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

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We 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.

 

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

 

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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.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

 

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.

Kineara begins a new integrated rent and employment support programme

 

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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.

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.

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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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Kineara wins bid to brings intensive approach to job seekers

We are very excited to announce that we’ll be starting a new project in the new year, having been awarded funding to carry out an Intensive Employment Support Programme across Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

Taking place over 13-weeks, we’ll work with 34 individuals throughout the year to provide one-on-one tailored support for those who have been unemployed long term or have other hidden barriers that have prevented them from finding work. Practitioners will provide therapeutic support where necessary, and aim to address surrounding issues by providing practical, hands on support.

For us, it was important to create a programme that balanced job searches, interview preparation, skills development and building networks of employment support with our holistic approach that understands how different issues converge to impact each individual’s life. It is this ethos that we believe will make a real difference for those we work with, not only in finding work, but in finding stability and support in all areas of life.

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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Kineara's Maria Morgan speaks at forum on welfare changes and social housing

It was fantastic to have Kineara’s managing director Maria Morgan speak at Westminster Briefing’s forum on supporting tenants through welfare reform in central London last week. She joined members of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and housing professionals raised concerns about how sweeping welfare changes will impact tenants.

Organised by Westminster Briefing, speakers gave examples of projects that housing associations and independent organisations are running to mitigate the risks of arrears as vulnerable tenants manage the move from housing benefit to Universal Credit. Aside from Kineara’s RSP, it was great to hear about how Hyde Plus’ project for young people, the Money House, is providing training on tenancy sustainment, money advice and budgeting.

Thank you to Westminster Briefing for inviting us to take part in the event.

Bringing RSP to the private sector

close-up-150x150At Kineara we have created flexible programmes so that they can be adapted to suit the changing needs of our clients. This flexibility is important to us, as it means we can adjust some details of our work while keeping true to our core beliefs – that all people deserve a decent home.

So with this in mind, we have decided to take our Rent Support Programme to the private sector for landlords who have tenants in arrears and want to support them through it while keeping their tenancy intact.

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Integrating community cohesion into Kineara’s future work

renewed-communities-logo-colour-medium-150x150Over the last year, Kineara partnered with Southern Housing Group to deliver a community cohesion programme for residents of a development in Fulneck Place. Called New Beginnings, the innovative programme was designed to support residents who were new to the development with their move, foster good relationships with those already there, and enable all members of the community to feel part of the neighbourhood. Now, having learned a great deal from this project, Kineara is launching its own community cohesion intervention.

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Our Spring event at Fulneck Place

Like other Kineara interventions, both New Beginnings and our new programme, Renewed Communities, use a key worker approach to provide intensive support and flexibility that is tailored to the varied needs of a diverse set of residents. Gail, our practitioner who worked on New Beginnings at Fulneck Place, has been leading on the design of our latest programme.

“New Beginnings worked well because we worked closely with many different stakeholders in the community to achieve our objectives of a smooth transition for the 55 new households moving into the new development and building strong community relationships,” Gail said. “This included the housing providers, local health services, existing community groups and family support services, and local schools. This is one important part of the work which will be central to our own community cohesion programmes”

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