Mayday Trust launches innovative outcomes-based homelessness programme in Northamptonshire

  • Mayday’s new programme ‘Be the Change!’ will initially support 100 young people in very challenging situations, identifying their strengths and helping them change their lives
  • The programme has been commissioned by First for Wellbeing CIC, a pioneering partnership between the local authority, NHS trust and university, with support from the Big Lottery Fund
  • It is structured as an outcomes contract, so the provider is rewarded for achieving successful accommodation and employment outcomes
  • The project aims to demonstrate that working with this cohort also improves health outcomes, reduces offending rates and mitigates benefits payments
  • Bridges will provide up-front funding and ongoing support

Mayday Trust (“Mayday”) will deliver a new three-year programme designed to combat homelessness in Northamptonshire, thanks to a pioneering outcomes-based collaboration between the social sector, local government and social investors.

‘Be the Change’ is a radical new intervention designed to help homeless and unemployed young people who are going through particularly difficult times in their lives. It is based on Mayday’s Personal Transitions Services (PTS), a highly flexible ‘assets-based’ approach that focuses on identifying people’s strengths and then providing the personalised support they need to achieve their aspirations. Unlike many homelessness programmes, it uses normal housing rather than hostels or supported accommodation, in the belief that this helps the young people to live more independently, build new support networks and break the cycle of dependency.

The programme has been commissioned by First for Wellbeing CIC, a pioneering social enterprise set up as a partnership between Northamptonshire County Council, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Northampton; its aim is to improve the long-term health and wellbeing of the people of Northamptonshire by streamlining existing services and testing innovative new approaches. This contract – which was structured with support from Numbers for Good, a specialist social finance advisor, and supported by the Big Lottery Fund using National Lottery funding – will operate on an outcomes basis, with Mayday receiving payments when it moves these young people into stable accommodation and finds them employment.

To deliver the project, Mayday will receive up-front funding and support from Bridges Fund Management via the Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund, which was the first fund anywhere in the world dedicated to outcomes contracts and has now backed 19 outcomes-based programmes.

This is the first homelessness intervention where local commissioners are the primary outcomes payers. However, the value of this approach to tackling homelessness – in terms of the freedom and flexibility it gives providers versus a standard fee-for-service contract – has been illustrated by the Fair Chance Fund, a Department for Communities & Local Government initiative that commissioned several outcomes-based homelessness programmes in 2014.

This programme is intended as a pilot initiative; if successful, Mayday and Bridges hope to roll it out further. To that end, the First for Wellbeing partners will also look to measure other outcomes over and above those specified in the contract, to try and quantify the programme’s broader social impact. This includes the impact on offending, on local healthcare and on the benefits system.

Janet Doran, Managing Director of First for Wellbeing CIC Ltd:

“First for Wellbeing CIC is delighted to be working in partnership with the Mayday Trust and Bridges on this preventative, innovative approach that provides the resources, skills and abilities to support the most vulnerable individuals within our county. In particular, the project supports those who often receive little support because of their complex and correlating problems; issues such as homelessness, total relationship breakdown, physical and mental health problems including addictions, long-term unemployment and disrupted education and trauma.  We are looking to empower individuals and rebuild the lives of over 100 people through this project, supporting each individual to effectively manage their own wellbeing, prevent them from becoming involved in in crime, rough sleeping, and substance misuse and thus reducing long term dependence on other services.”

Pat McArdle, Chief Executive of Mayday Trust, said:

“Traditional services have led to many people becoming institutionalised and unnecessarily trapped in dependency for years. With a Personal Transitions approach, individuals receive the right support at the right time that is tailored to their unique experiences and circumstances. The outcomes contract structure gives us the flexibility we need to do that. We look forward to proving this model in Northampton – and then hopefully replicating it elsewhere.”

Andy Meehan, Chair of Mayday Trust, said:

“Mayday Trust has spent five years developing our new PTS approach and has seen the benefits of social investment as a way of supporting this highly-personalised work. We are delighted to be working with First for Wellbeing and Bridges on this new and innovative partnership.”

Adam Kybird, Investment Manager at Bridges Fund Management, said:

“Our experience with the Fair Chance Fund has shown that outcomes-based contracts are the best way to work with this group of homeless and NEET young people. They give providers like Mayday the freedom to take a very flexible approach to the young people they work with, tailoring their support to the individual’s abilities and needs, as well as the ever-changing dynamics of the local housing market. We’re really excited about the impact this programme can have in Northampton.”

Case Study:
Aaron came to Mayday as an alcoholic ex-offender whose drinking had resulted in him being kicked out of the family home; he had since been sleeping rough for several years. Mayday gave him a place to live, but also worked with him to identify what he would like to do in the future. He has since completed IT qualifications, lives independently, and is getting treatment for his addiction issues. “Instead of drinking to escape the daily life I had before, I’m doing new things to fill my time with that I enjoy,” he says. “I no longer need to escape reality because actually, reality is quite nice now.”




About Mayday

Mayday Trust is a forward-thinking organisation that thrives on finding better ways to work with people going through tough times such as experiencing homelessness, leaving care or coming out of prison. We provide direct support through Mayday Inspire, our new and unique Personal Transitions Service. Mayday Inspire aims to get people through those tough times by making it as positive and transitional as possible.

About First for Wellbeing 

First for Wellbeing is a Community Interest Company (CIC) – a social enterprise set up specifically to serve the needs of the local community. The three founding partners – Northamptonshire County Council, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Northampton – have a shared vision for dramatically improving the physical, emotional and social wellbeing of the people of Northamptonshire by offering an integrated health and wellbeing service. The idea behind the company is to work together with public, private and voluntary sectors to improve and streamline existing services, and to create new and innovative ways to help people live the best life they possibly can. Launched on 1 April 2016, First for Wellbeing serves more than 700,000 local residents.

About Bridges Fund Management 

Bridges Fund Management (formerly Bridges Ventures) is a specialist fund manager focused exclusively on sustainable and impact investment, with offices in London, New York and San Francisco. Since 2002, the firm has raised over £900m to invest in SMEs, properties and social sector organisations that are helping to tackle some of society’s biggest challenges, with a focus on four themes: health & wellbeing, education & skills, sustainable living and underserved markets.

About Numbers for Good 

Numbers for Good bridges the world of finance to organisations dedicated to improving people’s lives and helping the planet. We create financial solutions that allow organisations to fund social and environmental projects and connect investors with opportunities for sustainable financial and social returns.

About Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions. From small, local projects to UK-wide initiatives, our funding brings people together to make a difference to their health, wellbeing and environment. Since June 2004 we have awarded £8.5 billion to projects that improve the lives of millions of people.