On 10 July 2019 Jigsaw Group launched Jigsaw Support, bringing all its existing support services under one umbrella. One year later, the housing provider takes a look back at some of the key achievements of its new support subsidiary.
Jigsaw Group was originally formed in the previous year when two housing groups New Charter Group and Adactus group merged to create one of the North West’s largest housing providers. Each of those legacy organisations had their own support services, offering a range of services including homelessness, domestic abuse, employment, community and preventative services.
Bringing the services together meant that Jigsaw could put greater focus on helping the most vulnerable within its communities by improving its existing support services whilst extending our offer through new contracts.
At the time of its creation, Jigsaw Group Chief Executive Hilary Roberts said: “Jigsaw Support provides us with a real opportunity to bring all of our existing services together; to share our best practice, to deliver quality interventions, and continue to develop new and innovative initiatives in the future.”
The move has allowed the organization to provide support to over 8,000 vulnerable people throughout the North West. Whether they were people at risk of being homeless being provided with temporary accommodation, victims of domestic abuse being provided shelter from their abuser, or long term unemployed being given the chance to get their lives back on track, each one a life changed for the better.
They have led the way with a number of Housing First projects, utilising the groundbreaking method of tackling homelessness in new and unique ways, such as a services specifically aimed at women offenders and victims of domestic abuse. They are also one of the lead delivery partners in the Greater Manchester Housing First pilot, which was launched last year by Mayor Andy Burnham. The team have shown their versatility and resolve, adapting during lockdown to continue to re-house people whilst still adhering to social distancing measures.
For example teams have been offering virtual support sessions via video chat, while key handovers for people moving into new accommodation have been done using secure drop-boxes.
Jigsaw Support’s Bridges services is a specialist domestic abuse team offering support and temporary accommodation for victims and their families, as well as rehabilitation programmes for offenders. This year they played a key role in the Tameside #OpenUp campaign, which raised awareness of male victims of domestic abuse. This was especially poignant given that at the time of the campaign’s launch in January there were three separate domestic homicide reviews underway in Tameside where the victims were men who had suffered domestic abuse.
Motiv8, a Big Lottery funded ‘Building Better Opportunities’ programme aimed at getting long term unemployed over 25s back on track, reached the milestone of supporting 3,500 people, as well as picking up an award nomination in the UK Housing Awards category for ‘best employment and support provider’.
That’s not the only award that Jigsaw Support has been nominated for either; the team at Gibson Terrace, one of Jigsaw Support’s supported housing schemes, made the shortlist for Frontline Team of the Year.
Donna Kelly, Group Director of Support and Neighbourhoods at Jigsaw Group said: “It’s been a fantastic first year for Jigsaw Support, despite some obvious challenges. While there are of course many stand out achievements, it’s the day-to-day acts of kindness and selflessness that make our service so special. Every day keyworkers are performing heroic acts and helping to change the lives of vulnerable people for the better.
“Every one of our supported housing schemes, temporary accommodation units, preventative and community services deals with people whose lives are often chaotic and wrought with trauma. But at the heart of Jigsaw Support is a team of keyworkers whose job it is to provide care and guidance for those people. Thank you to all our teams and keep up the amazing work.”