First Paper to Expert Review Panel

What is the paper about?

The Welsh Government is looking at changing the law to improve how we prevent and respond to homelessness in Wales – and they want to hear the views of people with experience of homelessness and people who have been at risk of homelessness.

We sent out a survey and hosted two in-person events – one in North Wales and one in South Wales – to understand your experiences on prevention of homelessness.

A huge thank you to all of the amazing people who attended our events or took the time to complete the survey.

Your experiences and views were so insightful and we’re really pleased to share the report sent to the Expert Review Panel with you.

Read the report

Experts by Experience survey: Eligibility for help when you’re experiencing homelessness

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The Welsh Government is looking at changing the law to improve how we prevent and respond to homelessness in Wales and they want to hear the views of people with experience of homelessness and people who have been at risk of homelessness

The Welsh Government is looking at changing the law to improve how we prevent and respond to homelessness in Wales and they want to hear the views of people with experience of homelessness and people who have been at risk of homelessness.  

One of the things they are considering is whether there should be changes to priority need, intentionality and local connection

When you make a homelessness application, the council checks certain information about you in order to determine what help they can give you. This includes whether you are in a priority need group, whether you have made yourself homeless intentionally and whether you have a local connection with that area. 

This survey is your opportunity to make your voice heard and genuinely influence changes to homelessness law in Wales. All responses will be kept anonymous – and at the end of this survey you will have the opportunity to enter a prize draw for a £10 voucher.  

Take part in our survey here.

Talk and Tour of the Senedd

We are delighted to announce that we have organised another tour of the Senedd (Welsh Parliament) for people who have experience of homelessness or of using housing support services in Wales. This will take place on Tuesday 12th July between 11:30-14:30.

This is an opportunity for people with lived experience to have a personal tour of the Welsh Parliament, where our politicians discuss, debate and vote on issues affecting us all – including housing, health, education and social care. You’ll also be able to find out how you can make your voices heard.

As part of the tour, you’ll be get a bird’s eye view of the Siambr, where a member of Senedd staff will explain how it all works, including which politicians sit where and how they vote on Welsh laws. You’ll also visit one of the committee rooms, where Ministers and budgets are scrutinised, and people from across Wales give evidence and help to influence policy and laws.

At the end of the tour you will be given tickets for First Minister’s Questions, where you’ll be able to watch a range of backbench and opposition politicians grill Mark Drakeford MS!

Cymorth Cymru staff will meet you outside the Senedd and we will be with you thoughout the tour. We’re also happy for your support worker to accompany you if this would make you feel more comfortable – just let us know.

A previous participant of the tour said, “I found the Senedd tour really interesting and learnt about how people with lived experience have the opportunity can get involved with the local MP and Welsh government. Genuinely friendly staff and guide and very accessible building”.

To sign up for the tour click here – and feel free to email EBE@cymorthcymru.org.uk if you have any questions or want to find out more. Please note: Spaces are limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Blog: Cymorth Launches New Experts by Experience Project

I’m so happy to announce that we’ve officially launched our new Experts by Experience project! 

Today we hosted an online launch event with Welsh Government Minister Julie James and Cymorth Cymru Director Katie Dalton. We talked about how the project came to be, the importance of listening and learning from people with real experience of homelessness and what opportunities we’ll be offering.

This platform is for you, as an expert, to share your views and experiences and to take the opportunity to influence people from Welsh Government to community activist organisations.  

Homelessness is never just about housing, so expect to have discussions about everything from mental health services and opportunities for prison leavers, to the welfare state and tackling stigma and discrimination.  

It’s really important that this project is inclusive and is able to reach a wide demographic of people across Wales. Covid-19 has highlighted our ability as a sector to work in a more accessible manner online and our aim is to make sure that there are no barriers to your participation.  

I’m always open to hearing your ideas and feedback and I’m so thankful to those of you who have participated in our survey and those who came on the Senedd talk and tour with me.

I’m really looking forward to working with you as we begin collaborating on this project of real, genuine change.

FreyaExperts by Experience Officer

Experts by Experience influence Homelessness Action Group report

A new report outlines how people with experience of homelessness think the Welsh Government should tackle this problem in Wales. ‘Experts by experience: How we should end homelessness – by people who have experienced it.’ has directly influenced the latest Homelessness Action Group report.

In June 2019 the Minister for Housing and Local Government established the Homelessness Action Group. The group’s remit is to provide policy recommendations to the Welsh Government on the actions and solutions required to end homelessness in Wales.

At Cymorth we place a huge value on listening to, and acting on, the views of people with experience of homelessness. As a member of the Homelessness Action Group we organised engagement events in February 2020 for people to discuss their experiences and share their views on how we can end homelessness in Wales.

We held two events in Colwyn Bay and Cardiff, which were attended by nearly 80 people. They brought a huge amount of expertise to these discussions, based on their own experiences and a determination to effect change. This document is structured around the discussion topics from these events, with the key points summarised alongside direct quotes from the people who attended.

It has been considered by the Homelessness Action Group, resulting in amendments and additions to their report and recommendations to the Minister. The Minister has since accepted all of the recommendations in principle.

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came along to the events and contributed their thoughts and experiences to these discussions.

You can download the report in Welsh or in English.