Thames Reach
Monday 20 November 2017
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Groundswell staff at work
Groundswell staff at work

Groundswell was created in 1996 with the core belief that the best way to tackle homelessness is with the direct involvement of homeless people. Their work focuses on client involvement, peer research and health. With over half of their staff and all volunteers having personal experience of homelessness.


Health is a vital, yet often neglected, need for homeless people, to address this Groundswell created Homeless Health Peer Advocacy (HHPA), which provides practical support for homeless people to access health services; accompanying people to appointments whilst building their skills and confidence.  Delivered by volunteers who all have personal experience of homelessness.


Groundswell’s Volunteer Progression Programme supports people to take more control of their lives and move on - into jobs and training. Since the HHPA was set up in 2010, over half of the volunteers have moved onto paid employment.


Groundswell’s work to give homeless people a voice has included running Speakouts across the UK and setting up the Homeless People’s Commission involving homeless people in national policy issues, speaking directly to Government.


Groundswell’s research work uses participatory action research practices – involving homeless people in all stages of the process and focusing on the change that happens as a result of what is discovered. These techniques have been used to help local authorities with their Homelessness Strategies, to help services develop client involvement practices and to run their own investigations such as The Escape Plan which identified the critical success factors that enable people to move on from homelessness.


The Escape Plan showed that giving people an opportunity to make a contribution is the key to moving on. Groundswell support people to use their own experiences of homelessness to help others, improve services and improve policy making – and by doing so to transform their own lives.


In 2012 Groundswell became a formal partner of Thames Reach – with two Thames Reach people on their Board of Trustees the two organisations are working closely together to develop the services we offer

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