The Regional Centre activity operates once a week but the support available to the participants is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Need of intervention can occur at any time of day for individuals with chaotic lifestyles. The floating support team is permanently on stand by to rapidly respond to serious needs and prevent more serious outcomes.
Individuals with multiple and complex needs more often than not become ostracised from mainstream society. We strongly believe that reintegration into communities is key for individuals to be fully rehabilitated. Locally sourced volunteers and peers form a nucleus of friendships that are positive and affirming. For this reason we try not to attach tags such as ‘homeless’ to the individuals we work with as this can lead to institutionalisation. We acknowledge that our participants have had certain experiences in their past but we don’t believe these experiences define who they are.
Street Soccer Academy offers long-term support to service users in communities even after exit from the education programmes. We recognize that circumstances can change for individuals further down the line once other official forms of support have come to an end, which can result in intervention being necessary. The significant level of wrap-around support provided by our floating support team enables us to react swiftly to changing circumstances in order to bring stability to apparently threatening situations.
On successful completion of the Level 1 Education Programme, participants can apply to become mentors. This offers an increased level of qualification and experience and develops leadership skills in the mentors as they set the example to others. Giving individuals ‘something to lose’ can act as a strong deterrent to repeat negative cyclical behaviour and encourage healthier lifestyles.
The programmes of learning are designed to empower the participants in order to increase the level of control they perceive that they have over their lives. The regional centres are service user led in order to provide a platform of responsibility. Resources are provided to help aid increased control and empowerment away from regional centre activity and encourage responsible behaviour.
The privileges and opportunities that are attainable are earned and deserved. The more effort the participants exert, the increased opportunities that become available. When the agreed code of conduct is broken, sanctions are applied.