What is the Community Coaches project?
Community Coaches is part of the One Barnet programme.
It is a project that matches families and individuals with a team of volunteers who help them develop life skills to ensure they don’t fall into a chaotic lifestyle and are less reliant on public services.
The project has recently been delivered by an external provider, Home Start Barnet which has recruited and trained a team of local volunteers. Over the past six months, they have coached 22 families and individuals living in Stonegrove and Grahame Park. Many referrals are of people who are in rent arrears and at risk of eviction. Others have been referred from a range of sources including the Intensive Family Focus Team and health visitors.
How does it work?
The volunteers work with the families and individuals and support them. Some of the solutions appear to be remarkably simple, such as helping to set up a Direct Debit to repay debt. The volunteers have found a lot of unmet needs such as people not receiving the right benefit, or not understanding what they can do themselves to improve their lives. By working with the volunteers to improve their life skills, these families and individuals have been able to settle down into more a stable lifestyle.
- reducing the costs associated with people being at risk of eviction
- longer term financial benefits through reducing the burden on public services in Barnet by encouraging more stable lifestyles and reducing truancy, anti-social behaviour and homelessness.
- families and individuals have shown a 46 per cent reduction in use of public services following support from Community Coaches volunteers
- in addition to financial savings, other non-financial benefits are being realised, such as a 60 per cent reduction in behaviour that is harmful to others, which improves community safety in the borough.