When the Vicar's Relief Fund went digital in 2014 we realised how many frontline workers were accessing and using it. Alongside this, we also recognised the wide range of roles that were represented by those supporting people experiencing homelessness. We saw this as an opportunity to do more to directly support frontline staff so in 2016 the St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity set up the Frontline Network.
The Frontline Network works both nationally across the whole of the UK and on a more local level with partner organisations. Our work aims to support frontline staff, amplify their voices and highlight best practice in the sector.
At a National level
We work across the UK to support frontline staff who are working with people who are experiencing homelessness. One way we do this is by providing funding to staff:
- The Training Fund can help cover training costs, we can provide up to £500 for individual training or up to £1000 if your organisation wants to run group training.
- If you want to go and visit another organisation to learn and share experiences, our Shadowing Fund can help cover expenses such as transports costs and accommodation. (Please note the Shadowing Fund is currently paused due to the Covid-19 Pandemic)
- The Ideas Fund can help you access funding to turn an idea that will improve the situation for people experiencing homelessness into reality. The funding ranges from £200 to £10,000, for ideas big and small. You can use it to develop creative solutions and new ways of working.
We also provide opportunities for staff to come together and share your experiences and expertise at our Annual Conference and other events. You can also check out our What's On page, that promotes events that are free or up to £30.
We also provide a regular opportunity to have your say through our Annual Frontline Worker Survey and to support each other through our online discussion forum. Our News and Views section also shares blogs and best practice from across the UK. We also have a monthly e-news that goes out to our network members.
At a local level
Since 2017, we have been working with partner organisations across the UK. Our Partners have helped us to build the Frontline Network’s work at a local level, by facilitating their Network activities and regularly bringing together frontline workers. Our Partners provide;
- Opportunities for frontline workers to regularly come together in their areas- to network, share experiences and expertise
- The potential to explore solutions to key issues affecting staff and people they are supporting
- Links between the frontline voice and decision-makers
Our Partners are:
- Cyrenians - Scottish Frontline Network
- Cymorth Cymru- Frontline Network Wales
- Justlife - Brighton and Hove Frontline Network
- Praxis - Pan-London Migrant Frontline Network
- Street Life Trust - Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Frontline Network
- Mayday Trust - PTS Frontline Network
- Coventry Citizens Advice - Coventry Frontline Network
- Path - Plymouth Frontline Network
We are currently expanding our offer of support into areas where we do not have formal partners. Our Local Network Coordinator is working with interested organisations and frontline staff to set up geographical or thematic networks in their area. These local networks will provide the same opportunities for staff to come together to network, connect with sector experts and provide information to frontline staff, as our formal partner community does.
If there isn’t a local Frontline Network in your area and you are interested in setting one up, get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org