Place Category: Communities
Destiny Support CIC, a voluntary organisation based in Slough, is open to all Slough residents with particular target to our ‘hard to reach’ families and communities including parents with special educational needs children.
Our services include:
- Individual one to one support to people of all ages covering various support needs including carers
- Support and Information for Parents & Carers who have children with special educational needs
- Support in accessing employment, training and education including volunteering opportunities
- Assist promotion of Health & Well-being by giving support for independent living and personal development
- Provide information and connection to community services
- Provide emotional support to improve self esteem and build confidence
- Social and recreational opportunities Independent
- Independent Mediation Services
Social Impact Statements:
Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.
1) Providing practical support to hard to reach families and individuals
Destiny Support provides practical support to hard to reach individuals and families in Slough via a number of projects developed in response to identified local needs and partnership opportunities.
- Prevention Services Project - Support workers provide one-to-one information and advice by appointment to help clients deal with a range of issues e.g. understanding entitlement and accessing benefits, financial difficulties and budgeting, health issues and problems with accommodation. Some clients ask for help with single issues but many report multiple and complex issues outside the range of other agencies
- Social Club for Adults with Additional Needs - Support worker and volunteers organise a programme of weekly sessions to encourage adults with additional needs to socialise and engage in activities to promote health and wellbeing
- Parent Navigator (Pilot) - Volunteer advisors based in local GP surgeries provide information and advice on local services to help GPs respond to social needs identified alongside immediate health issues
- Parent Partnership Project - A joint initiative with Slough Borough Council supporting parents of children with additional needs
- Berkshire Neighbourhood Learning in Deprived Communities - Informal IT and internet skills sessions delivered by tutors and volunteers in various community venues to people at risk of digital and social exclusion
- Cippenham Homework Club - in partnership with local housing association
2) Provision of information, advice and support services
Destiny Support provides a well-established information, advice and support service to people with a range of difficulties (Preventative Services project).
We currently offer a drop-in service and one-to-one appointments with a support worker on 3 days a week throughout the year. It is our policy not to turn anyone away but to see new clients on the same day they come in.
We conduct an initial assessment and arrange an appointment with a support worker for more in depth support within the next few days. The notes made during the initial assessment enable the support worker to prepare for the first interview with a new client.
Our support workers (many of whom are social work students on placement with us) are volunteers who are trained to help clients to find solutions to their problems.
We not only provide clients with information about their entitlements and how to access them but also offer practical help, e.g. with form filling or making telephone calls, as many people we support do not have access to a landline. For example, a recent telephone call made to the housing department for a single parent who was in rent arrears lasted over half an hour. Not only did it take a long time for the support worker to find out that the problem was caused by underpayment by the council to her landlord, but the cost of making this phone call herself on her mobile would have been prohibitive for the client.
The level and duration of the support needed by our clients is assessed and reviewed at each meeting and ranges from a one-off visit to Destiny Support for help with understanding an important letter, or 2-3 appointments for help resolving a housing issue, to regular weekly 1-2 hour appointments with a support worker over several months for clients who have more complex and ongoing needs.
This service is currently delivered by a team of 5 support workers (4 volunteers and 1 staff) who each work for 4-6 hours a week and provide support to 1-3 clients during this time. The current team is able to offer this service to an average of 12-15 clients a week.
Since its inception Destiny Support has seen a year on year increase in the demand for this service. For example, last year there was a significant increase in the total number of clients - 124 more clients than in the previous year. This year we are already experiencing a even more marked increase in the number of clients seeking help with multiple issues partly due to the closure of the Slough branch of the Citizen Advice Bureau. We anticipate that there will be a similar increase in demand over the next 3 years and expect that the total number of clients supported in 2016 will be around 880 and rise to over 1,000 in 2017 and 2018.
3) Feedback from service users
Destiny Support has established a good reputation in the community, as evidenced by the number of self referrals and the number of people who return to the organisation for help. Partners work with the organisation specifically because Destiny Support is adept at reaching individuals and communities they cannot.
The one-stop shop approach to delivery of support is appreciated by our clients and is often commented on in their feedback.
The following case study illustrates the range and depth of support we can offer which has led to many positive outcomes for this family:
Ms N, a single parent with 2 dependent children, was referred to Destiny Support as a homeless family. She had a number of serious health issues and a history of depression. With our support, Ms N was immediately moved into emergency bed and breakfast and then assisted in finding permanent accommodation. She was assessed and advised on the benefits to which she was entitled and helped to access them. We then helped her to find schools for her children and to register with a GP near their new home. Once settled she was encouraged to enrol in ESOL and IT classes. This experience not only boosted her self confidence but has also given her essential skills and helped her make friends. She is currently learning to drive and has now found employment. This is just one example of the many clients we have successfully helped to resolve their difficulties and lead independent lives.
In 2015, 300 clients were supported in accessing benefits to which they were entitled, 140 were helped to maintain their tenancies or move into new accommodation. Below is an example of a family testimonial on the impact on their lives as a result of support of their multiple needs:
"My wife and I attended confidence building workshops and IT training at Destiny Support where 1:1 support made it easier for us to learn. My basic IT learning journey helped me pass a test which means I am now qualified to work in the construction industry. I had attempted the test before but because I did not have computer skills, I failed. My confidence is growing through learning and Destiny Support staff have helped me with job searches, applications and CV writing."
"Destiny Support offers more than training and has also supported my family with:
- Finding schools for the children
- Applying for bus passes for the children
- School uniforms and basic items
- Help in managing finances
- Applying for the right benefits
- Filling out forms and many more
"Our eldest daughter Luisa started working at Destiny Support as a volunteer for 7 months where she gained work experience and training. She has since moved onto full time paid employment."