The report highlights the unseen complexities of those trapped in temporary accommodation

Pivot, the social enterprise empowering people experiencing homelessness through making and enterprise, has launched its first Impact Report.

The report, published on Wednesday 17 March, provides a detailed overview of Pivot’s activities over the past year and the impact the company had on the communities it works with.

Through its jewellery making programmes and advocacy work the social enterprise has delivered immediate financial support for people experiencing homelessness; increased work opportunities available to those living in temporary accommodation; improved “work-ready” skills Improved confidence; and increased awareness of the complex nature of homelessness and what can be done to empower people to move out of it.

Alongside working with hostels across London and Somerset, Pivot also worked with a range of retailers, such as Westfield, Cubbitts, Crisis and the Social Supermarket, to sell their products which are made by people experiencing homelessness. 

To highlight why Pivot’s services are essential not only to reduce homelessness but also to tackle its underlying causes, the report explores the unseen complexities of homelessness in detail. This includes analysis of how the Universal Credit system can trap people in a vicious cycle of homelessness; how homelessness also intersects with ethnicity, gender, sexuality and mental and physical health; and a review of the impacts of the pandemic on those living in temporary accommodation. 

Pivot Year 1 Impact report Westfield London

Alice Moxley, founder of Pivot, commented:

“What a year it has been. When people ask us how the pandemic has affected us, I have to remind them that we incorporated just 49 days before the UK went into national lockdown. We’ve somehow not only survived, we’ve managed to grow. 

This has meant we’ve been able to support over 20 people experiencing homelessness with work-based training, financial support and professional coaching to help them grow in confidence, gain new skills and move towards independent living. Even before the pandemic homelessness was growing and there are now an estimated quarter of a million people in England living in temporary accommodation. This is not ok. 

We have proven that bringing making and enterprise into hostels can make a tangible difference and help empower people to pivot their lives. I am so proud of our Makers and everything they have achieved. Our first Impact Report is a significant milestone in our journey to date, but it will definitely not be the last.”

Jason Thompson, Pivot Team Leader and former Maker, comments on how mental health issues impact people living in temporary accommodation:

“Mental health in these places is crazy. The longer you’re in there the less empowered you are to get these work opportunities. I’ve seen friends get made homeless because they tried to work, couldn’t afford the rent and then they get kicked out of these organisations. So “why would I go out of my way to work and end up like that” is often the mentality.”

Makbule, Pivot Maker, on how she was forced to move into a hostel after she was made redundant from her job in retail as a result of the pandemic:

“I was working at Mothercare and once the company went redundant I lost my job. That means there was no income, so I wasn’t able to stay in the place that I was as I was not able to catch up with my rent. So, I came to the YMCA through the council in September and on the day that I came I saw the advertisement for Pivot.

Because of the coronavirus, there were no jobs available or anything to apply for. Also while I was here I had nothing to do. I applied for jobs, but I had no replies at all. But once I got to Pivot, I used my time on that, on something that I enjoyed. I liked the opportunity that was given to me by Pivot.”

In its first year, Pivot has supported 25 individuals across 4 hostels. Delivered 750 hours of work-based training and provided 100 hours of 1-1 coaching. 60% of Makers were female, 92% were aged 18-34 and 72% were BAME. 

Read Pivots first Impact Report here.

Pivot’s collection is available to order from our website: makepivot.org

– END – 

Contact information:

Emily Horton – Communications Lead, Email – emily@makepivot.org

About Pivot

Pivot is a social enterprise that empowers people experiencing homelessness to pivot their lives through making and enterprise. We create British, hand-made jewellery in hostels, whilst co-creating progressive routes out of temporary accommodation.

Pivot’s model is aimed at bringing part-time, flexible and meaningful work to those who find it difficult to access, by working directly in homeless hostels.

We support our Makers by providing coaching, financial support and guidance to create swifter pathways out of temporary accommodation.

Key statistics cited in the report

General homelessness / temporary accommodation: 

  • Homelessness doesn’t discriminate and is a huge and growing issue. Since 2010 there has been a 50% rise in homelessness in England, of which rough sleeping is only one part. 
  • Since 2010 there has been a 83% rise in the number of people living in temporary accommodation in England (Shelter 2020)
  • With a well known housing crisis and lack of social offerings, much of this rise can be seen in the increasing numbers living in temporary accommodation – in 2020 this is estimated to be 253,620 people.
  • More than 1.15 million households are on waiting lists for a social home in England (Shelter 2020) 
  • A significant number of homeless people sit on waiting lists for years, with more than 9 in 10 private renters who need a social home are unable to get one (Shelter 2019).
  • In London 65% of people living in temporary accommodation stay for over 6 months, and 30% stay for more than four years (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government 2016).
  • With the average monthly rent of a room in the UK’s capital coming in at £747, while a one-bed property would set you back £1,934 (My London 2020). 

Characteristics of those in temporary housing

  • In 2020 a quarter of people making homelessness applications to local councils are from BAME groups, even though they make up just over a tenth of all households in England (MHCLG data) 
  • People of Colour are three times more likely to experience homelessness (Shelter 2020). 
  • Over two-thirds of people classified as homeless are single adults and 56% are aged 16-34 (MHCLG) 
  • A quarter of young people who are homeless identify as LGBTQ+ (Crisis 2021).
  • Almost eight in ten LGBTQ+ youth homelessness is caused by family rejection or abuse (The Albert Kennedy Trust 2015).
  • Young LGBTQ+ people who are homeless are more likely to face violence but less likely to seek help (Crisis 2021). 

Mental health

  • Eight out of ten young homeless people report struggling with mental health, with many are at “breaking point” when they reach services like the YMCA, (YMCA website) 
  • Pandemic has negatively impacted mental health including an increased feeling of isolation, not being able to stay safe, struggling to eat properly, difficulties cleaning and an impact on mental wellbeing (Shelter 2020). 
  • Shelter research found that 64% of those living in temporary accommodation and out of work reported they were depressed.