Home Works celebrate 10 years of preventing homelessness across East Sussex

Home Works Team

This year, our Home Works service celebrates 10 years of providing homelessness prevention support for people and families across East Sussex.

Described by people who have received support as a ‘life-line’ and a ‘way out’, the housing support service has changed lives.

It is estimated that over 25,000 people over the past decade have received support to secure and/ or retain housing and improve their circumstances.

Established in 2009, Home Works was initially delivered as two separate contracts for the East and West of East Sussex. Southdown was awarded the Home Works West contract in 2009 and the Home Works East contract in 2010.  In 2014, Southdown was awarded the combined contract.

Sarah Bray, Senior Operations and Service Development Manager at Southdown has been the lead for Home Works since it was established. She says: “I am extremely proud of the Home Works team. We have been on an incredible journey from being awarded half the contract in 2009 and rescuing the other half in 2010, through re-winning the whole contract in 2014 to protecting it from two rounds of proposed cuts in 2017 and 2018.

Home Works in 2009 was a brand new, high-profile service, with complex recording and reporting measures. Commissioners and stakeholders had very high expectations of us. Through the commitment and hard work of many skilled staff and managers, we successfully implemented the service, adapting to a variety of challenges to deliver the tough specification and responding positively to rigorous stakeholder feedback. Through all of this, staff always ensured we kept clients at the heart of what we do.

This earned us a very well-deserved reputation as a high-quality, responsive and collaborative service, delivered by housing support experts who are supported by a robust and stable organisation.

Although we don’t know exactly what the future holds, our reputation and legacy over the past ten years stands us in great stead. I can’t thank all my Home Works’ colleagues enough for the life-changing support they have given to so many clients and their families over the years.”

Aligned to changing commissioners’ priorities and local communities’ needs, Home Works has evolved over the years. A constant though has been a number of the Home Works team, who have been with the service since it started.

Floating Support Officer, Claire Robinson, who joined the service when it was established says: “I’m proud to have been with Home Works since it started. Many lives have been changed. People have been supported to secure housing, access services they wouldn’t have known about, secured welfare benefits they didn’t no they were entitled to and been supported to live independently. Why has Home Works lasted so long?  The service is constantly evolving.  As things change, it changes too. It’s a fantastic service, which I love being a part of.”

Strategic Commissioning Manager for Adult Social Care at East Sussex County Council, Angela Yphantides, added, “"People who use Home Works services report a really positive experience. It’s great to hear people come away feeling supported and able to move on. Home Works does that very well, and it’s a really hard thing to do in the current climate. Thank you very much for the care and effort you put into your work. It's really appreciated."