Call for New Ideas: Our relationship with Commonweal goes far beyond the bricks and mortar
Sean O’Connell Chief Executive Officer at successful 2021 Call for New Ideas applicant Adab Trust, reflects on his organisation’s journey with Commonweal’s Call for New Ideas:
The Adab Trust has a proven track record of achieving remarkable outcomes with young people from a range of disadvantaged backgrounds. We recognise that the development of a young person exists throughout their lifespan, and our long-term ambitions are to be able to provide the continuity of support our young people need, of which a safe and stable home is an essential part of.
In our constant goal to increase our social impact, we sought to continue to develop new, innovative programmes to address some of the most significant challenges that society faces. This led us to creating a plan to develop a residential programme for looked after children – children in public care, who are placed with foster carers, in residential homes or with relatives.
Having successfully helped 83 percent of looked after children who completed our community programme into full time employment, we believed a residential programme would allow us to have even greater success in changing the life outcomes of this group.
When developing plans for our residential programme, we were introduced to Commonweal Housing and submitted our proposal to the 2021 Call for New Ideas – Commonweal’s partnership programme inviting organisations to apply for funding to conduct a feasibility study to test innovative housing initiatives.
Through Call for New Ideas, we secured funding to assess the practicability of 16-week residential training schemes for looked after children, implemented within existing local authority arrangements for accommodation provision.
In mid-2023, after successfully testing the viability of our housing model, in partnership with Commonweal we plan to pilot a Community-Residential hybrid programme with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, aiming to connect with hard to reach looked after children.
We aim to use our pilot project with Commonweal to assess the cohort’s requirement to help develop a specialised housing intervention model, co-produced with young people and specialist housing organisations.
We look forward to moving towards the project development stage and working with Commonweal to explore partnerships with social investors to finance bringing our initiative to life.
Throughout the process the team at Commonweal has not only demonstrated their property expertise, but more importantly, shared the same ambitions in wanting to make a meaningful difference to society.
In our experience, the relationship with Commonweal went far beyond the bricks and mortar. In addition to working together through the feasibility of the proposal, they provided enormous support in several ways, which helped us through the various challenges we faced. Showing a commitment to work alongside us throughout the process, Commonweal always provided what they could to help us realise our vision.
We are excited to be continuing our partnership with Commonweal on our mission to continue to change the life trajectories of some of the most vulnerable young people in our society.