Keyring Housing Scheme

| Helen Sharp

“KeyRing’s vision is for vulnerable people to be at the heart of their community, sharing their skills and talents for everyone’s benefit.”

I’ve known about this housing scheme for a few years now and was particularly interested in how they could help connect families – similar to Family by Family – when I commissioned Early Years in Lambeth, South London. This is a great example of how housing can be used as a mechanism to link people together and connect their skills, abilities and passions to their community.

KeyRing support is based around a supported living network which is typically made up on 10 ordinary homes. People who need support live in 9 of them. These people are KeyRing Members and they help each other out and meet up regularly. A Community Living Volunteer lives in the 10th home. The volunteer helps members with a range of issues including reading bills, forms and letters and most importantly they support Members to explore what’s going on in their neighbourhood and get involved. These volunteers differ from the traditional home visitor because they use an approach which helps the Member connect with and identify people within their local community who can help, rather than delivering that help themselves. If Members need more support, there are paid workers that they can call, particularly if the Member requires assistance which takes more time.

KeyRing supports people to go beyond having a presence in their community; they help to create connections between the member and their community so that the community and the individual are able to serve each other in a way that brings about mutual respect. They aim to support Members to build real and lasting relationships in the community, with the premise that good community connections help Members to become full citizens of their neighbourhood and less reliant on paid support.

When we think about trying to engineer a more place-based support network, housing needs to be an important partner around the table and KeyRing provides a unique example of how housing can go beyond simple accommodation needs.

Share this article:

Similar articles

by Mel Parks

Union Chapel: Collective Power Award

Union Chapel share their experiences of their community leaders project which was shortlisted for the Collective Power Award with the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance’s (CHWA) annual awards which focus on collective power (partnership and co-production), practitioner support and climate.

Read article
by Mel Parks

Yemeni Elders’ Heritage: Collective Power Award

This blog features National Museums Liverpool’s Connecting with Yemeni Elders’ Heritage project, which was inspired by a young man Abdul, from Liverpool’s Yemeni community, who wanted to support elders living with dementia through the House of Memories programme. Abdul connected and encouraged more than 40 Yemeni young people to support the development of a dual language (Arabic and English) heritage package within the My House of Memories app, to assist elders to capture and digitize their heritage stories and traditions to share with younger people.

Read article
by Mel Parks

Looking Back, Moving Forward: Stories From Covid Times

In autumn 2021, Dudley Council commissioned the Ideas Alliance to help them get a better understanding of how the pandemic had impacted on people’s lives, in order to inform priorities for the future. The brief included the use of storytelling and one requested outcome was a visual representation of the experiences of the people of Dudley. 

Read article