The CHAMPIONS Project
The months since March 2020 have been difficult for all of us; the inability to go outside, meet face-to-face, and transition to almost entirely virtual interaction have undeniably affected our mental health and wellbeing.
Now imagine the effect on a child. Now on a child living in temporary accommodation (TA)
due to experiencing homelessness, perhaps with only a single room to live in.
In 2019, there were 585,000 children homeless or at risk of homelessness in England, according to the Children’s Commissioner, it is now likely to be much higher. For children, particularly those under 5, experiencing homelessness increases the risk of missing significant developmental milestones, developing emotional and behavioural difficulties, and even raises the risk of death and illness in life.
The pandemic’s disruption of essential health and support services has only worsened this situation, and children in TA are at risk of being left behind during the pandemic recovery if steps are not taken to help them and their families and provide a safe and supportive environment.
Fortunately, children are capable of remarkable recoveries and will bounce back rapidly if given the right support.
EKAM has become a research partner of the CHAMPIONS Project in order to support this recovery work. Our long-time collaborator, Professor Monica Lakhanpaul (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health) is leading an interdisciplinary team from UCL, De Montfort University Leicester, and The Children’s Society to work with families and give people a voice in improving the lives of their children during this difficult time.
The project draws on expertise in housing, mental and public health, and the lived experiences of their Community Engagement Partners’ Panel to co-develop housing, health, education and policy recommendations; as well as inform services and turn research into action.
The project needs help reaching people to talk to and take part in a survey and/or an interview. They are looking to speak to:
People who were caring for a child under 5 and living in temporary accommodation due to experiencing homelessness during the pandemic.
Young people aged 10-19 who have lived in temporary accommodation due to experiencing homelessness during the pandemic.
People will receive vouchers as thanks for taking part.
Anyone interested can reach them either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org,
by phone on 07436 030173 or 07435 989869 or
online at https://www.championsproject.co.uk/takepart