How Kineara’s holistic, strength-based support helps to transform lives

How Kineara’s holistic, strength-based support helps to transform lives

Whether it’s working to prevent homelessness and housing insecurity, supporting people into work, or inspiring confidence in the next generation – Kineara’s holistic, strength-based support offers a proven foundation in facilitating positive and sustainable change.

Having delivered our specialist programmes over the years, including our Motivate to Educate (M2E) and Rent Support Programme (RSP), we’ve seen how a holistic approach can help people overcome challenges in housing, education and  employment.

And it’s not just the individuals and families we work with who have benefited. Our partners in housing, education and community reap the benefits that a stronger relationship with the people they support can bring.

So, what exactly does holistic support mean? More specifically, how is it used to transform a person’s situation and foster real, sustainable change? To explore this further, we ask our very own Maria Morgan, Director of Kineara, and the team to share their insights and experience by drawing on a range of Kineara’s programmes.

Bespoke support tailored to you

Kineara’s holistic support, is wide-ranging, inclusive and tailored to needs of the individual and family. It is, Maria says: “an approach that works to understand the needs of the person, family, and community. Who are they? What is it that they need?” As such, we look at the bigger picture, addressing other challenges they may be facing in life, including issues with rent or housing insecurity, emotional wellbeing, household needs and relationships, while often taking social factors into consideration. This ensures that we provide the right support for you.

“The people we work with have multi-entrenched needs, so our support has to be intentional, therapeutic, adaptable.”

Our M2E practitioner, Roz, has supported a number of pupils and their families with different needs, including strengthening communication at home and at school, introducing play and art therapy, game and peer sessions, and family sessions. Cases are often varied and complex and Roz works holistically to tailor support and achieve positive outcomes.

“The people we work with have multi-entrenched needs, so our support has to be intentional, therapeutic, adaptable,” says Maria, “When you’re talking to someone, it helps to see that person as a system – in that system is a person, their needs, background, parentage, education, culture, faith etc. You’re not seeing a situation or a person as one-dimensional, but seeing them in a holistic frame.”

Exploring the root cause

What’s more, exploring the root cause allows us to address other challenges that can help to resolve the situation. “All of Kineara’s programmes are inspired by the ethos of the Family Intervention Project (FIP),” explains Maria, “our support is intensive and purpose-built, and often this means getting to the root cause of an issue.”

With our RSP programme, for example, we’ve worked with individuals and families, who had been referred to us by their housing provider, for lack of engagement and a build-up of rent arrears. By exploring the root cause and trigger factors, we did not only clear rent-arrears and resolve housing benefit errors, but managed to provide other vital support, including mental health, practical and parenting support.

Building on strengths to sustain change

As an employment support referral, Nigel was keen to find a more flexible job that suited his health needs. Liz (our practitioner) provided a wide range of support from job hunting and interview practice to seeking therapeutic support. Nigel was eventually offered a job but decided to take a different route. “One of the main benefits of the support was the self-confidence it gave him to raise his aspirations, highlight his strengths and pursue his passion for art” says Liz. “He is now studying at the university of his choice and hopes to continue pursuing his true passion.”

M2E practitioner Gail McNelly, also echoes the benefits of a strength-based approach: “It’s about exploring new solutions alongside families, giving every member a chance to express themselves and feel listened to, giving them encouragement, hope and a new direction, for helping them to understand that without their time and input into this intervention none of this would be possible.”

Improving emotional wellbeing

Supporting with mental health and well-being also forms part of our holistic approach. With one in six people in England experiencing a mental health issue each week, it’s no surprise that we are working with a number of individuals and families in this position.

“It’s about exploring new solutions alongside families, giving every member a chance to express themselves and feel listened to, giving them encouragement, hope and a new direction.”

“We know that homelessness can affect someone’s mental health, we know that breakdown in relationships can affect someone’s mental health, we understand that. So, it is important to recognise it, because it can be a barrier for someone moving on, finding a job, it can be barrier in so many ways. And I think there’s nothing stronger than recognising and kind of accepting where you are to move forward. If you don’t recognise where you are, you can’t reform.” says Maria.

Many of the clients Kineara has worked with have mental health issues or concerns. “We have therapists and counsellors that have a knowledge of mental health, and we use different tools to assess somebody’s mental health and wellbeing and so we have got a fairly good understanding of identifying when somebody needs that support” says Maria.

Creating sustainable change 

So, can holistic working be applied to other forms of support? Drawing on her transition from social worker to FIP, and now Director of Kineara, Maria highlights the importance of understanding holistic support through practice. “As an organisation, you have to know what your call is. Not everyone does holistic support, neither does everyone have to. If your focus is rent, for example, you can provide that rent support but also think holistically. Recognise that there are other organisations that can support with intervention (on a holistic level). It’s about partnership.” says Maria.

Although holistic working is a specialism, it helps to recognise this approach, be aware of those other issues, and bring in specialist support as needed. “With Kineara, we’re the one that becomes that listening ear, that connector, that relationship-builder” says Maria. “We want the family and individual to tap into local resources and to sustain those changes that were made whilst they were in our service. So, when we step out, it helps the relationship between our partner (the referrer) and the client – and so a buy-in from everyone is important.”

Read more about Kineara’s programmes.

Posted by kineara in Impact, Latest, 0 comments
Our first parenting workshop at Redlands Primary School

Our first parenting workshop at Redlands Primary School

Yesterday, we ran our first parenting workshop for parents of children at Redlands Primary School, with 22 people taking part in the joint session.

Gail, who leads our M2E programme at the school, along with school colleagues facilitated a variety of activities focused on understanding child development, starting with a lively group discussion about what parenting means to them. So many different themes emerged, such as care, responsibility, togetherness and spending time, teaching and family. 

The workshop then explored national guidelines on stages of child development and the various stages of learning that children go through. The groups were encouraged to think about when they felt these stages would take place, and, as something to prepare for the next time, begin observing and taking note of the different development stages they witness in their own child, to support their parenting techniques.

 

Posted by kineara in Education
Young Foundation meets Maria to talk #ReimaginingRent

Young Foundation meets Maria to talk #ReimaginingRent

Kineara’s director Maria Morgan recently sat down to talk to the Young Foundation about Reimagining Rent, the organisation’s new and unique programme designed to support the development of new ideas and solutions to the challenges facing tenants in the private rented sector.

The programme has been an opportunity to rethink how Kineara’s Rent Support Programme could work with and for tenants in private rented homes, many of whom are vulnerable and where evictions, insecurity and rising costs are impacting the wellbeing of so many.

Tell me a bit about Kineara, what do you do and what makes you unique?

Well, the name Kineara is a combination of two words that encompasses where we come from and the ethos we work within: Kin, denoting family and putting family first, and Eara, a Gaelic term meaning from the East, which refers to our beginnings in the east of London.

Kineara logo

What we do is intensive but purposeful. We work with families and individuals, providing holistic support and helping to mobilise services around them. We aim to establish meaningful connections between them and the services they need, whether they be related to housing, education or employment so that once Kineara has left we can ensure that the change is sustainable.

Since setting up in 2012, we’ve supported nearly one hundred households to stay in their homes and avoid eviction with our Rent Support Programme.

And what were you doing before you started Kineara? What inspired you to set it up?

I’m a social worker by trade. I left social work to work on a Family Intervention Project programme, 12-14 month intensive whole intervention programme, with Tower Hamlets Council. I was attracted to the programme because it reminded me of what social work is supposed to be about; being hands-on and out there and facilitating real change in behaviour.

It’s that project which inspired Kineara. It came from a chat with my manager at the time, Nikki Bradley and Andrea Baker (Poplar Harca), about creating a shorter intervention looking specifically at rent arrears, I went away from that conversation and created the RSP (Rent Support Programme).

We trialled the programme in 2011 and it seemed to work. Most people had paid back some if not all of their rent arrears. Due to the success of RSP, we decided to roll it out into a social enterprise, adapting the project to create a shorter term, 10-week form of family intervention to try to avoid housing tenants getting into rent arrears.

Although at the time I didn’t have any experience in business, in 2012 I become the Director of Kineara and it became its own entity in 2012 and was made into a viable social enterprise. The Bromley by Bow Centre’s Beyond Business Programme, supported us to develop the idea, write a business plan and pitch the idea to investors. Of the hundreds that apply to the programme every year, Kineara was shortlisted and given £10,000 to get the project off the ground.

What have been some of the biggest challenges for you personally, and for the organisation, so far?

I really value and appreciate grant funding. It is important that social enterprises and charities have access to financial support to work with society most complex challenges. Organisations like Kineara, that help support and empower people, who in turn help strengthen their own communities is how you sustain growth in every capacity.

However, I didn’t want Kineara to be solely dependent on grants, and developing a social enterprise that isn’t, can be challenging. But if you want something to last you need to think of ways to become more self-reliant. This is an on-going journey for Kineara.

So is your ambition to scale Kineara?

We’re still working in Tower Hamlets and in Hackney with our education programme. But we’re now also working with Southern Housing Group who have houses all over London. We’re branching out year by year.

We ultimately want the Rent Support Programme to run across the country. We want it to be in minds of housing associations and private landlords that evictions are costly and that this intervention can be both cost-saving as well as helping to tackle the homelessness crisis.

 

 

You can read the blog in full on the Young Foundation’s website.

 

 

Posted by kineara in Housing

Kineara’s 2017 Impact Report now available

For a growing social business like ours, tracking our progress and monitoring our impact has been one of our biggest challenges. So last year, we embarked on an evaluation process of all our programmes, and put together this Impact Report which collates all of the best of our work from the last few years. It was powerful for us to take stock of just how far we’ve come and we’re incredibly proud of what we have achieved with the residents we’ve worked with, as well as our partnerships which have been growing in strength.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of Kineara’s journey. We wouldn’t be here without you, and we continue to work with you to make the lives of the people we work with more supported, more stable, and more resilient.

Kineara Impact Report 2017

 

Download Kineara Impact Report 2017

 

Posted by kineara in Impact, Latest

We are hiring!

[Please note this has now closed. Please check in future for new vacancies.]

We are happy to announce that we are hiring!

Once again, we are growing our team and looking for another excellent experienced family support worker to help us grow our programmes and support more people to make change in their lives.

The purpose of the role is to provide a mixture of individual and group interventions with individuals, families, parents, children and young people with additional needs up to the thresholds for social care involvement to improve outcomes for families, individuals and children in vulnerable situations.

Are you passionate about delivering programmes improve wellbeing, tenancy security, employment outcomes, and educational achievement? Are you passionate about collaboration and partnership working? If so, we want to hear from you! You will find more information about the role here as well as details of how to apply.

The deadline for applications is Friday 20th October. We look forward to receiving your application!

 

Posted by kineara in Latest

Congratulations to Maria, SEUK’s Women’s Champion!

seuk-awards-2016-winnerWe are absolutely delighted to announce that last week, our director Maria Morgan was awarded the prize of Women’s Champion at Social Enterprise UK’s annual awards ceremony.

 

We can’t imagine a more deserving winner than Maria, who founded Kineara social enterprise in 2012 and has dedicated an incredible amount of energy, determination and love in creating what Kineara has become today.

 

Posted by kineara

Kineara director Maria Morgan shortlisted as a finalist in the UK Social Enterprise Awards

Maria Morgan, Kineara’s managing director, has been shortlisted for the Women’s Champion award at this year’s UK Social Enterprise Awards.

The Awards, organised by Social Enterprise UK, recognise excellence and outstanding achievements by social enterprises – businesses that reinvest their profits for social and environmental good – as well as those who lead them.

The UK now has more than 70,000 social enterprises, employing a million people and contributing £24 billion to the economy each year.

Kineara, based in and around East London, is an innovative social enterprise that brings holistic support to vulnerable families and individuals. The organisation works with local schools and housing associations to support some of the hardest to reach residents of east London through challenging times.

Programme lead Anja Lewin said: “We are so excited that our director has been recognised by SEUK for all her dedication and passion for all her staff and the families we work with. She has been a huge inspiration to all of us.”

 

Peter Holbrook, Social Enterprise UK’s Chief Executive, said:

“Congratulations to Maria and to Kineara. This year, the quality of the applications was outstanding. Social enterprises are continuing to grow, change lives and are proof that another way, a better way, of doing business is possible.”

Awards ceremony

The finals will take place on 28th November in London’s Covent Garden at the Grand Connaught Rooms. Guests will be entertained by the comedian and two time Edinburgh Comedy Awards finalist, Nish Kumar.

Political figures including the RtHon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, and the Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, will present awards to some of the winners.

Sponsors of the 2016 Awards include Big Society Capital, British Council, GLL, J&J, Landmarc, NatWest, PwC, Santander and Wates.

 

For more information contact

Melanie Sirinathsingh
msinghji@kineara.co.uk

Tel: 07800 545607

 

Social Enterprise UK is the national body for social enterprise. Social enterprises are businesses that are changing the world. When they profit, society profits. Together with our members we are the voice for social enterprise in the UK. For more information, visit www.socialenterprise.org.uk.

Posted by admin in Latest

Kineara begins a new integrated rent and employment support programme

We are really excited to have begun a new programme this summer, with an ambitious aim to support 80 people into employment over the next two years.

The new Intensive Employment Support Programme has been developed alongside Tower Hamlets Family Intervention Project across the borough, and combines Kineara’s flagship Rent Support Programme to create a unique model designed that integrates rent support and employment support into one.

We have already begun working with several residents of Poplar Harca Housing Association, with other housing associations already expressing interest running the service alongside their existing employment support work.

Our Rent Support Programme has already been successful in preventing evictions for families whose rent arrears had led them to the brink of eviction proceedings, with 97% of residents who completed the programme remaining in their homes after the intensive 10 week intervention.

Many of those families were among the thousands in Tower Hamlets who have faced unemployment and the precariousness it causes. These challenges have also recently been intensified by the benefit cap reductions and extended welfare reform. We have been able to secure training or employment for nearly half of the residents we’ve worked with, which has had a huge impact whether they are able to keep a secure tenancy.

We’re excited to bring our expertise to a context we know well. We’ll be able to connect residents with all kinds of useful services already available in the borough but that some people face barriers engaging with, like job broker Skills Match, Workforce Development, Bromley by Bow, as well as employment bodies linked to the Family Intervention Service and the local community.

As always, a dedicated support worker will work intensively with jobseekers using the same holistic approach that guides all our work, making sure that their overall wellbeing is taken into account. This might mean making sure therapeutic support is available, or skills training, or access to proper healthcare, so that people are able to secure work that is not only stable but also suited to them and their needs.

This project contributes to a new borough wide strategy to tackle unemployment, which includes training and support for local people to find job opportunities in the borough – as well as supporting businesses to create quality and well paid jobs locally – as one of its top employment priorities for 2016-17. This is important for another of its priorities, which is to ensure local low-income residents can access decent housing in the borough, which is becoming increasingly expensive and threatens to price out local residents.

Posted by admin in Employment, Latest

Family intervention, health and wellbeing

At the start of Mental Health Week, we look back at an article written by Tower Hamlets Family Intervention practitioner Steve Hackney for Pan European Networks about FIP’s approach to mental health support:

Would you be able to concentrate on reading this article if you had not eaten this morning? What if you also hadn’t eaten last night? Would your ability to focus upon the words on this page be hindered if you were physically unwell? What if you were seriously so? What if you were depressed and your every day blighted by a sense of unrelenting helplessness, hopelessness and crushed self-esteem?

Now picture instead that your task is to find a job after being unemployed for many years, to address your crippling financial debts or to attend a meeting about your threatened tenancy following your son’s antisocial behaviour.What if the day ahead demanded you address all three issues?

For many families supported by the Tower Hamlets Family Intervention Project (FIP) these situations are a painful reality. These families have to address multiple complex and entrenched problems while at the same time suffering from poor physical and psychological health. ‘Addressing the basic biological needs of a family acts as the starting point for our interventions. For those with none, we provide food. For those who cannot pay for their medication, we buy it.’ The trajectories into these problems are multiple and multifaceted, as are the approaches used by FIP to address them. Notably though, the roles of adverse psychological health and physical ailments in the manifestation of such issues are all too often described by families trying to make sense of their circumstances.

Stress, depression and anxiety disorders within our families are commonplace as they try to address the issues facing them. Fortunately, suicidal ideation and attempts are less prevalent but are still worryingly present in a small amount of cases. Such conditions can leave families feeling overwhelmed, helpless, isolated and without a vista or hope. The burden of this can hinder a family’s perceived ability to manage their finances, address their debts and pay their rent. In addition, it can cruelly affect the way they see, and interact with the world and others around them.

Continue reading →

Posted by admin in Community, Latest

M2E brings holistic support to more school children in East London

bigland-15-e1447875864409-60x60Kineara’s education support programme, Motivate to Education (M2E), has recently begun work with pupils at Bigland Green Primary School in Tower Hamlets, the third school where the programme has been trialled.

Bigland Green Primary follows Redlands Primary, another local school, as the second primary school to benefit from the programme. The five pupils who recently undertook the programme at Redlands, as well as the head teacher Ann O’Reilly, found the sessions so positive that the school has invited Kineara back to take another 5 pupils through the M2E programme.

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Posted by admin in Education, Latest
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