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Our Story

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:

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: frontline@stmartinscharity.org.uk

Meet the team Steering Group

Annual Conference

Each year we hold a conference for you to come together and share your experience as a frontline worker as well as meet other frontline workers from across the UK. At the conference we put an emphasis on wellbeing on the frontline. Feedback from last year showed that you wanted even more opportunities to attend wellbeing workshops at the conference, so this year we have dedicated the entire afternoon to workshops centred around supporting frontline worker wellbeing. We will share some of the feedback from this year's conference soon!

Here are some of the highlights from what you told us last year: 

"Encouraged that there are many services pushing for some changes with the system and people who care"

"New information and positive vibes"

"Ideas to take back to work. We are great people trying to change lives. Had a good moan, feel better being able to talk freely about pressure and demands"

"Be kind to myself, mindfulness in life and work. Suggestions to share at the office about wellbeing"

Resources from the day can be found here

 

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