Scottish Frontline Network
Scottish Frontline Network
The Scottish Frontline Network has been facilitated by Cyrenians since 2016. The Network facilitates quarterly events, providing a regular opportunity for frontline workers in Scotland to network, share expertise and experience, and link to decisionmakers.
An example of this has been the Network’s response to the rise in counterfeit benzodiazepines (benzos), following an increase in drug related deaths and non-fatal overdoses in Edinburgh. Benzos are cheap, easy to get hold of and can be unpredictable when it comes to effects, duration and toxicity, putting users at risk of overdose.
Frontline staff identified a lack of reliable information about benzos and how to best support people. As a result, the Network organised two training sessions in partnership with Crew, a specialist harm reduction and outreach charity in Edinburgh.
“I feel more confident in identifying the risks of using street Valium and being able to pass harm reduction advice on to my client group. It will allow me to have more open and honest conversations with my clients – which will in turn build healthy trusted relationships and hopefully improve engagement and lead to clients receiving the support they need.” – Training participant
Following the training events, the Network collated key themes and shared this insight with the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce to inform their work on tackling Scotland’s challenge with drug related deaths.
You can find out more about the Scottish Frontline Network by browsing the events, resources and blogs below.
Homelessness Prevention Practice In The Social Rented Housing Sector – 2nd March 2023
Crisis, Cyrenians & the Scottish Frontline Network hosted a free webinar session for frontline staff supporting people in the social rented sector, exploring existing homelessness prevention practice.
Homelessness Prevention Practice For Children, Families & Young People – 28th November 2022
Crisis, Cyrenians & the Scottish Frontline Network hosted a webinar session exploring existing homelessness prevention practice for children, families and young people.
Homelessness Prevention Practice In Justice Services – 21st November 2022
Crisis, Cyrenians & the Scottish Frontline Network hosted a webinar session exploring existing homelessness prevention practice within the criminal and community justice sectors.
Homelessness Prevention Practice In Health & Social Care – 14th November 2022
Crisis, Cyrenians & the Scottish Frontline Network hosted a webinar session exploring existing homelessness prevention practice within the health and social care sectors.
Free Benefits Training With Child Poverty Action Group – 9th November 2022
The Scottish Frontline Network were pleased to offer the opportunity to join this two-day online training course with Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland.
Uncovering Hidden Homelessness - 25th May 2022
This event explores hidden homelessness among older adults, disabled people and members of the Armed Forces community.
Are you a frontline worker who support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness? Do you want to learn more about how to best support older adults, disabled people and members of the Armed Forces community? Then join our online networking event with Housing Options Scotland!
Let's Talk About Prevention Consultation Event - 3rd March 2022
The Scottish Frontline Network and Crisis invite you to share your views on new proposed duties to prevent homelessness. Join us at this consultation event to learn more about the proposed legislation and discuss the potential impact on your role and the people you work with.
Connecting The Borders - 7th December 2021
Are you a frontline worker who support people experiencing homelessness? And are you based in the Scottish Borders? Then join our online networking event and connect with other colleagues in the area!
The event will introduce existing services and explore ways of working together across a geographically disperse area. The event will include presentations from different organisations and services with opportunities to ask questions.
Drugs Trends Training: Street Benzos - 13th May 2021
In summer 2021 the Scottish Frontline Network hosted a drugs trend training session, in partnership with Crew. This 1.5-hour digital course was designed to expand worker knowledge and confidence of new drug trends, particularly the use of street benzos.
The free training event was aimed at frontline workers supporting those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. During the training Crew shared current and credible information on drug use, introduced benzodiazepines and some of the other most commonly used drugs by people experiencing homelessness.
Ending Homelessness Together Event - 31st March 2021
This event was an opportunity to influence policy and strategy in Scotland. Hosted in partnership with All in for Change it brought together frontline workers to explore and discuss the recommendations of the Scottish Government’s & COSLA Ending Homelessness Together plan.
Specifically, it focused on one of the All in for Change’s New Directions:
At Home: The belief that to end homelessness in Scotland we need to deliver on everyone’s right to settled, good quality, mainstream housing as quickly as possible.
Supporting Those New To Navigating Homelessness – 1st December 2020
Over the past few months, we have all adapted our way of working & delivery of services. However, through our frontline services, we have seen an increase in those accessing homelessness services who have no experience of navigating it, due to such issues as increased unemployment, relationship breakdown and health related conditions. Often people will feel apprehensive, or unsure of how to access information, guidance, or know where to access support appropriate to their individual circumstances.
The event will look at how frontline workers can connect, discuss ideas/ share experiences and solutions to this arising issue. As an example of new and alternative housing practice, we will also be hearing from Viki Fox who heads up a pilot partnership initiative between Cyrenians and Crisis supporting those rough sleeping to access housing within the private rented sector and Elunde McHardy from Crisis will also talk about the Help to Rent Scheme in Edinburgh. Cyrenians Hospital In-reach Service will also talk about their experiences of the increasing number of individuals that are presenting as newly homeless whilst accessing medical care in hospital.
Creating Connections: Scottish Frontline Network Health & Wellbeing Catch Up – 8th September 2020
Over the past few months, we have all adapted our way of working & delivery of services. We are excited to reconnect with our Scottish Frontline Network members and wider frontline staff supporting people experiencing homelessness, for an informal catch up and connect event. This will provide an opportunity to discuss ideas/ share experiences and solutions to common issues arising.
The event will look at how we can move on from a crisis response to working to a ‘new normal’ with the reopening of services. We will also explore the changing health and wellbeing needs of frontline staff, as homeless organisations/ services adapt and draw on recent feedback from frontline staff locally. This will include a focus on reducing burnout and how we can better promote resilience and wellbeing.
Acquired Brain Injury Training For Frontline Homelessness Workers Scotland – 16th January 2020
Research has shown that half of people experiencing street homelessness have brain injury, yet there is very little information in the homelessness sector about the issue.
Change Communication is collaborating with Scotland Frontline Network to provide free training on brain injury awareness to homelessness services outside of London.
Supporting The Health & Wellbeing Of The Frontline – 9th January 2020
Conflict can be destructive to an organisation’s culture and staff morale. By exploring conflict head on you can turn a potentially negative situation into an opportunity for learning and growth.
The event is being hosted by the Scottish Frontline Network- Facilitated by Cyrenians, a proud Partner of the St Martin’s Frontline Network, supporting those working on the frontline with people experiencing homelessness. This will be delivered in collaboration with Cyrenians Training Enterprise. We are running this training for frontline staff who work alongside those whom are experiencing homelessness or who are vulnerably housed. The training aims to give frontline staff the skills and techniques for managing conflict within their roles, promoting healthy work based relationships and increasing resilience for the frontline.
Homelessness And Housing – 27th November 2019
What does better look like? A Community Conversation. Join a mix of frontline staff and people with experience of homelessness. This free consultation event is being held on Wednesday 27th of November, 11:00am -2:00pm at Central Hall, 2 West Tollcross, Edinburgh, EH3 9BP.
The event will cover:
- What Shelters Time for Change team has found out so far in Edinburgh about Homelessness
- What does better look like across Edinburgh
- Supporting local housing activism to bring about change
- How can a rights based approach to housing achieve change
'Ending Homelessness Together Plan' - Consultation Workshop - 3rd September 2019
This September, a consultation workshop took place in Glasgow to hear the views of those with lived and frontline experience, on the Scottish Government's 'Ending Homelessness Together Plan’.
Please read the consultation workshop's report here.
The Scottish Government has agreed to fund the new End Homelessness Change team. The core purpose is to put the voice of Lived Experience and Frontline staff at the heart of designing services which make up the Plan to End Homelessness.
It was great to see that sixty people attended this workshop to discuss: what the ‘New Direction’ of the 'Ending Homelessness Together Plan’ looks like; and how a ‘Change Team’ is created to deliver this programme.
Ending Homelessness Together: ‘New Direction’
The ‘New Direction’ of the 'Ending Homelessness Together Plan’ was described at the workshop as follows:
- A new duty to prevent homelessness — and clearer paths for those most at risk
- Joined up working – less silos in services that don’t put people first
- Preventing people having to repeat their story
- Universal legal rights in relation to local connection and intentionality
- New standards and time limits in temporary accommodation.
Ending Homelessness Together: Change Team
The workshop also came together to describe how a ‘Change Team’ would be comprised to deliver the 'Ending Homelessness Together Plan':
- Balanced in terms of frontline and lived experience.
- Diverse in geography, knowledge, skills and specialisms
- Connected to evidence of what works.
Ending Homelessness Together: Change Lead
Within this team, the workshop also looked at how a Change Team would be driven by a ‘Change Lead’.
It was proposed that a 'Change Lead' should have the following attributes:
- Passionate and motivated to create change
- Working from a strong value base
- Good knowledge of the of the plan to end homelessness in Scotland
- The ability to translate complex messages in a simple, straightforward way; excellent listening skills
- The ability to facilitate [potentially] challenging conversations in a positive way
- Strong local networks to engage with and feed back to.
The Common Ground Steering Group - 27th November 2018
Finding a Common Ground - 27th November 2018
The 'Common Ground' Steering Group has been meeting for the last 3 months to deliver a Peer Lead Homelessness Advocacy Network, and as a result of this they have produced a strategic plan for the next year.
This strategic plan outlines the services they aim to deliver, and the specific requirements for those services, and the whole group, to function.
With £10,000 of initial funding secured from St Martins in the Field the group has almost everything in place that it needs to go forward, and support others to create change in their own lives.
Preparing and Caring for Staff Working in Health and Homelessness - 2017
Cyrenians hosted our event in partnership with St Martins in the Field and Faculty of Health and Homelessness looking at Preparing and Caring for Staff
Working in Health and Homelessness.
The event aimed to unpack the long term impact of health, wellbeing and resilience of frontline staff.
In particular, seeking to explore the role academia, employers and peers can have in preparing and caring for people in ‘tough’ jobs and compassion fatigue.
Calls from the Frontline to end homelessness in Scotland
Calls from the Frontline to end homelessness in Scotland
Frontline workers have a unique insight into what works and what doesn’t to tackle homelessness. So, it is important we hear those voices to share good practice and build positive solutions through their expertise.
The Scottish Government’s Homelessness Rough Sleeping Action Group (HRSAG) recognised that too. Through their collaboration with people with lived experience, they kept hearing that the impact frontline workers have on people’s day, optimism and confidence is huge.
This report presents the knowledge and ideas gathered from 75 frontline workers from across Scotland, while attending two networking events in Glasgow and Edinburgh during April 2018.
Read the report here.
'Ending Homelessness Together Plan'
The “Ending Homelessness Together: High Level Action Plan” (2018) includes a plan to develop a wide-reaching prevention duty as a legal backstop for those experiencing homelessness.
The High-Level Action Plan also aims to revise legislative arrangements on local connection and intentionality. It is premised that these changes will remove arbitrary barriers, making it easier to act early in preventing homelessness.
Read this report from our consultation workshop in September 2019.
You can also find the Ending Homeless Together: annual report 2021 to see progress made towards the original Action Plan.