Impact

Practitioner Insights: Stress Awareness Month

Practitioner Insights: Stress Awareness Month

To support others effectively you must take action each day for your own physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing. We started #StressAwarenessMonth with our Wellbeing Team Meeting, sharing small and meaningful things that we can do everyday to help us during this uncertain time. We decided our word of the month is PEACE – see our thoughts below.

Last updated 12.04.21

Team Wellbeing Meeting - April 2021

Useful links

  • Download our infographic for top tips on managing your health and wellbeing.
  • Read our last Practitioner Insights blog on how complex cases can impact our mental health and wellbeing, and how to work through this.
  • Read our case studies for practical insights on supporting children, individuals and families who are stressed.
Posted by kineara in Community, Health and Wellbeing, Impact
Podcast: Kineara director Maria Morgan speaks about her work and vision for the future

Podcast: Kineara director Maria Morgan speaks about her work and vision for the future

Our director Maria Morgan sat down with the team at It Means Something Podcast to speak about a wide range of topics from her work as Director of Kineara, the importance of investing in people, to her vision for the world. 

The podcast brought by Nathan Ardaiz and Joao Fernandes invites “those who are creating meaning in the world such as makers, entrepreneurs and artists” to delve deeper into their journey and the meaning they’re making in their lives. Here, we summarise some of the topics covered in the podcast.  

Creating meaningful change 

Founded in 2012, Kineara set out to create and deliver tailor-made support services that inspire meaningful and lasting change in the lives of the people and communities we serve. Starting with our Rent Support Programme (RSP), which addresses and prevented evictions of vulnerable families in social housing, our offer has expanded to include mid-length tenancy sustainment programmes and educational wellbeing and support services 

Fast forward to 2020, we now several new projects and services in the works including our most recently designed intervention, Resettling, which supports people who have been homeless or in temporary accommodation move back into sustainable housing, and more important and exciting plans for the future.  

Asked how Kineara creates meaningful change, Maria says: “In terms of Kineara, we realise that we’re not going to do it on our own. We can’t do everything, but the best thing we can do is go into a situation, if the individual or family allows, and work with them to understand their barriers, their frustrations, their story. 

“It’s a privilege for someone to let you in their life no matter where they are in life. So, I always say don’t take it for granted that someone’s been referred to us that it’s just a given.” 

As we’re coming out, we start to work on: What support do you need that when we’ve left, we know you can go there? So, it’s important that we have that kind of step-down service after that real intense work. What we’re finding is there are not as many step-down services as we would like because of cuts and other reasons, so when we do find those services our job is develop those relationships between the person we’re working and those organisations.” 

Further to this, Maria explains the meaning of holistic support and how it relates to our work. “We are all part of a system; the family is a system. We all have different roles and different things we bring to the table, so if somebody or something in that system isn’t working, it’s going to impact how we operate. We either shift to accommodate that area that isn’t working well, or we look at what it is that isn’t making it work well because we need you to make the system work well, so it’s that systemic kind of thinking.” 

Describing Kineara to a five-year-old, Maria adds “it’s about “being a friend to someone when they are going through difficult times.” This means “someone you can talk to” and who “will go with you thought that journey.” 

Breaking the cycle of homelessness 

Whilst developing our direct support work, we’ve also been involved in delivering community cohesion projects and innovative participatory research on issues of housing services and improving pathways through temporary accommodation. Back in October 2017 AzuKo, Kineara and Poplar HARCA co-hosted a two-part workshop exploring the latter.  

Working alongside Nathan, we brought together 40 people, from over 20 organisations to rethink how we can improve the journey into and through temporary accommodation and illuminate the experience of those going through this journey, and facing challenges, trials and insecurity.  

It’s important we respect that we’re coming into people’s intimate lives, so they don’t feel you are being patronising.” 

We also undertook research with 14 households, revealing that experiences are dynamic, so services are never working with the same person throughout the lifespan of support, particularly those who are ‘vulnerable’. What’s more, we found that financial insecurity can result from a sudden and unexpected breakdown in paperwork/bureaucracy, physical and mental health, landlord relations and family structure among many others, so services should be aware of the link between money and a range of other factors.  

Speaking about finance (especially regarding finance decisions) of individuals and families we work with, Nathan says, “Some of the research we’ve done with families shows there’s something stigmatising around how people spend their money and what they think is the wrong and right way to do so.” To this end, Maria adds that generally, “It’s important we respect that we’re coming into people’s intimate lives, so they don’t feel you are being patronising.”  

Building on strengths 

Maria goes onto highlight the impact of strength-based support, “The first thing you must do is work with a person’s strength. Some people don’t even have a foundation to build on because they’ve been so crushed, so you’ve got to lay yourself down. Step on me, we’re going to be here, we’re going to support you through that. We’re going to be that strength-base.” 

Not only is this type of support useful for the people we work with, but it can be applied to supporting the wellbeing of our team/ practitioners themselves. “The people at Kineara, they’ve got the passion, the care, they are phenomenalKineara would not exist without them, but I have to understand their capacity, what they can do and where their stop isIt’s been an interesting journey; what’s important is we continue to try and look after ourselves at work and outside of work. 

“Maria has incredible insight into the process of working with teams and creating something, which is really brutal and difficult work. She brings such a beauty and lightness to the whole thing which is infectious. I always learn so much from Maria and I really appreciate her as a friend and collaborator,” adds Nathan. 

You can listen to the podcast here 

Posted by kineara in Community, Education, Housing, Impact
Case studies: Three ways to support children’s mental health

Case studies: Three ways to support children’s mental health

Supporting children’s mental health, developing emotional awareness and improving school motivation are just some of the ways our education support practitioners work holistically with pupils and their families. This Children’s Mental Health Week, we share five proven techniques we have used to support pupils’ mental health and wellbeing.

Holistic and wraparound care

Having delivered our Motivate to Educate (M2E) programme for several years, we’ve seen how a holistic approach can help children and young people overcome challenges in school and out. Our practitioners have found that support pupil’s families and teachers, such as giving them to talk about any challenges they’re facing, has a directly positive impact on pupils.

“Holistic support looks at the bigger picture, addressing other challenges they may be facing in life, including issues with rent or housing insecurity, emotional wellbeing or household needs and relationships,” explains Maria, Director of Kineara.

As for wraparound care this means, “we’re here for the child, we’re here for the parent, we’re here for the teacher, we’re here to care for all aspects of the school, for them to feel healthy and safe and have somewhere to go.”

Exploring pupils’ strengths

Working with pupil’s strengths, our practitioners use a wide variety of tools in tackling worry, anxiety and challenging behaviour in pupils. These include the use of bubble wrap, breathing and relaxation techniques, tailor-made emotion cards and daily post-it notes for both the child and parent to express how they are feeling.

As a young boy who has autism, Talib used tailor-made emotion cards and visuals during M2E to communicate how he was feeling in a way that was helpful to himself and others, especially when he was feeling sad or anxious.

During M2E, Gail also found that Talib loved trains and had the incredible skill of knowing almost every route, so she suggested that dad take Talib on train journeys and make it a reward for him.

“Learning about your pupil/ child and how they think is also a learning for ourselves. We must find new routines, different structures and work hard together to creates some positive changes in school and out”, says Gail.

Strengthening family relationships

Our practitioners found that working closely with the pupils’ family during M2E had a directly positive impact on their wellbeing, emotional awareness and behaviour in school.

In the case of Dayo – who was referred to M2E over concerns for his emotional wellbeing and behaviour in class – we saw how developing family routines and incorporating hands-on activities at home helped reduce problems at school.

As the eldest child of four, Dayo would often feel left out at home which was affecting his schooling. Gail, M2E practitioner, explains that one of the things that helped strengthen family relationships was introducing some cooking time with mum.

“We’ve learnt how to communicate better. I’ve also learnt about having independent one-to-one time with each child,” says Dayo’s mum. What’s more, Dayo’s dad admitted that he never spoke about emotions to the children before, but now he makes sure to praise them and tell them how proud he is.

Join the conversation on Twitter using #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek #FindYourBrave  

Want to give your pupils/ children the best start in life? Get in touch with us to discuss how we can work with your school.

Find out more about our education support services.

Posted by kineara in Education, Impact
Kineara’s team ‘missionstorm’ day: An update

Kineara’s team ‘missionstorm’ day: An update

Last month, our team decided it was time for a moment of reflection. With several new projects coming up at the end of this year, and a busy 2020 in the works, we knew it was the perfect opportunity to take a step back and take stock of where we have come from, where we are going and make sure that we do not lose sight of our mission as we grow. Rather than a brainstorm, we decided what we needed was a ‘missionstorm’, and this is the task we set ourselves.

As many people working in the social enterprise world will know, new opportunities, connections and projects offer both exciting possibilities and an inevitable challenge. For us, the biggest challenge was this: How do we bring our support services into new contexts without compromising our mission? How do we make sure that we are staying true to our values and putting the needs of those we serve first? How do we make sure our whole team collaborates and contributes to our projects and mission?

Since Kineara was first founded with our Rent Support Programme (RSP), which addresses and prevented evictions of vulnerable families in social housing, our offer has expanded to include mid-term tenancy sustainment programmes, educational wellbeing and support, employment support and our most recently designed intervention, Resettling, which has been created for people who have been homeless or in temporary accommodation to move back into sustainable housing with our support. In amongst that, we’ve still found the time to deliver community cohesion projects and been part of innovative participatory research on issues of housing services and improving pathways through temporary accommodation.

Throughout that time, we’ve kept to Kineara’s ethos: that all our support is 1) holistic, understanding that people’s lives are complex, with often multiple challenges that impact each other; and 2) people-centred and strength-based, so that we always recognise and emphasise the skills, aspirations and strengths that are inherent in everyone.

Nonetheless, as our provision ramps up we knew it was important that, as a team, we were all working towards the same mission, and driving towards the same goal. We looked at how other organisations larger and smaller than ours, both in the charity sector and outside of it, wrote about their mission and what it said about them. And then, we looked again at our own mission and asked ourselves the question, does this still speak to the heart of our work? What really is driving us? What do we really want to see as a result of the work we are creating?

And after some discussion, we refined our thoughts into a new mission statement:

It was then time to take a good look at our values. While it was all very well putting a mission statement together, what good was it if our values weren’t aligned to it? So, we took the opportunity to choose and discuss key values that motivated each of us in our lives and work, to build an understanding of our team’s character and motivations. It was wonderful to see what people felt was most important to them – sincerity, effectiveness, passion, respect, self-awareness, resilience, accountability, justice and collaboration – were all named as key values in their lives and work.

As anyone who works in social impact will understand, it is the passion reflected in the words above that motivates many to commit to serving people and communities in their work. With such a committed team, it was easy to consolidate these shared individual values into a set of principles that will guide Kineara’s approach and work for the next year.

With the revised mission and updated values in mind, we then turned our attention to project mapping. Of course, as a social business with a community focus, project planning is made that bit more challenging because we not only need clear aims, goals, monitoring plans and a valid theory of change, but we also need to make sure each project is also financially viable so that we can be sustainable and continue to grow. This was our jumping point; as a small organisation with multiple projects running together, we felt that honing our processes, roles and expectations would be key for achieving our mission as a team.

So we took the time to envision a life cycle of a typical Kineara project, creating for ourselves a live ‘map’ where we are able to see at what stage each of our team members are needed, what contributions they may make to each phase and how each role intersects with the each other.

This became a really valuable and useful exercise that gave each team member far greater clarity over the important part they play in our project delivery and achievements. We are, clearly, a sum of our parts! In many ways, the exercise was a humbling one which left each of us with a great appreciation for each other’s work, as well as a recognition of how we work together throughout a project to bring it to completion.

Posted by kineara in Impact, Latest
How to support your child as they start secondary school

How to support your child as they start secondary school

Starting secondary is a significant milestone in a young person’s life – new schools, new friends, new teachers and indeed new challenges altogether. Whether you’re a parent, teacher or practitioner, helping a young person through this transition can be one of the most impactful things you do for them. But how can we support them? Here our practitioners, team and friends share practical ways we can help pupils deal with such challenges.

1. Developing an identity

Fitting in, asserting an identity or gaining peer acceptance becomes even more prominent in a secondary school context. This undeniable reality can often lead to a dip in academic progress or intensify challenging behaviour.

“My challenge at school was a struggle between being a good student and getting the grades everyone (including myself) expected of me and wanting to be independent and assert my identity; who I wanted to be in this world and who my friends were,” says Sandra, Intervention Practitioner at Kineara.

Helping young people to express themselves authentically and take advantage of extracurricular activities is just one way of facilitating healthy social exploration. Sandra adds that it’s also important for parents and teachers to try to understand why someone is behaving the way they are instead of just trying to change it.

“Larger classes make it more difficult to have a closer relationship with students, which is where a service like Motivate to Educate (M2E) is helpful. It offers a listening ear and can help guide a student back on track,” she adds.

2. Bullying and peer pressure

Whether its physical, verbal, social, or online, bullying can take many forms. For parents, identifying any changes in your child’s behaviour, asking questions, and building meaningful relationships with their teachers can all make a difference.

Strengthening relationships between the parent and child, parent and teacher, and teacher and child, is one aim of M2E. “I was lucky that I had a good upbringing with parents who gave me a strong sense of self-worth that made me realise my potential. Without it I may have ended up in more serious trouble that would have been harder to return from,” says Sandra.

During the transition, it can be helpful to try to increase your child’s circle of friends by encouraging them to invite home their friends or participate in group activities. Educating pupils and their parents through assemblies, class discussions and workshops can also help to challenge stigma and raise awareness about the challenges that pupils are facing.

“Larger classes make it more difficult to have a closer relationship with students, which is where a service like Motivate to Educate (M2E) is helpful. It offers a listening ear and can help guide a student back on track.”

Reflecting on her own experience, Mel, Comms Lead at Kineara, highlights the importance of having quality support. “For me the main thing was going from a very small school where everyone knew each other to a school with hundreds of kids in each year; this was a bit intimidating at first! The key thing for me was that I had a close-knit group of friends that formed pretty early; they were my peers who I went to for support and we took each other through the whole secondary journey.”

“For pupils who are feeling shy or lonely, we often involve their peers by bringing them into our sessions to participate in group activities such as cooking and baking, which develops the child’s confidence and broadens their friendship circle,” says Gail, Kineara’s M2E lead.

3. Mental health and wellbeing

With 1 in 10 children and young people experiencing a mental health issue at any one time, it is important that we are clued up on the challenges of dealing with mental health, and how we as parents, teachers and practitioners can support pupils. What’s more, a recent Government Green Paper (2017) stated that appropriately trained teachers and school staff can make a difference in addressing mild to moderate mental health problems such as anxiety and conduct disorder, comparable to those achieved by trained therapists.

In delivering M2E, we’ve found that teachers and school staff can support pupils by  developing their understanding of mental health through relevant training such as MHFA courses, as well as receiving support with their own wellbeing. We have also seen how a school benefits from adopting a joined-up, wraparound ethos that focuses on wellbeing just as much as academic outcomes. As part of the culture, schools could consider activities that have been proven to help pupils manage high levels of stress such as mindfulness, yoga and relaxation/breathing exercises.

The people we work with have multi-entrenched needs, so our support must be intentional, therapeutic, adaptable. You’re not seeing a situation or a person as one-dimensional but seeing them in a holistic frame.”

After taking part in M2E, one pupil who was struggling to manage his temper said about the programme: “I enjoy having better relationships with people in school. I use my breathing techniques when someone is annoying me, and I listen to my relaxation before bed and no tech for one hour which helps my sleep.” In this case we found the main outcomes to be significant improvements in the pupils’ overall stress and behaviour, followed by an improvement in concentration and emotional awareness.

There are a plethora of online resources exploring different areas of mental health and wellbeing, from exam stress, eating disorders to responding to traumatic events. We have also written about the real impact of exam stress and why schools need to  focus on supporting mental health during this difficult time.

4. Hidden or complex challenges

For some, personal, hidden, or external challenges will take a toll on social and academic progress through secondary school, including the impact of educational inequality, a lack of adequate support for SEND pupils, family breakdown, or issues with housing. One way of supporting pupils through such a challenge is looking at the ‘whole-person,’ offering empathy and being emotionally available.

“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 etc. You’re not seeing a situation or a person as one-dimensional but seeing them in a holistic frame.”

Maria explains that not everyone offers holistic support, neither does everyone have to.” As a school, for example, it’s about recognising that there are other organisations that can support with intervention on a holistic level. It’s about partnership,” she says.

Learn more about our education services.

Posted by kineara in Education, Impact, Research
Motivate to Educate: End of year reflections

Motivate to Educate: End of year reflections

It’s the end of term and time to showcase another brilliant set of M2Es delivered by our dedicated, school-based practitioners. A big thank you to our partner schools, families and pupils who’ve made it all possible!

Primary pupils in Harrington Hill and Redlands Primary School celebrated after taking part in Motivate to Educate, a 15-week intensive and tailored intervention that aims to build confidence, motivation and wellbeing among pupils.

The pupils at Harrington Hill took part in a certificate ceremony led by Kineara’s school-based practitioner, Davinia, and attended by their parents and carers, whilst pupils at Redlands celebrated with a picnic and family activities delivered by practitioners, Gail and Rujia. They were the latest of over 60 local primary school pupils and their families to take part in M2E, which so far has achieved an 86% increase in emotional wellbeing and confidence among pupils.

Harrington Hill

Harrington Hill Primary in Hackney, East London, has been one of Kineara’s strongest partnerships in the last few years and is a testament to the school’s dedication to care for its pupils and the school community. This year, our partnership has led to us being shortlisted as a finalist at the Education Resource Award 2019.

Having worked with four families in our latest cohort, Davinia said: “The school had various concerns about the pupils, ranging from disruptive behaviour and emotional instability to lack of confidence and issues in the home which inflicted on their studies and wellbeing.”

Davinia utilised a wide variety of tools in tackling worry and anxiety in pupils, such as the use of bubble wrap, tailor-made emotion cards and daily post-it notes for both the child and parent to express how they are feeling. “In this cohort, art making has been a useful tool for helping children access and express difficult memories. Using materials that allow a child to make mess, should they want to, creates a freedom to access these memories and to begin to make sense of them.”

Regarding the support, Harrington Hill have said: “We could not provide the much-needed level of support we do for our whole school community without Kineara’s M2E. Their work places the child completely at the centre and nothing is too much trouble. We can honestly say we’d be lost without the service, as would our pupils and their families.”

Redlands

Redlands Primary in Tower Hamlets, East London, has been another fantastic collaboration between ourselves, the school and the families we’ve worked with. Over the last year we’ve supported 15 pupils and their families, including 10 families who attended our drop-in, three parent workshops, and we’ve also provided therapeutic counselling for three families who needed more in-depth mental health support.

Talib*, one of the pupils from the latest cohort, was referred to M2E after concerns about challenging behaviour at home which was affecting his engagement and progress in school. As a young boy who has autism, the school was keen to provide extra support for Talib and the whole family in understanding autism and developing effective tools and strategies to support his wellbeing.

Through a variety of 1:1, group and parent support sessions, practical and therapeutic exercises, Gail worked with Talib to develop his emotional awareness, wellbeing and understanding of autism, so that he can build on his strengths and be proud of who he is. Living in a small overcrowded flat with another family, Gail also supported Talib’s family in completing a health assessment about their living situation, which led them onto a priority band for a new home. Recently, we found out that the family will be moving into a new 3-bedroom flat – a great achievement which we hope will not only provide space for Talib to grow and express himself freely, but improve the wellbeing of the whole family.

Reflecting on the case Gail said: “What worked extremely well was the support from the school and their drive to keep pushing for Talib and the whole family to succeed. Giving the child space to express how they’re feeling and showing parents different ways of changing their responses and routines at home, can make a real impact in improving wellbeing and enhancing positive relationships.”

Our impact

So far, we’ve delivered a total of 63 M2E programmes with three school partners and we’ve improved emotional wellbeing and confidence in 86% of cases. In addition, we’ve seen a 69% increase in family wellbeing and communication, supported 76 drop-in attendees, and addressed 29 different issues from housing to mental health and wellbeing.

Each intervention is tailored to specific need and, overall, families we work with say their children’s wellbeing, communication, and emotional awareness significantly improve after taking part in the programme. Teachers notice improved behaviour and engagement in the classroom, and our pupils experience real improvements in stress, anxiety, motivation and confidence, which impacts positively on their education.

M2E will continue to be delivered to pupils at Harrington Hill Primary in the new school year, with additional wraparound services that include drop in support for parents and for school staff.

We are currently able to partner with schools in the Greater London area. To learn more about M2E or partner with us, contact: info@kineara.co.uk

Read the M2E press release.

*Note: Names have been changed to protect pupil’s identity.

Posted by kineara in Community, Education, Impact
Our Impact Report 2019 is now published

Our Impact Report 2019 is now published

14 June 2019

Each year, we are committed to providing a report into our impact and our progress towards our key aims and mission. We are happy to share with you our Impact Report 2019, which collates the results from this year’s internal evaluation of our programmes.

2018 was a pivotal year for our organisation, with a new housing programmes as well as additional school services that have expanded our reach and provided school essential wraparound support. This work delivered against 4 key objectives:

  • To prevent evictions homelessness and housing insecurity of vulnerable people
  • To impact people lives and the organisations we work with positive transformation
  • To build strong, healthy, connected communities
  • To improve wellbeing, build on strengths and inspire confidence

 

To date, we have supported 309 people with either intensive support or drop-in advice across our housing, employment and education programmes.

We’ve provided mental health support to 118 households we’ve worked with.

We’ve prevented evictions of over 100 households since we began in 2012, and provided housing support to 68% of all households we’ve worked with.

In that time 60 people have been supported into work, education or training.

We have delivered 35 M2E interventions since September 2017, and improved emotional wellbeing in 86% of those pupils.

In that time we also delivered 6 workshops in schools for both parents and for pupils with 44 attendees, and drop in services for 42 parent’s and school staff members.

In addition to the impact we’ve had with  families, pupils and households, Kineara has grown its reach and voice through our social media presence, with 200 new supporters across all platforms and over 400 unique website visits per month. We’ve also been recognized for our partnership work in school, being shortlisted as a finalists for the Collaboration Award by Education Resources Awards and we are excited to have recently been invited to become member of Trust for London’s new initiative with the office the Mayor of London, the London Housing Panel, which aims to bring community representation to housing policy making for London.

 

You can read our Impact Report in full here.

Posted by kineara in Impact, Latest, Testimonial
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

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

Sustainability of the RSP begins to show: Creating long term change with short term interventions

The long term benefits of our Rent Support Programme are beginning to be revealed though recent post-intervention monitoring.

We carried out a 6-month follow up meeting with five of residents of City of London housing who took part in the programme between October 2014 and February 2015 to find out how their situation had changed, whether their well-being had improved and to see if they were continuing to pay back their arrears and sustain their tenancy.

All five had remained in their home and there was no immediate threat of eviction. In four cases, arrears had continued to decrease and they were sticking with the repayment plan agreed with the Kineara worker.  Two had cleared their arrears completely by the 6 month check; one of those had arrears of £2125 at the start of the intervention. And another was one instalment away from being in credit.

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Posted by kineara in Housing, Impact, Latest