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15 September 2017

The increase in homelessness in the UK

Becky Elton, Director at Changing Lives, reflects on the recent flurry of publications focusing on homelessness in the UK.

This week’s report on homelessness from the National Audit Office clearly highlights the negative impact that welfare reform has had and its direct contribution to the increase in homelessness in the UK.

As a national charity which has been working with and supporting people who are homeless for over 40…

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14 September 2017

A day in the life of staff at our recovery programme

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at our 12-week recovery programmes? Karen, the admissions coordinator at our York service, talks us through a typical day.

I’m Karen, the admissions coordinator at the Changing Lives 12-week recovery programme in York.

It’s a varied role: from accepting referrals from professional agencies, to meeting and greeting people when they arrive, to generally supporting all the team…

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16 August 2017

Operation Sanctuary – Let’s talk about the women

I already knew that the news was going to break last Wednesday afternoon about the horrific exploitation of so many women and girls in Newcastle. Changing Lives Women’s Services have worked closely with the Police and Social Services since early 2014 to support many of the brave witnesses to report these crimes and cope with a long and traumatic court process. We have been working in a multi-agency hub to reach out to new potential victims and our team have developed strong, trusting and safe relationships with many women involved.

I have known for over three years all about the nature and the extent of the crimes committed by this group of men, and so I wasn’t expecting to feel so absolutely devastated when Operation Sanctuary hit the news.   

But I did, and so did our team.

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18 July 2017

Introducing Our Asset Coaches: Advantaged Thinking

Adam is an Asset Coach Lead in our North East homelessness services. Together with Mayday Trust, we are introducing a new, strengths-based approach to our services to empower people to change their lives. Here, Adam talks about 'Advantaged Thinking', which is a core principle of the Strengths-Based Approach.

“When you look at a field of dandelions you can either see a hundred weeds, or a thousand wishes”

Author Unknown

Meet Max:

Max is a 21 year old male who has been in out of prison since he was 13 years old. He has no…

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14 July 2017

Changing Lives welcomes new Drugs Strategy – but it could be more ambitious

The newly published Drugs Strategy is long awaited and Changing Lives is encouraged that the government states “we want everyone across the country to get the help, treatment and support they need to live a drug-free life”. However, we would like to see that go a step further.

We think everyone should be talking specifically about abstinence from substances – a word conspicuous by its absence in the strategy – and making abstinence-based treatment available to all.

Although it mentions alcohol, and outlines that alcohol services should be jointly commissioned with drugs services, we are concerned…

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