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From the ELOSH Final Event
From the ELOSH Final Event

ELOSH Final Event

Housing and Support: successful ways to help people with complex housing needs

The ELOSH final conference took place in Brussels on September 15th, 2015. Read the Storify report of the day based on the debate of all participants on Twitter #ELOSH.

View and Download all Presentations of the day at the bottom of the page.

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EASPD Public Hearing reflects on co-production and the existing legal frameworks

On June 2nd, EASPD organised a Public Hearing at the European Parliament where MEPs, Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) and service providers exchanged views regarding the best way to develop co-production processes in Europe on how to organise and implement services that reflect users’ needs and wishes. The aim of the Hearing was also to warn that the existing EU and national legal frameworks do not always follow the realities and needs on the ground.

The discussion focused on how structural cooperation can better work in the disability field and how users and support services can cooperate with national governments and the European Union to implement the principles of the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

Participants commented on the so-called “Co-production” process that is an integral part of the ELOSH project. Co-production is an inclusive working practice, a process that allows users to be in control of their lives, while taking ownership and expressing choice through active and meaningful partnerships.

To sum up the debate, Luk Zelderloo, EASPD Secretary General, pointed out that “Co-production can bring better outcomes for users, more interesting jobs for staff, better steer resources available, help us to be more innovative”, but “we cannot forget that it is part of a broader framework and we should all together look at if the legal frameworks facilitate and promote this type of change”, he added.

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Successful Co-Production can turn a volunteer into a facilitator

The story of Hannu

Hannu, who co-facilitated the Finnish ELOSH pilot training, contributes actively as a volunteer at the Citizens' Arena at Helsinki Deaconess Institute. The Citizen’s Arena is a day center that offers a variety of low-threshold cultural and sports events open to everyone. The starting point for Citizens' Arena activities is the sense of community, and all visitors have the opportunity of becoming actively involved but still on a voluntary basis. The Citizens' Arena enables a person to experience a sense of community and become involved in creative activity, regardless of his or her life situation. Visitors to the Citizens' Arena are encouraged to take part in the planning and staging of activities.

Nowadays Hannu is the embodiment of the spirit and the core values of the Citizen's Arena. But how did it all start for Hannu? In 2007 a poster in a library caught Hannu’s eye. It was an invitation to enjoy football on a large screen. Soccer had a special place in his heart and the idea of watching the game in a peaceful atmosphere instead of a noisy bar sounded promising. Ignoring the somewhat odd fact that the screening was organized by the Helsinki Deaconess Institute Hannu decided to attend. The atmosphere was pleasant and snacks were free so after a while Hannu found himself to be a regular visitor at the Citizen's Arena. He spent time reading the papers, using the extremely slow internet, having coffee and chatting with other visitors.

The turning point for Hannu was an invitation to take part in planning a project. He blindly accepted the invitation without knowing what the project was about. Soon he realized the open-endedness of the project was rather fruitful.

“Instead of asking me to make coffee in some existing project I was asked to generate and share ideas, make plans and accomplish things I thought worth doing. I was there because the ideas of service users are equally important and valid as anyone else's. Everyone had the chance to make things happen and that was really exciting. It opened a world of possibilities for us.”, explains Hannu.

Today the Citizen's Center is full of activities everyone can enjoy. The essence of these activities is, according to Hannu, that people at the Citizen's Arena are not viewed as objects of care or support. Instead they are given a new sense of agency, an opportunity to do together things they find meaningful, to co-produce the activities.

Football still remains close to heart. After all these years Hannu recalls the bitter defeat of the Finnish team by Azerbaijan’s he witnessed at the Citizen’s Arena, 0-1.

Co-Production in practice: A succesful example from Slovenia

In ELOSH, working in co-production with people who use services means that the national partners in Italy, France, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Greece, Ireland and Finland are expected to involve service users in the local coalitions, the localisation of the training materials (i.e. adapting the training to the national context), preparation and delivery of the trainings. One of the more successful examples of involving service users in this process was provided by the Slovenian project partner – ŠENT – the Slovenian Organisation for Mental Health.

ENIL has recently interviewed Andreja Štepec, a mental health user who co-produced the ELOSH training material and delivered the training together with ŠENT. How is co-production defined? What are the benefits of the co-productive approach and what do services and organisations need to do to ensure they start developing such an approach?

Follow the link to read the full interview with Andreja 

Check out the ELOSH article on page 31 of the latest issue of the SENT magazine

Italy: Bringing ELOSH to the Housing First Network & to the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies

In autumn 2014 the Italian coalition managed to spread the word about ELOSH in the country through a series of presentations 

Iazzolino (ELOSH pilot trainer for Italy) presented ELOSH and the pilot session during one of the web seminars in the framework of the Italian training course on '"Housing First".

Italian ELOSH team presented ELOSH project and the training pilot session to the Piedmont regional workgroup (firms, social cooperatives, associations and municipalities) on homelessness and housing first.

FioPSD (Italian federation of Organisations Working with Homeless People) president Cristina Avonto and Marco Iazzolino (ELOSH pilot trainer for Italy) presented ELOSH and the related local pilot session to the Italian Ministry of labour & social policies.

'Social housing key to successful integration. The crucial role of social housing providers'

The challenge of independent living, the necessity of the so called co-production and some encouraging examples, including the ELOSH project was presented in one of the latest posts on the blog of Housing Europe, the European Federation of Public, Cooperative & Social Housing.

You may read the full article by Julien Dijol here

ENIL is developing a training session on ‘co-production’

The European Network of Independent Living presents its own contribution to the ELOSH project seeking to ensure that disabled people and other service users are actively involved in developing training materials and delivering trainings, alongside service providers. The process – known as ‘co-production’ – is a key element of the project. ENIL has also been working with the project partners to help them establish local coalitions, whose aim is to ensure broad involvement of different groups in the project.

The training session on 'co-production' ENIL has been working on will be delivered during the next partners’ meeting in February 2015. 

Find out more

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ELOSH project featured in Autumn edition of 'Social Housing' magazine in Ireland

The latest issue of the magazine published by the Irish Council of Social Housing (ICSH) looks ahead to the implications of Budget 2015 as well as looking at recent development such as the appointment of new Ministers, the 2014 CAS call, the new Social Housing Strategy, news from ICSH members and more. On page 15 of the publication you may find a presentation of the ELOSH project and of the contribution of the organisation to it. 

You may read the publication online

Article in FEANTSA Magazine

The President of Housing Europe, Marc Calon has contributed to the magazine Homeless in Europe, published quarterly by FEANTSA. Marc focuses (pp. 4-5) on housing-led approaches to combat social exclusion, presenting the response of the affordable housing sector to the ongoing housing crisis. The ELOSH project is mentioned as a way to create a safety net in these challenging times for European societies. 

You may read the magazine online

After the pilot training sessions

The European Core Learning Outcomes for Integration of Support and Housing, or just simply the ELOSH project held its mid-term partners’ meeting in Athens early November to follow up the pilot training sessions and to plan the next steps.

Being a Transfer of Innovation (TOI) programme it addresses a need for CVET on the integration of support and housing. This need has now been made even clearer based on the findings of the research report curated by the University of York.

Over the last couple of months the project partners have built local coalitions with other organisations and local authorities that could support their field work and have run the first pilot session to try the universal training pack that had been developed by SITRA.

Representatives from Finland, France, Greece, Slovenia, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands shared the main challenges they faced during the pilots mainly concerning the diversity level within the local coalitions and the best way to achieve “co-production”.   

Towards the end of the meeting the external evaluator of the project, James Churchill presented to the alliance the steps that have to be followed, so that the ELOSH training scheme and its core learning outcomes become officially accredited and subsequently recognized at national and/or EU level.

Stay tuned for more information regarding the second round of pilot sessions ahead of the next alliance meeting in Amsterdam in February.