Q1 2023

14 | Q1 2023 Nov22673 Youth Community Housing Organisation of the Year 2022 Bedspace’s goal is to create a foundation of improved wellbeing, valuable life skills, and a level of independence which can be built on in later life. This service goes far beyond simply putting a roof over someone’s head but is part of a long-term approach to support the individuals it works with. Bedspace considers the personal needs of each individual and provides them with the facilities and additional support services they require to ultimately achieve independence. Bedspace operates as an intrinsic part of the communities it works with in the North West in Manchester, Liverpool, Preston, and Lancashire, and across Yorkshire. With 268 staff and growing, it specialises in providing support to 16- to 18-year-olds through tailored and bespoke service pathways to best suit each individual’s needs. Whether it is group living, supported tenancy, solo enhanced or even emergency placement housing options, Bedspace is able to find a place in which its people will not only find safety and comfort, but also be able to thrive. The variety of housing support options that Bedspace offers ensures that unique and personal needs are met depending on the individual’s circumstances. The brilliant and hugely important work that Bedspace does is the result of a team dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable people. Each staff member at Bedspace, from support workers to administration officers and team leaders, genuinely cares about their work and are passionate about making a difference. The idea of togetherness is in the organisation’s DNA, and everyone within the company shares a common purpose; to transform lives. Bedspace’s innovative services also provide it with the flexibility and ability to adapt to the changing needs of the housing and care sectors. In the current economic climate, where the cost-of-living crisis is putting the biggest pressures on those most vulnerable, coupled with the lack of funding for the social sector and political instability has meant that this support is needed more than ever. The excellence of Bedspace’s services has been recognised at several awards, including ‘Best Community Housing Organisation’ (2021 and 2022) at the Northern Enterprise Awards, ‘Best Vulnerable Persons Shelter & Support Provider’ and ‘Most Sustainable Independent Living Services’ at the 2019 Social Care Awards alongside many more. These awards reflect its unwavering commitment to providing the best support possible through its services and staff. When the organisation first began in 1999, the team was set up to provide accommodation to asylum seekers, mainly in Blackpool. Since then, the passion that led to the creation of Bedspace has led to it developing its services to support a wide variety of vulnerable people including care leavers (typically aged 16 to 18) homeless families, and vulnerable adults. Bedspace truly believes people are stronger together. Its partnerships with landlords and local authorities in the communities it works in are a key factor in helping to improve the lives of those most in need of support. It understands the need for a collaborative approach and consistent hard work to really make a positive difference in the world, so is committed to always going one step further. Bedspace will continue to build on that success by championing continuous improvement of both its team and its services. Bedspace’s innovative and flexible care pathway can take people from age 8 through a series of services from children’s residential to group living, trainer flats, supported tenancy and independence with support. The pathway has been carefully considered, using the team’s extensive experience to help young people achieve independence through uniquely tailored support. The pathway is such that no matter what point a young person comes to Bedspace, the right accommodation and support is available. Beginning with children’s residential, the pathway consists of group living, trainer flats - whereby a young person has their own flat and a support worker living as a neighbour - supported tenancy - where a support worker visits regularly, and finally independence with support. Trainer flats help to provide service users with more than just a place to call home; the continuation of support can help them develop and build longlasting life skills to live independently. We strongly believe they should be adopted by more organisations in the future to ensure continued and long-lasting success for independent living. Bedspace has seen first-hand the impact that trainer flats can have on service users and has found them to be instrumental in helping vulnerable young people to confidently live independently, preventing the need for further intervention from local authorities later down the line. Thanks to this pathway, in 2021, 70 of Bedspace’s service users in the North West successfully gained independence, meaning they could live alone, manage bills, and rent and care for themselves, demonstrating the effectiveness of this approach. Bedspace believes that support should go beyond providing accommodation. The organisation not only provides safe and appropriate housing, but also prioritises personalised and consistent support across all different types of challenges that someone may face. As well as receiving ongoing mental health support, all service users develop critical life skills Launched in 1999, Bedspace is a fully accredited housing organisation committed to transforming the lives of vulnerable people. Based in the North of England, it provides accommodation and tailored support for vulnerable young people across the UK and has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people to date.