A PARTNERSHIP of 22 organisations in Gwent have secured almost £50,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund for a new social enterprise, in a drive to prevent homelessness.

They have been awarded £49,976 to support an integrated network of support services including housing, health, training and employment initiatives.

The National Lottery has a £10 million fund specifically for strategic projects that seek to redesign services to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurrent.

The grant for Gwent will support the development of a full five-seven year project proposal for a share of the £10 million. Projects must be person-centred and delivered by multi-agency partnerships, where third sector and public sector organisations work closely together.


The project will have four key themes - training and employment opportunities, a peer advisor programme, trauma-informed specialist services, and housing. Those involved include The Wallich, Cyfannol Women’s Aid, St. Giles Trust, Tai Pawb, Kaleidoscope, Newport City Homes, Melin Homes, Bron Afon Community Housing, Tai Calon Community Housing, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, and Gwent’s five councils.

Simon Rose, group manager for housing and commissioning at Torfaen County Borough Council, said, “the challenges for all agencies in tackling and alleviating homelessness and the issues associated with homelessness have increased significantly due to the pandemic - but opportunities to develop collaborative partnerships are at the very heart of where the response and recovery lies.

"This is an extremely exciting opportunity for transforming services and lives.”

Angela Lee, Gwent regional development coordinator, said, “Building upon the strong partnerships across agencies in Gwent, this project provides us with a fantastic opportunity and the scope to develop new models and ways of working collaboratively together.

Homelessness services across Gwent have faced numerous challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. Demand for accommodation services remain high and it is anticipated that additional pressures on both temporary and permanent accommodation will rise due to the number of people experiencing financial difficulty.

Welsh Government 2019-20 figures show that 1,938 households were threatened with homelessness across Gwent during this period.

In addition, intervention and support services remain oversubscribed with a rise in the number of complex cases.

Gareth Jones, area manager for South East Wales at The Wallich, said: “The pandemic has been a huge challenge for people experiencing homelessness, but we have risen to the challenge to keep people safe.

"However, with the furlough scheme ending, the economic consequences still to be assessed and a likely increase in evictions due to rent arrears, many more people are at risk of homelessness.

"The Wallich are delighted to be working in partnership with like-minded agencies and local authorities to tackle the new post-pandemic challenges ahead. This project aims to prevent homelessness by assisting people into work and improving access to advice and support. By preventing homelessness and creating resilient communities, there is hope for a better future.”

Across Gwent, the partnership will develop training and employment opportunities through a social enterprise model and several initiatives to boost employment and reinvest in the local community.