and asylum seekers to integrate in Cardiff area and with this investment it will employ two case workers to provide one-to-one support to those recently granted refugee status, to help them navigate housing options, benefit entitlements and employment opportunities.

Ndifuna Ukwazi

Country: South Africa

South Africa has a severe lack of accessible housing, which is a long-standing legacy of forced removals under apartheid. In Cape Town, large populations still have no choice but to live in slums and backyard housing located in the distant outskirts. Ndifuna Ukwazi “Dare to Know“ works to secure decent housing in the city centre. Its efforts include acting as a technical resource for the citizens group Reclaim the City, investigative research to support advocacy with a strong evidence base, strategic litigation to secure access to land and advance housing rights, provision of legal advice and education, and telling stories that amplify the experiences of poor and working-class people.

Mahila Housing Sewa Trust

Country: India

This project will work in Ahmedabad and Delhi with people at different stages of the shelter insecurity continuum. For the first time, Mahila Housing Sewa Trust (MHT) will develop strategies to work with homeless populations. The project will also build on existing strategies to address the issues faced by slum dwellers, contribute to research and policy, and engage in advocacy work with relevant authorities to seek more widespread change.

LHC Foundation Trust

Country: South Africa

A 2016 study in Durban found that the main reasons children end up on the streets is family conflict and abuse. Young people moving to the city may end up on the streets if they cannot find employment. Many homeless people turn to drugs to cope. LHC Foundation Trust (I Care) helps homeless boys, providing food, medical care, counselling; a 12-week rehabilitation programme; family reunification where possible or housing in one of I Care's family-style homes (ensuring children attend school); and skills training for older children/young men. Comic Relief funding will enable I Care to provide housing and skills training to young men new to the streets, providing a pathway out of homelessness.

Khulisa Social Solutions

Country: South Africa

Streetscapes works in Cape Town, South Africa with chronically homeless people with multiple complex needs. The project creates paid employment opportunities in its own social enterprises and provides training, life skills, housing and access to counselling. Extremely vulnerable people who are homeless and excluded from the jobs market and many other services due to their high support needs are able to earn a salary, save, access housing and improve their lives through a structured programme of skills development and counselling. The project will build further evidence for its model in order to secure social investment to replicate Streetscapes in other locations in South Africa.

Just for Kids Law

Country: United Kingdom

The Project aims to provide specialist legal support to children and young people facing homelessness and insecure housing. Justice for Kids Law will recruit a lawyer with expertise in housing and community care law and increase the number of Youth Advocates to 11. The legal specialist will train the Youth Advocates and also provide training and share best practice in the wider voluntary sector. As part of this project, JfKL will explore opportunities for doing strategic litigation for wider reform and identify opportunities for engaging young people in advocacy.

Habitat for Humanity Zambia

Country: Zambia

Makululu, on the outskirts of Kabwe in Zambia, is one of Africa's largest slums. A growing population of 60,000 people includes 24,000 children under age 15. Residents have unstable income sources. The unemployment rate is 60%. Flooding destroys homes in the rainy season. Insecure housing is driven by poverty, and compounded by poor understanding of rights to land tenure. Habitat for Humanity Zambia and partners will help residents and stakeholders to increase legal home ownership and basic services, support communities to develop a level of financial resilience through savings groups, and gain access to micro-credit to improve their homes and secure them from floods.

Development Action Group

Country: South Africa

The project seeks to improve the efficacy of the fastest growing rental markets in Cape Town. Through the project, we aim to enhance the collective bargaining power of backyard tenants and landlords, and to improve both the quality and nature of rental housing.

Community Organisation Resource Centre

Country: South Africa

The project aims to skill and support urban informal settlement dwellers to use community collected data, build partnerships with local government and demonstrate in-situ informal upgrading strategies in order to build safer communities and address homelessness leading to improved quality of life and secure tenure.

CoLab Exeter

Country: United Kingdom

The Exeter Homelessness Partnership is a grassroots response aimed at ending homelessness in Exeter. The partnership will bring together people with experience of homelessness with statutory, voluntary, business, and community sectors to increase understanding of the issue and co design community led solutions that everyone can play a part in. This will achieve immediate changes in people's lives and the way support is designed and delivered and lead to structural changes in the way homelessness is addressed and understood. Designed and led by the local community the Partnership will create a Homelessness Charter, Action Groups, test alternative ways of giving and mobilising the public.

Child Poverty Action Group

Country: United Kingdom

Child poverty is rising, and housing is one of if not the most significant costs for families. The impact of poverty is insecure, overcrowded homes that deprive children and families of the space they need to play, work and live. The introduction of Universal Credit originally designed to make families better off has had a dramatic effect on the numbers of people becoming homeless. Expert welfare rights advice is crucial to resolving these issues and preventing unnecessary evictions and poverty. This project will equip the advice sector and workers with the knowledge and tools needed navigate the complex benefits system and uphold people's rights and entitlements to financial support.

Cambridge House

Country: United Kingdom

Operating out of Cambridge House, based in Southwark, the Safer Renting project offers advice and advocacy to tenants at risk of eviction and living in sub-standard rented properties. Staff work in partnership with local authorities in London to intervene in illegal evictions, support people to sustain tenancies and improve the conditions in their home or find more suitable housing, and to claim their legal rights in the face of criminal landlords. As well as preventing homelessness for vulnerable individuals, the project aims to influence policy to improve conditions for renters and offer greater protection from criminal landlords. Comic Relief will contribute to staff costs and overheads.

Booth Centre

Country: United Kingdom

The Booth Centre is a day centre that offers advice, activities and support to homeless people in Manchester. The Comic Relief funded project 'Safe Homes for All' will support service users to find and keep a secure home, with the right support. The investment will part fund a resettlement worker, a project worker and an evaluation officer. It will also contribute towards the organisation's core costs. Peer mentors (who are or have been homeless) will be trained to work with staff; those who are homeless will be moved into supported or permanent accommodation. The centre will produce a toolkit to share best practise and influence local, national and international stakeholders.

Asylum Support Appeals Project

Country: United Kingdom

ASAP provide vital work assisting asylum seekers in the UK to access free legal representation at their tribunal appeals. Winning appeals for asylum seekers enables them to access safe and secure shelter, start to rebuild their lives and not be left homeless or at risk of deportation. Funding will also contribute to training other organisations in asylum support law as well as long term systemic change in asylum support policies in the UK ensuring asylum seekers are at less risk of homelessness and insecure shelter. Whilst they are based in London, their work benefits asylum seekers and organisations across the UK.

These are extremely interesting projects and I am sure there is loads to talk about. I look forward to having some fruitful conversations!

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