Depaul Northern Ireland Homeless Projects
Start date: May 1, 2015,
End date: Oct 31, 2016
Context/background of project:
Depaul Ireland is a charity supporting people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We are a cross border organisation established in the Republic of Ireland in 2002 and Northern Ireland in 2005. Depaul Ireland is part of Depaul International, a group of charities working to support people who are homeless and marginalised around the world. Our services are Low Threshold making them easier to access by those who can be excluded from other services that they often need most. Our services span: Community and Outreach, Vulnerable Families, Harm Reduction Accommodation services and Criminal Justice. We supported 2,014 people in our services in 2013.
Within the values of the work of Depaul Ireland lies a holistic approach to each individual with whom we work. This involves providing emotional support in addition to physical and practical services. It is within this structure of support that the work of our volunteer programme is vital. In particular, some of the EVS / Erasmus + Priorities cover themes and issues that our volunteers and service users have been involved in. For example promoting awareness of exclusion and homelessness issues to the public, promoting healthier lifestyles, encouraging service users to develop skills and knowledge (through training or volunteering) for future employment and study and exploring and celebrating culture through art, food and dialogue.
Objectives of your project:
The volunteer programme was established to enable both local individuals and young people from other countries via Erasmus + to become involved with the work of the organisation. The programme aims to develop the skills and experience of volunteer, provide our service users with opportunities whilst simultaneously enabling Depaul Ireland to offer a more multifaceted approach to our service.
• Develop new ideas and skills from a diverse range of volunteers.
• Involve volunteers in mutually beneficial activities that can also be shared with our Partners and stakeholders.
• Support social dialogue and cultural awareness
• Highlight Social Exclusion Issues - homelessness, poverty, barriers to education & employment etc.
• Share Depaul Ireland working practices such as Harm Reduction, Low Threshold approaches and Holistic practice.
• Quip volunteers and service users with skills and confidence to be active citizens
Number & profile of participants:
Four EVS volunteers from 4 programme countries. Two of whom are of fewer opportunities due to social and economic barriers.
Description of activities:
Our EVS volunteers will be based in (2) Stella Maris Harm Reduction accommodation service and the (2) Mater Dei and Cloverhill services for vulnerable homeless families. The EVS volunteers will develop and facilitate over the 11 months varied programme of diversionary and worthwhile activities to encourage our service users to develop new skills and interests, support harm reduction to tackle unhealthy behaviours, explore cultural identity and support participation in the project and the local community they will return to.
The Host and Co-ordinating organisation will develop a learning plan and project activities with the individual volunteers. The following would be used to plan, monitor and evaluate the activities:
-Training and Induction
-Link/include in each service's key performance indicators (KPI’s) and measure quarterly
-Impact on SU’s measured in Keyworking sessions
-Feedback & evaluation sessions (eg. SU’s, EVS, Staff Team)
-EVS mentoring/supervision sessions utilizing Youthpass competencies
-Questionnaires (if applicable to project) before and after
-Continual monitoring of project (before, during, after)
Results and impact and longterm benefit:
We would also expect wider good practice sharing with our partners and an increase in young people making informed choices about Erasmus +, active citizenship and volunteering or employment. The Projects would also be used to promote Depaul Ireland Working practices such as Low Threshold approaches, harm reduction and holistic working styles. Our EVS volunteers also return to their home country equipped with skills and knowledge that will benefit their local community.
There would be continual documentation of project with text, photos (before, during, after) videos, quotes, testimonials from service users, volunteers, staff, stakeholders, regular facebook updates. Project activities and outcomes will be shared with Partners, other Depaul Services, external stakeholders and the wider public. This would ensure far-reaching dissemination of results and promotion of the benefits of Erasmus +.
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