Jim Bird Waddington and Conrad Watkins

• Specialist homelessness provider with over 10 years experience of
delivering ESF projects.
• Convergence– Cyrenians Supported Employment and Training
(CSET) project comprises a network of projects to:
1. Overcome barriers.
2. Provide training.
3. Help to find employment and sustain it.
• Target group – homeless, isolated, disengaged from mainstream
Celfi Retail Training Centre
Cyrenians Community Centre
Cyrenians Employment Support Agency
Dragon Arts and Learning Centre
Res’a’Rec Re-use and Recycling Centre
• Outcomes from December 2010 to March 2012
– Participants
– Qualifications
– Employment
• The mix of life skills, with work experience then a dedicated
employment agency is the whole person package that makes the
Cyrenians model a success, and with a bit more time could prove to
be a good practice model across Wales and the UK’ (Wavehill Ltd.
Context (Extract below from European Union Cohesion Policy)
3 categories
of regions
Less developed regions
Transition regions
More developed regions
Europe 2020 Strategy
 75% of EU population (20-64) in employment.
 3% of EU GDP invested in R&D / innovation.
 ‘20/20/20’ climate/energy targets to be met.
 Young people exiting school early to be less than 10%; and 40% of 3034 year olds to have a tertiary degree.
 20 million less people to be at risk of poverty.
Homelessness and structural funds
– Recognition across EU that tackling entrenched poverty is a key challenge for
2014-20 (hence the European Platform Against Poverty and Social Exclusion
under Europe 2020).
– Homelessness now features more prominently in EU discussions and papers,
and there is an intention that tackling homelessness should cut across major EU
funding programmes such as ERDF and ESF.
– In the current programming period, the ESF is used in many Member States to
fund homelessness initiatives. These initiatives tend to focus on the social
inclusion of homeless people with a view to their sustainable integration in the
labour market. There is still scope to enhance and expand the role of the ESF in
fighting homelessness and to make a stronger contribution to ending
homelessness (Feantsa).
Places of Change Cymru
To provide a co-ordinated network of accommodation, training and enterprise hubs
in areas of acute need across West Wales and the Valleys.
To use the successful Places of Change model in England as a reference, but
tailoring the project to Welsh requirements.
To fund capital costs through ERDF and revenue through ESF.
To incorporate a transnational partnership that can draw on best practice from
Europe for the benefit of homeless and marginalised people in Wales.
Accommodation / residential placements.
Vocational training.
Rural skills.
Employment support; help with finding and maintaining work, social
enterprise, microbusinesses etc.
Community engagement.
Land share schemes, allotments, food co-operatives, time banking.
Incorporating WG initiatives – e.g. empty homes.
Transnational exchange between EU partners.
Lifelong learning participation (Grundtvig, Leonardo, Transversal)
ESOL training.
Core principles
• To focus on reaching the hardest to reach.
• To work towards community engagement, and being responsive to
local need – and to assist regeneration.
• To promote green initiatives.
• To involve the local community in the development of the project.
• To be innovative.
• To aim to create flexible models of excellence, that can adapt to
changing circumstance.
• To leave a legacy, and to continue developing beyond 2020.
A consortium planning group comprising Cadwyn Housing Association, Caer Las,
Cyrenians, Cymorth and Shelter Cymru.
Reporting regularly to Rough Sleepers Cymru, and using network to inform project
Community-led approach, responsive to local need.
Research best-practice delivery (e.g. PoC examples).
Scoping exercise (i.e. potential areas/sites, consultation etc.).
Consultation with national bodies – e.g. WCVA, WLGA.
Consultation with local representatives.
Consultation with WEFO.
Seek political support.
Develop robust fully-costed Business Plan.
Develop trans-national partnerships.
Transnational Partnerships
• Wales can learn from exemplar projects in EU. Greater focus on
transnationality in 2014-20 programme.
• Potential partners include:
– Casa Ioana (Romania) www.casaioana.org
– San Patrignano (Italy) www.sanpatrignano.org
– Basta (Sweden) www.basta.se
• Structured partnerships also facilitate involvement in the Lifelong
Learning programme (e.g. Grundtvig, Leonardo).
Fit with WEFO requirements for 2014-20
A belief that wider ‘strategic’ approach has been beneficial.
Therefore partnership working will be further encouraged.
Want to ‘hit the ground running’ and avoid any pause between
programmes (delays were problematic between the end of Objective
One and the start of Convergence).
Directly contributes to the aims of the European Platform against
Poverty and Social Exclusion.
Greater emphasis on trans-national working.
• Matched funding requirement (likely requirement will be around
• Local opposition / delays in planning process etc.
• Delays in funding (up to 2 years at beginning of Convergence
• Excessively complicated bureaucracy.
• Procurement.
• Geographical coordination.
• Other?

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