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Tadhg Devlin - Life through a Lens

TADHG Devlin is a photographer and lecturer in Photography at the Hugh Baird University Centre. Over the last few years, he has been working on collaborative projects with the community which are now being displayed at the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool.  
The projects are named Bound / Frayed and Across the Kitchen Table (Who is the Community?). Bound/Frayed reflects a year long project between Tadhg Devlin and various staff and people supported by the social care charity, Community Integrated Care. Together with Tadhg, they have been co-authoring images which represent the experience of working in the care sector throughout the Covid19 Pandemic, whilst also celebrating the everyday work to support people who access social care, which often goes unseen by the general public. These powerful portraits capture an important moment of resilience and community spirit in our society, taken during particularly lonely and challenging times.

Tadhg has also been working in collaboration with people living with dementia in Liverpool and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, to develop Across the Kitchen Table (Who is the Community?). The diagnosis of dementia seems to be a conversation-stopper to many in our society, but the images captured by Tadhg in this work, challenge that belief and demonstrate the importance of maintaining existing relationships, and developing new ones, following a diagnosis.
The Open Eye Gallery said:- "The participants in this work spoke passionately about the importance of meeting others in the same position as themselves, their peers, and the transformational impact this could have on quality of life. They highlighted the many benefits of coming together to offer insight, share experiences, perspectives and the difficulties of some of the issues around dementia. Without these experiences, often in groups, many of these individuals would be isolated in their experience of living with the disease. Throughout the country, support offered post diagnosis varies greatly with many areas offering very little support whatsoever."  

Tadhg added:- "It was such a great experience to try and show some of the different experiences from the participants involved, from those working in social care during the Pandemic to members of a dementia group in Liverpool and how it has been a positive experience for many to share their thoughts and feelings as these difficult conversations often go unheard."

Interested in photography and would like the opportunity to be taught by Tadhg? Visit:- Hughbaird.AC.UK to find out more.
Tadhg's exhibitions will be running at the Open Eye Gallery until the 30 October, 2022.


City Region wins £9.9m to continue pioneering Housing 1st scheme

THE Liverpool City Region's ground breaking Housing 1st programme, which has helped hundreds of local people out of homelessness, is to continue its pioneering work after Mayor Steve Rotheram secured £9.9m to maintain the scheme until at least 2025.

Based on successful schemes from around the world, the Region's Housing 1st project takes a radically different approach to helping the homeless; a departure from the UK's traditional strategy.

The pilot is currently supporting 220 people in the Liverpool City Region with nearly 90% sustaining their tenancy.

Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said:- "The measure of any decent society is how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. There has been an alarming rise in homelessness over the past decade, while the ongoing cost of living crisis is forcing many into homelessness and destitution as they struggle to make ends meet. But it doesn't have to be this way. Since I was elected, I've made it a priority to radically change the way that our Region helps rough sleepers. Treating people with dignity, recognising that they are human beings not statistics, and offering them wraparound support to deal with often very complex needs, we're helping to provide a safety net in these hard times. We're showing how, with a coordinated; and compassionate; approach, we can end some of the worst forms of homelessness once and for all and build a better, fairer future for the 1.6 million people who call the Liverpool City Region their home; a place where no 1 is left behind."

The new funding will also support other initiatives to tackle homelessness in the City Region.

Funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the programme is 1 of just 3 pilot schemes in the country and will continue for the next 3 years with £4.2m funding until 2024 and a further £2.6 million earmarked from the Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) taking the programme through to 2025.

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will also receive a further £2m from the RSI for other measures to tackle homelessness. £1.2m will help prevent homelessness through early intervention, and nearly 3 quarters of a million pounds will fund the assertive outreach programme delivered by homeless charity Whitechapel targeting rough sleepers in the City Region.

Cllr Graham Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Spatial Framework said:- "This funding will enable us to build on the success we've already seen from our Housing 1st pilot. The programme supports people who have lived through some of the most complex and entrenched experiences of homelessness which often span many years; so it's crucial this work continues. Housing 1st in the Liverpool City Region is creating systemic change. It's a complicated process but it's showing that by taking an alternative approach we will end up achieving much more in the battle to end homelessness."

In January, Mayor Steve Rotheram announced plans to partner with Resonance, an investment fund that seeks to address societal issues such as homelessness, to invest £6m to buy 60 properties to provide long term homes for homeless people in the Liverpool City Region.

The Combined Authority is waiting for confirmation of another £1m bid, to enable a further 18 properties to be purchased specifically for women who have, or are likely to, sleep rough.

Housing 1st uses a different approach to end repeat and chronic homelessness. In traditional homeless services, people are expected to demonstrate they are 'housing ready' before they can access a tenancy. In Housing 1st, providing a home is the starting point rather than an end goal.

It then provides individual, targeted support to deal with mental and physical health issues such as addiction and the effects of trauma and abuse.

The programme offers intensive 1 to 1 unconditional support based on the 7 Housing 1st principles. Research shows the effectiveness of the programme is linked to how closely it adheres to the principles.


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