Wayfinder in year 1: All participants reported feeling respected and cared for

Date Posted: Nov 15, 2023.

CUF's monitoring and evaluation partner Eido has completed the first year’s evaluation of Wayfinder. Wayfinder is CUF’s innovative homelessness prevention project, in which volunteers provide practical and social support to people who have been homeless, to help keep them housed. Volunteers meet with participants in community spaces for around 6 months, providing support and a stabilising influence.

The project is delivered in Manchester, Nottingham and Leicester, and, as demonstrated through the first evaluation, is already having a huge impact on the lives of participants. When they begin Wayfinder, participants report very poor emotional wellbeing, and many are dealing with the ramifications of trauma, substance misuse and poor physical health. Participants are very isolated, with most having no support from family or friends at all.

Participants complete surveys at both the beginning and end of the participant volunteer relationship. The responses to these surveys have been highly encouraging. All participants reported feeling respected and cared for, and all believed that their volunteer offered practical help to achieve their goals. Participants reported increased self-confidence, and many began volunteering through the support of their befriender. 40% of participants reported an improvement to their accommodation situation.

Volunteer feedback on the project was similarly positive. Volunteers reported that relationships with participants weren’t always easy, but they were provided with a high level of training and ongoing support, and thus would recommend the volunteering opportunity. Both volunteers and participants reported that it was through being a non-judgmental listener that volunteers were able to deliver positive outcomes for participants.

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Find out more about Wayfinder