Groundswell is a dynamic and growing charity that has a unique and impactful way of tackling homelessness – supporting people with experience of homelessness to be at the heart of solutions.
Our largest area of work, Homeless Health Peer Advocacy, supports homeless people to access healthcare. This work saves the lives of some of our most vulnerable members of our society; saves the NHS much needed resources and also supports our inspiring volunteers to move beyond homelessness and progress to employment.
This work is much needed as homelessness has continued to grow at an alarming rate –by 134% in London since 2010.
Homeless Health Peer Advocacy (HHPA)
HHPA is Groundswell’s multi award-winning service providing one-to-one support for homeless people to attend health appointments; overcoming the practical, personal and systemic barriers preventing access. Delivered by formerly homeless volunteers who build trusting relationships with homeless people professionals find ‘hard to reach’. HHPA increases adherence to treatment, and reduces use of A&E, missed appointments and hospital admissions; resulting in improved health and savings to the NHS.
Groundswell’s Progression Programme
Volunteers are the heart of Groundswell’s work, our Progression Programme enables volunteers to use their hard-earned experience of homelessness to overcome barriers and make a positive contribution to society by delivering our Homeless Health Peer Advocacy service. Our cohesive, person-centred programme of training and support helps people transform from passive service users to active contributors. Since 2010 we have supported 84 people to deliver as HHPA volunteers – of these, 43 have already moved into paid employment.
Insight & Action
Groundswell produces original research into the realities of homelessness, shining a light on areas of unmet need and then taking action to make positive social change. We utilise Participatory Action Research to achieve this - research with people rather than research on people. As an approach, it is not just concerned with collecting data but also with processes of empowerment and transformation. We produce Action Updates – information for homeless people to make informed choices. Recent research into the health inequalities experienced by homeless people includes Room to Breathe on respiratory health and Healthy Mouths on oral health.