Helping vulnerable people achieve extraordinary things -TASC - 10/09/2018
TASC, Target and Action for Safer Communities, provide supported accommodation in Sheffield to ex-offenders in the main, but also to rough sleepers. They have 110 bed spaces throughout the city, split between shared housing and single person flats, where people are offered accommodation by the Council for a period of 9 months, often when they have just been released from prison.
Once people have been placed with TASC, their support workers start to work with them on any issues they are experiencing. This could include sorting their benefits, registering with a GP and dentist, getting them into drug and alcohol support services, working with a debt management company to pay off any housing debts, building their confidence and supporting them into volunteering, education or employment. The ultimate aim of their work is to support people to move on to their own tenancy at the end of the 9 months of supported living. Clients are provided with 3 months floating support after this period, to help them establish and maintain their independent living skills and try to prevent them falling into same cycles of destructive behaviour as previously.
TASC are part of Action, who have a simple mission,
“For the people we work with to achieve extraordinary things”,
and firmly believe in a person-centred approach, a position of no judgement, and giving people a second chance when others may have given up on them, to encourage them to turn their lives around through positive action.
I met with Paul, Service Manager, who told me how one Action project involves ex-offenders with undertaking the renovation of properties, which they then get to live in once the works are completed. He shared the story of one ex client who had been in and out of prison for over 20 years of his life before being referred to Action. The client started off volunteering on the renovations project, which became his full time job, and he is now one of the most valued members of staff due to his commitment to his work. Paul shared just how amazing the client felt when he got his first pay packet from the job, having never held down a job previously in his life, “That’s the work we do here, and it’s brilliant to be a part of it”.
TASC have a link up with Northern College in Barnsley and encourage clients to access the courses on offer there, from entry level academic courses, to photography, IT, social sciences and everything in between. Some of their clients go on residential weekend courses with the college, which are free of charge, and provide the clients with the opportunity to work on their course, whilst at the same time giving them a break away and a chance to reflect on the progress they are making.
Paul explained how TASC are supported by local businesses, who often donate to various appeals they run to support their clients, such as making up food parcels. They also receive donated shoeboxes at Christmas from the Sheffield Shoebox Appeal, which clients really look forward to opening. This support from individuals and businesses in the city is invaluable to TASC, and makes a huge impact on their clients’ lives, encouraging them to continue to work on the skills that will enable them to live independently and fulfil their individual potential.
You can read some inspirational stories of how Action have supported people to make progress in their lives on their website here: https://actionorg.uk/support-services/
Alison Riggott, SheffGives