An update from our friends at Framework
Thanks to the generous support of the Nottingham digital, technical and creative communities, we raised £15,280 for Framework Housing Association at the Nottingham Digital Summit 2018.
Susan Hallam had a quick chat with the team at Framework to catch up on their experience being Hallam’s charity of the year, and recipient of your donations.
Last year The Summit raised more than £15,000 for Framework. How did the money get used?
The money was used to help us address the increasingly complex mental and physical health needs of rough sleepers in Nottingham. People who sleep on our streets are not just homeless. In the vast majority of cases, they have other multiple and complex needs that make them harder to help and (ultimately) harder to house. Indeed, rough sleeping is as much a health issue as it is a housing issue. Consequently, we have invested considerable resources in addressing these health needs and are now funding an NHS nurse and a social worker to work directly with people on the streets and to advocate on their behalf. It’s an innovative and highly effective approach, but it is also expensive, so the funding we received from last year’s digital summit really was invaluable.
This is a big chunk of money, but do you accept smaller donations, too?
Yes. Every donation to Framework has the potential to change and even save people’s lives. We need to raise more than £750,000 a year to support some of our most impactful services. That’s a lot of money but everyone can play a role in that – whatever their financial means. Just £1, for example, enables our Street Outreach Team to process a call to our Rough Sleepers Hotline. That call could be from a member of the public reporting the location of somebody sleeping rough, or even from a rough sleeper who at that point feels ready to ask for our help. Big donations from successful local businesses are of course wonderful to receive, but everyone in our community should feel empowered to tackle this problem by donating what they can afford. What matters most to us is that people continue to trust us to spend that money wisely on their behalf.
What was it like being Hallam’s charity of the year?
Being Hallam’s charity of the year was a great honour for us – and also a great opportunity because their offer to us actually went far beyond the incredible sum of money they raised. As digital marketing experts, they also took it upon themselves to pass on the benefit of their experience to our fundraising and communications teams. In addition to the huge sum of money they raised, they also supported us to audit our social media channels and greatly improve the returns we were getting from them. They also supported us to identify issues with our website, and to better understand the experiences of the people who were visiting it via Google Analytics. That kind of support is hugely valuable to a team of our size.
What did the team from Framework learn at The Summit last year?
Several of our staff attended last year’s Digital Summit and gained a lot from the experience. First and foremost it was a really exciting and innovative event packed full of equally exciting and innovative people. We’d already done some great networking before we’d finished queuing for coffee. Indeed, it really is hard to attend such an event and not be inspired by the energy of the people around you. More specifically we were especially inspired by the contribution of Speedo, who explained the importance of placing users at the very heart of digital planning.
I see Framework has a new brand. What’s that all about?
Helping homeless people is and always will be a central part of our work, but we are also doing hugely exciting work in other areas, such as: providing specialist services for people with physical and mental health conditions; supporting people into employment, empowering them to learn new skills, and providing other specialist support and care services. Our previous identity – developed more than 14 years ago – was not only failing to reflect that diversity in our work, it was also putting some people off from seeking our help in the first place. It was high time for a change and we are really pleased with the outcome. Ultimately our new identity is far more reflective of what we do and how we work – illustrative of a network of overlapping, complementary services that empower people to better futures, regardless of the challenges of their past.
How else can I support Framework?
People can support our work in many ways – by making a one-off or regular donation, by taking part in or part in events, or by simply spreading the word about what we do. Visit www.frameworkha.org for more ideas.