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Shelter Scotland Foundations First

The Foundations First programme in Paisley, ran for 5 years until December 2019. Supported by the STV Children’s Appeal, Foundations First was set up in 2014 to transform the life chances of families in chronic poverty by breaking the cycle of homelessness – giving families a home as their foundation to support a journey out of poverty.

The programme helped families with housing difficulties providing advice, advocacy and support. Supported by Shelter Scotland's housing and money/debt advice services we worked jointly with existing service providers to support Renfrewshire families.

Foundations First was co-produced with and shaped by the people it supported, developing their capacity and resilience. This has been key to delivering the project’s outcomes, supporting people to help themselves and to help each other.

This service worked intensively with over 300 families – changing lives and improving prospects considerably. This film tells the story of the service.

Shelter Scotland’s policy team also worked with the families to capture their experiences and to identify learnings and insight to share with our partners with a view to driving change and making things better for families in the future. Some of these recommendations are being taken forward by Shelter Scotland on a national scale.

A variety of community initiatives including the Men’s and Women’s Sheds, children’s clubs and Christmas parties have nurtured the community and offered peer support. Both the Men’s and Women’s Sheds will carry on as a self-sustaining community resource now the Foundations First programme has ended.

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