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Early Reflections from All In For Change's Pan-Scotland Roadshow

Early Reflections from All In For Change's Pan-Scotland Roadshow

Early Reflections from All In For Change's Pan-Scotland Roadshow

Friday, April 12, 2024

The All in for Change Team in Scotland has completed the first phase of their 2024 National Roadshow with a series of workshops held across Scotland. 112 people with professional and lived experience of homelessness have engaged with the Team in the last two months and shared what they’re seeing on the ground, including good practice around homelessness prevention and concerns about housing supply and budget cuts. This blog by Policy & Participation Manager, Ursula Hofeldt, explores the key themes so far.

Taking the Temperature in Scotland

All in for Change is a collaborative programme working to end homelessness in Scotland. The programme is driven by a Change Team of people from across Scotland – experts in what homelessness looks like on the ground. The Team brings together diverse knowledge from people with experience of homelessness and those working in frontline roles.

Every year the Change Team travels across the country to hear from people working in the sector and people who currently access homelessness services. The aim is to get a sense of progress towards Scotland’s Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan, as well as what’s getting in the way of positive change.

About the roadshow so far

  • In February and March 2024, All in for Change held workshops in Aberdeen, Kirkcaldy, Greenock, Falkirk and Clydebank, and we have engaged with 112 people so far, the majority working in frontline roles.
  • Each workshop was co-facilitated by members of the Change Team, providing everyone with a great opportunity to network, listen, and learn from other parts of the country.
  • To continue capturing the experience of people currently accessing services, and to get a 360-degree view of what is happening in Scotland, we will also be hosting several more focus groups in April.

Housing supply and the impact of the cost-of-living crisis

The workshops were solutions focused, looking for bright spots in a challenging environment. However, some key concerns came through clearly:

  • The lack of adequate housing supply is creating huge bottlenecks in homelessness systems across the country, adding unprecedented pressure on temporary accommodation, and making it difficult for people to move out of the homelessness system.
  • Participants also told us that lack of suitable homes is complicating prevention initiatives.
  • Further, the high cost of living means that more people are pushed into homelessness.

Frontline Workers are incredibly stretched

Frontline workers told us that they are struggling to deliver the quality of service they want to across all the areas we engaged with so far. People are being asked to do more with less and it’s starting to feel like a cut too far.

“People are doing the best with what they have, to overcome obstacles” - reflection from member of the Change Team after the workshops

The Team also appreciated the chance to learn from rural areas in Scotland where challenges can look very different to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Participants talked about how lack of good public transport links mean that people can’t move into the houses that are available as it means they can’t access services or stay in touch with family and social networks.

Partnership working and building community

Despite the increasing challenges faced by housing and homelessness systems, people told us that they do believe things are improving in some areas. For example:

  • Frontline staff feel that they are getting better at putting people first and delivering person-centred and trauma informed services.
  • There is also more awareness of how difficult the system is to navigate and the sector is working hard to find quicker ways to navigate people through homelessness.

Collaborating with cross-sector colleagues

Participants were very focused on the importance of building community, for individuals, groups and among people working in the sector and beyond. Some areas with less pressure on the housing system have put really good partnership work in place, bringing in other sectors such as health and justice, with a strong focus on prevention and meeting people’s needs.

“Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and focus on the positives” - quotation from participant

Despite the difficult circumstances people were keen to chat to people outside their own work environments. It was an opportunity to make connections, share common challenges and learn about new solutions.

Action for actual change

Members of the Change Team appreciated the honesty and engagement from all participants, some of whom travelled for hours to attend the events. We will make sure that we honour this commitment as we analyse and share our findings more widely.

“If this information gets to the right people and somebody does something about it, it can lead to real change” - reflection from member of the Change Team after the workshops

Next steps

  • In the coming month, All in for Change will host focus groups where people who currently use homelessness services can share their perspectives and experiences. 
  • We will share all the findings in a report this summer – this will be shared with all participants and the homelessness sector more widely.
  • And we'll also be sharing the findings with the Homelessness Prevention & Strategy Group, co-chaired by the Minister for Housing and the COSLA’s Community Wellbeing Spokesperson.  


All in for Change is funded by Scottish Government and St Martin’s Frontline Network. The programme is facilitated by Cyrenians and Homeless Network Scotland.

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