Brighter Futures

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Brighter Futures's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Brighter Futures is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.brighter-futures.org.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | BRIGHTER FUTURES
Chief Executive Helena Evans
Whether through supporting people who are homeless,
offering alternative therapeutic programmes or
through their mental health helpline, Brighter Futures
provide a full range of services to support communities to
overcome any challenges they may face. Over the last couple of
years, they have adopted a Housing First service, aiming to build
on the model’s success in other countries around the world.
Chief Executive Helena Evans tells
The Parliamentary Review
about their expansion from a night shelter and their aim of
tackling the UK housing and homelessness crisis.
We have come a long way in our 45 years of existence from our first service, a
volunteer-run night shelter established in Stoke-on-Trent, before forming a small
housing association called Potteries Housing Association to reflect the main industry
at that time within our city of origin.
Our name was changed to Brighter Futures Housing Association Ltd in 2006 to
reflect the diversity of what we offer, and our ultimate aim to facilitate and enable
people to live more fulfilled lives. Between 2006 and 2016, we have more than
doubled our turnover, our housing stock portfolio and our staff and volunteer
team, serving more customers and tenants than ever before.
Providing more than bricks and mortar
We are a diverse company providing homes for people within Stoke-on-Trent and
areas of the West Midlands, but we provide far more than bricks and mortar; we
FACTS ABOUT
BRIGHTER FUTURES
»Chief Executive: Helena Evans
»Established in 1974
»Head office in Stoke-on-Trent
»Services: Support for people
who are homeless or at risk of
being homeless, people with
mental health issues, adults
with a learning disability and
vulnerable women
»No. of employees: 209 and 38
volunteers
»We support 201 people in
their tenancies in properties
that we own, and we manage
96 properties on behalf of
other organisations supporting
tenants living in those
properties.
»Over the last 12-month period
we have supported in the
region of 1,000 customers to
access a range of services
Brighter Futures
Giving a customer the
keys to their new home
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | BRIGHTER FUTURES
Chief Executive Helena Evans
Whether through supporting people who are homeless,
offering alternative therapeutic programmes or
through their mental health helpline, Brighter Futures
provide a full range of services to support communities to
overcome any challenges they may face. Over the last couple of
years, they have adopted a Housing First service, aiming to build
on the model’s success in other countries around the world.
Chief Executive Helena Evans tells
The Parliamentary Review
about their expansion from a night shelter and their aim of
tackling the UK housing and homelessness crisis.
We have come a long way in our 45 years of existence from our first service, a
volunteer-run night shelter established in Stoke-on-Trent, before forming a small
housing association called Potteries Housing Association to reflect the main industry
at that time within our city of origin.
Our name was changed to Brighter Futures Housing Association Ltd in 2006 to
reflect the diversity of what we offer, and our ultimate aim to facilitate and enable
people to live more fulfilled lives. Between 2006 and 2016, we have more than
doubled our turnover, our housing stock portfolio and our staff and volunteer
team, serving more customers and tenants than ever before.
Providing more than bricks and mortar
We are a diverse company providing homes for people within Stoke-on-Trent and
areas of the West Midlands, but we provide far more than bricks and mortar; we
FACTS ABOUT
BRIGHTER FUTURES
»Chief Executive: Helena Evans
»Established in 1974
»Head office in Stoke-on-Trent
»Services: Support for people
who are homeless or at risk of
being homeless, people with
mental health issues, adults
with a learning disability and
vulnerable women
»No. of employees: 209 and 38
volunteers
»We support 201 people in
their tenancies in properties
that we own, and we manage
96 properties on behalf of
other organisations supporting
tenants living in those
properties.
»Over the last 12-month period
we have supported in the
region of 1,000 customers to
access a range of services
Brighter Futures
Giving a customer the
keys to their new home
45BRIGHTER FUTURES |
HEALTH & SOCIAL WORK
support local communities striving
to break down systemic barriers and
stigma that many vulnerable people
within our society face. We provide a
range of services for adults who are
experiencing homelessness or are at
risk of being homeless. Furthermore,
we provide a full spectrum of non-
clinical mental health services for adults
with mental health issues, including
alternative therapeutic options to acute
services, support to people affected
by self-harm and suicide prevention
support, and a mental health helpline
which operates 365 days per year.
Our clubhouse model, which has
been operating for approximately 20
years, provides an open-door informal
support approach and networking
opportunity to enable people to
improve their mental wellbeing, learn
new skills and meet new people.
Brighter Futures services are based upon
a psychologically informed approach
with an awareness of the long-term
impact that trauma can have on a
person’s life right from childhood. We
aim to build upon people’s strengths,
aspirations and goals and, above all,
provide hope. We have been successful
in being recognised nationally via
the Royal College of Psychiatrists
in providing a recognised enabling
environment for our customers.
Creativity and tenacity
We pride ourselves on our solid
foundations and origins, and we
welcome opportunities to share
our experience, knowledge and
innovation with other partner
agencies and commissioners. We are
always willing to try new ways of
working and be the forerunner and
campaigner advocating on behalf of
our customers to ensure that their
voices are heard.
To this end, we are the lead contractor
and host for one of the National
Lottery’s 12 national Fulfilling Lives
programmes, long-term projects
seeking to break down barriers and
improve the way systems work to
support people with multiple and
complex needs. The programme also
aims to find sustainable solutions to
improve lives, reduce inequalities and
stem the “revolving door” scenario
between services. Additionally,
we work in partnership with other
organisations and, through the project,
have supported people with experience
of such support to establish their
ownCIC.
Over many years, we have been
pioneering new approaches and
working in partnerships with
colleagues in the NHS, CCG, local
authorities, charitable partners, other
housing associations and third sector
and voluntary providers. Recently, we
have led on providing an intrinsic,
multiagency approach to supporting
people who find themselves
homeless, with the introduction of
our customised outreach vehicle
providing a warm, confidential space
to receive support in a dignified way
around a range of areas including
addiction issues, physical and mental
health issues and support to access
accommodation, financial support and
hot food and drink. The Jam Factory
music sessions at the
Observatory
Our services are
based upon a
psychologically
informed
approach with
an awareness
of the long-
term impact
that trauma
can have on a
person’s life
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
46 | BRIGHTER FUTURES
Our Housing First service
During the last couple of years, we
have developed a new Housing
First service in Stoke-on-Trent and
more recently in Coventry. This is an
international approach which has been
getting some fantastic results in other
countries, such as the US, Denmark,
Sweden and France, which are
demonstrating sustainable outcomes.
More recently, this approach has been
introduced to parts of the UK.
The service is centred upon providing
a home first as a human right, offering
personalised intensive support to an
individual which is not a condition of
their tenancy and is not time limited.
Key to this approach being successful
is strong partnership working with
other landlords and support agencies
and providing flexible responsive
support to individuals at their
ownpace.
To date, we have seen positive
results, and it has been a helpful
addition to the range of options that
we can offer to people who find
themselves homeless or are at risk of
becominghomeless.
These accomplishments have been
made possible, in part, by our values:
»Passionate
»Creative
»Equal
»Empowering
»Sustainable
These values are very important to
us, underpinning everything that we
have done and continue to do as an
organisation.
Challenges moving forward
Going forward, we continue to see
the current housing supply shortage,
especially of one and two- bedroom
properties, as having a major impact
on the people that we support and
the services that we provide. Where
we can, we are looking to continue
acquiring and, possibly in the future,
developing properties to increase the
supply of properties able to support
our customers to live within their local
communities. This will also enable
us to free up temporary emergency
accommodation for people in need of
this type of provision.
Moreover, we will also continue
to strive to have the voice of our
customers and tenants heard on
issues that are important to them.
This includes helping to break down
barriers that may exist around financial
inclusion and access to key services
such as health provision, education
and employment.
As a small specialist support focused
housing association, we pride ourselves
on the quality and creativity of our
services and accommodation which are
delivered by a team of experienced,
passionate, committed and dedicated
staff and volunteers. Brighter Futures
have celebrated our 45th year of
service and look forward to a further
45 years supporting local communities.
We will
continue to
strive to have
the voice of
our customers
and tenants
heard on
issues that are
important to
them
The Brighter Futures
head office

www.brighter-futures.org.uk

This article was sponsored by Brighter Futures. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development