The Synergy Centre, in partnership with homeliness charity St Mungo’s, developed a Rough Sleepers Advocacy Project which was co-led by Brighton & Hove based rough sleepers, service users and those who considered themselves part of the homeless community within the Brighton & Hove area.
The development and implementation of the advocacy service was supplied by the Synergy Centre and St Mungo’s Rough Sleepers Team, who trained people from the rough sleeping community to become advocates for the community. The advocates acted as a bridge between the rough sleeping community and statutory services and represent their views, in addition to encouraging this hard to reach community to engage with appropriate services and to engage in purposeful and positive activities
The Synergy Centre also offered a secure home and safe space from which the advocacy service operated, as well as sufficient IT and administration support and relevant further training for community advocates to ensure a successful implementation of the service.
Further support was obtained from a steering group – consisting of current Synergy Centre senior management, St Mungo’s Rough Sleepers Team representation, Synergy Centre Volunteers representation and potential Service User Advocates. The steering group met every Thursday at midday at the Centre and oversaw and supported the design, development and implementation of the Advocacy Service.
Two initial consultation events were held to seek the opinions of the local rough sleeping community on how to design the service and to identify and understand their needs and interests. A report on the consultation process can be read here.