Naomi Trenear – Partnerships Officer
Naomi Trenear – Partnerships Officer
Hi, I’m Naomi and I work for the Frontline Network as their Partnerships Officer. I joined the team in November and my role is varied and includes working closely with our national Frontline Network team, partner organisations and frontline workers across the UK. I am looking forward to lots of interesting challenges in the year ahead including leading on our annual Frontline Network conference and several thematic conferences.
My first focus has been on re-launching the Frontline Network Training Fund, which we are pleased to have opened for applications from January 2022. The Training Fund is a fantastic resource available to frontline workers across the UK; to improve access to training and qualifications that organisations may not be able to pay for. Individuals can apply for up to £500 and groups for up to £1000. The only criterion for applying is that you are working in a frontline role that supports people experiencing homelessness and have identified training that will help you in your work, and that you have your line manager’s approval to have time to attend the training.
In these ongoing challenging times we are seeing new and emerging needs across the sector and the pressure on frontline workers to meet these needs is greater than ever. Recognition of the importance of investing in the people who work on the frontline is at the heart of what the Frontline Network is all about, and we launched the Training Fund in 2019 in response to feedback from frontline workers that they wanted funding for training. We’ve seen applications from staff across the UK for training with Chartered Institute of Housing, Shelter, Homeless Link, Scottish Vocational Qualifications, NVQs, Counselling qualifications... and on subjects diverse as Trauma Informed Practice, PIE, Team Building and Resilience, Advice and Guidance and substance misuse awareness, to name just a small selection.
We are particularly interested in hearing from you about training needs that you have identified in your work. A brilliant training course can cast a whole new light onto our ways of working, and the Training Fund is here to help make that possible.
Prior to joining the Frontline Network as Partnerships Officer, I worked and volunteered in the homelessness sector since 2004. I spent the last 5 years in client-facing support roles across several London-based services with a focus on substance misuse, mental health and young people.
I love frontline work for the opportunities it brings to connect with people. As frustrating as it can be to navigate the systemic challenges and obstacles people face on their journeys, it is so rewarding to walk alongside someone for a while and I learned so much from everyone I met.
Supporting people who are experiencing homelessness requires a broad range of knowledge as well as specialist skills. From benefits and housing law to mental health and psychologically informed environments, via counselling skills and motivational interviewing. Some of the most worthwhile training I did, which has served me in both work and life, was around trauma and its impact on health and wellbeing. Learning trauma-informed ways of working, basic cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness techniques equipped me to work with clients in a more person centred, strengths-based way - and has helped me to look after my own wellbeing too.
Employers should provide a range of relevant training for staff, but there are also other courses, qualifications and skills that may not feature on the mandatory training programme your organisation can provide. The Training Fund can support you to develop your skills and resilience.
Take some time to invest in your own professional and personal development by having a look at what courses are available to support you in your role. Sign up for newsletters or check out the training and resources pages on local and national providers’ websites. See here for some suggestions.
With approval from your manager and an agreement to protect your time to attend the training you can apply for funding. Why not get together with a group of colleagues to identify what your training needs and wants are and make a group application?
We love hearing your thoughts on what is happening where you are on the frontline. If you'd like to get in touch just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org