St Basils and the University of Birmingham have been working in partnership for the past 5 years to develop Psychologically Informed Programmes to help young people.
The forming of this partnership followed the decision St Basils took in 2011 to develop as a ‘Psychologically Informed Environment’ (PIE) supported by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust. In 2012, they initiated a high intensity ‘Boost’ programme for young people who struggled to re-engage with education, training and employment. In 2013, this was supplemented by the Mental Skills Training (MST) for life programme, developed and delivered in partnership with the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences. This is an interactive 10 week programme, aimed at helping young people achieve their potential by utilising the same mental strategies as top athletes to train themselves to maintain a positive mind-set, continue to strive towards their goals and overcome set-backs. This programme culminates in a hugely popular 3 day residential (pictured right) at the University’s Raymond Priestley Centre in the Lake District where young people have the opportunity to apply the techniques they have learnt.
In 2015, the partnership extended to involve Brap, the Human Rights Agency to develop Psychologically informed Parenting workshops to provide preventative help to parents ‘upstream’, as family and relationship conflict remains the main trigger for youth homelessness.
In April 2016 the University of Birmingham and St Basils hosted a joint Symposium to share the learning and successes from these programmes:
St Basils has long recognised that effectively meeting the needs of homeless young people goes far beyond providing a place to live. Many of the young people we support have experienced trauma, mental health problems, substance misuse, learning difficulties, and often lack relationship and life skills. Drawing from the very best evidence-informed practice, St Basils has been a Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) since 2011. We have developed a bespoke framework to recruit, train, and support all staff who work in our organisation to be psychologically informed. We also provide front-line staff with a structured programme of training and reflective practice in psychological models and theories to promote long-lasting development, learning, compassion and positive change. Having invested in, and evaluated, this programme for more than five years, St Basils’ PIE is now one of the most well embedded and developed programmes of its kind nationally. It is attracting a great deal of interest from other care providers, and we are in a position to mentor other organisations in becoming a PIE.
Taking homelessness prevention 'upstream', St Basils’ latest DCLG-funded initiative is a workshop aimed at parents of young people aged 13-19. Family breakdown is the leading cause of youth homelessness, and the Parenting Young People (PYP) workshop helps struggling parents to consider psychologically-informed approaches to parenting today’s teenager. PYP was developed in collaboration with BRAP, an equalities charity, and the School of Sport, Exercise, and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham.
As a Psychologically Informed Environment, Psychologically Informed Approaches are utilised across all our initiatives with young people.
St Basils Live and Work scheme
St Basils Live and Work is a truly innovative scheme for young people aged 16-25 who have been housed by the charity to take that final step to independence. At any one time, up to 27 young people are provided safe, affordable accommodation and a paid Apprenticeship with the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust. At the end of the Apprenticeship, young people who attain an NVQ Level 2 Qualification are eligible to apply for permanent jobs with the Trust.
Rewriting Futures is helping young single people aged 18-24 who are unable to otherwise access homelessness services due to their high or complex needs. They are provided with MST and holistic wrap around support from a whole team including local mentors and community coaches, coordinated by a support worker. The programme is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)’s Fair Chance Fund programme.
Our Private Rental Scheme (PRS) and service to Landlords is part of this initiative.