Look Ahead’s roots are in providing support to those experiencing homelessness and we’re still a major provider of homelessness and rough sleeping services in London and the South East.
With 31 services across London, this continues to be an area where we excel and innovate. In 2017-2018 our homelessness services provided more than 700 bed-spaces, and we supported more than 1,100 people to achieve their goals and begin moving forward with their lives.
Our homelessness and complex needs service at Cromwell Road was one of our first services to use a Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) approach. The team practices a flexible approach to working with behaviour that challenges which has resulted in a dramatic drop in evictions. They have developed a positive, supportive team culture where reflective practice is firmly embedded.
As an example, there was a serious incident when the Contract Manager was on leave. Afterwards and without being prompted, staff set up a debrief and reflective practice session. The session provided all the staff involved with a safe space within which they could explore how they felt, why they felt this way and, most importantly, that no matter how they felt it was acknowledged in a non-judgmental manner.
Customers are aware of the change in culture and are encouraged to reflect on why they behave in a certain way and how they could behave differently.
dropped by half between 2016 and 2017
due to challenging behaviour dropped from
70% to 20%
As an organisation, we’re always ready to go the extra mile. In October 2017 we opened John West House, a new night shelter in Windsor and Maidenhead.
We were approached by the borough after their agreement with another provider broke down and staff worked tirelessly to set up and open the service within four weeks.
The shelter provides a safe place to sleep for up to eight people who are currently rough sleeping or living in temporary accommodation.
Miles, John West House
I’ve been at John West House since early this year, when my relationship with my girlfriend broke down. I was using heroin for around 15 years. I’d been at Resilience Drug and Alcohol Service for a few years on and off before, but I’ve been clean for three months now.
My first child is due soon, and I have a rough plan in place. I’m going to gain my electrical qualification, save up for a deposit for a flat, and take steps to move on. My qualification is already paid for, then it’s a matter of getting housed and finding full-time employment.
A big part of my success is down to being here, the stability and support I get. We can go to them with anything and know we won’t be judged. Once I’ve moved on I’ll come back to visit, especially once the baby comes.”
In early 2018 Look Ahead and The Choir with No Name partnered to launch a central London choir for homeless and marginalised people in the capital.
Through our partnership we fund a part-time choir manager who brings years of experience running Look Ahead homelessness accommodation services. As well as day to day choir management, the manager provides choir members with direct personal support, including signposting, and access to Look Ahead’s and other homelessness support services.
We have counted Look Ahead as a close ally in London over the years and we are delighted to have launched our London superchoir with them. The weekly service we provide for choir members remains just as brilliant, but our members now have easier access to a wider range of essential services.”
Marie Benton, founder and Chief Executive of The Choir with No Name