First Stop Darlington works with those who are homeless or close to homelessness, the socially excluded, people with chaotic lifestyles and multiple complex needs.
We are a one-stop shop facility providing an holistic approach to our clients comprising 1 to 1 support, information, advice, guidance, onward referral to resolve any issues which prevent our clients from living independently and free from homelessness and a range of activities and pre employment training to improve their life chances.
On average, First Stop helps approx 450 new clients and 400 returning clients every year. Without First Stop, the clients that we work with would lose advocacy, personalised and non-judgemental support, training and guidance and most importantly, the gateway or stepping-stone to independent living as a contributing member of society.
First Stop provides holistic assessment of need through in depth one-to-one discussion tailoring an individual support package; a range of client activities such as job clubs, literacy and numeracy coaching, life skills, women only activities; practical resources such as laundry and shower facilities,travel and accommodation funding; social enterprise supporting clients back into the wider community through training and employment; Key Point of Access in partnership with the local authority providing access to accommodation based on an individual's needs; referral and partnership working with other agencies and services and a youth homeless prevention service.
Additionally, First Stop has a social enterprise called Bike Stop Darlington which recycles, repairs and builds bespoke bicycles through a retail site and in doing so provides training and employment for First Stop clients and Apprenticeship and work experience.