Annual Review 2007 2008

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					Annual Review 2007 | 2008

                                                                                    • PREFACE

                                                                                    • WELCOME              1

                                                                                    • VISION               2

                                                                                    • INFLUENCE            4

                                                                                    • INNOVATION           6

                                                                                    • ACTION               8

                                                                                    •RESULTS              10

                                                                                    • CASE STUDIES        12

                                                                                    • CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT 14
This is our Review of the progress        There is no better way to celebrate
Threshold made last year.                 success than to hear the rehabilitation
                                          of people who have had some real          • SUMMARY ACCOUNTS    16
We are proud of that progress, and
                                          challenges in their lives, from the
that we cultivated the lives of over
                                          people themselves.                        • FINANCIAL REPORT    17
1000 people, helping nurture many
from the depths of despair to flourish     We have also acknowledged the
and grow back into full bloom.            enormous help we continue to enjoy,       • THANK YOU           19
                                          from a wide range of supporters in the
We felt it useful for you to gain an
                                          local community without whom our
insight not only into our activity in
                                          achievements would be impossible.
2007/08, but also for us to share our
vision for the future for the relief of
homelessness in Swindon, and
bring you the stories from several
of our clients.

   1. The entrance to a home
   2. The point at which an action is triggered;
      the outset of an action
   3. A new beginning

nurt·ure / nurt·uring
   1. feed, protect
   2. support, encourage
   3. bring up; train; educate; develop
   4. foster; rearing; upbringing
   5. nourishing
This is our Annual Review 2007/8            Swindon: A Study in Contrast                 Low incomes and a high concentration
We are proud of the quality of service      Threshold Housing Link came to life 36       of Swindon people who are
we are able to offer the dispossessed of     years ago as the Swindon Cyrenians, a        economically inactive – either job
Swindon and its surrounding areas, and      charity with the single aim of helping       seeking or on incapacity benefit -
the effectiveness we have made of our        homeless people in Swindon. Our              have created a spiral of gradual decline.
resources – which of course come to us      inception was in recognition of the          The town languishes in the bottom
largely from grants and donations.          extremes of poverty and plenty that          50% for deprivation and inequality,
                                            characterised the Swindon of the 1970’s,     wealth, health, crime and sustainable
As you can see, our theme this year has
                                            an essentially dying industrial town         travel, with crime and poor health
been about growth – how we nurture
                                            moving into the white collar era.            performance as knock-on effects
people with a variety of needs, how we
                                                                                         of this situation.
help them blossom into holding their        Today Swindon has a mature, successful
rightful place in the community again.      economic and business environment;           We are fully aware that no one
Throughout the last year we touched         is acknowledged nationally for being         organisation can solve the homeless
the lives of over 1000 people, in very      in the top 25% for productivity,             problem; so we will continue to work
positive ways, through the commitment       knowledge economy, enterprise and            with our partners to support and assist
and diligence of just 25 staff.              housing affordability, and in the top         those who are marginalised, suffering
                                            50% for skills and education.                poverty and homelessness to rebuild
That we could achieve this level of
                                                                                         their lives and take their deserved
service and effectiveness was down to        Yet it may surprise you to learn that the
                                                                                         place back in the community.
something that hasn’t altered since our     need for Threshold’s services have by no                                                 THRESHOLD ANNUAL REVIEW – 2007/08
inception - our commitment to serve         means diminished. The extremes of the
equally all those who come to us in         70’s are, if anything, now even further
need of caring for their physical, mental   apart. Threshold works with some of
and emotional needs.                        the most disadvantaged and socially
To find out more about the work we do        excluded people within the area, and         Cher Sawyer,
– and how you can help, either through      this makes us fully aware of the social      Business Development Director
donations of money or perhaps by            polarisation that has taken place locally.
giving your skills to us by volunteering    With at least 30 of the UK’s top 100
through your workplace, please visit our    companies being located in and around
website                     Swindon, it is clear that those who
                                            create local wealth spend it elsewhere,
                                            largely relocating their families to the
                                            rural surrounding areas.
                                    vision                                      “Vision without action is a dream. Action
                                                                                without vision is simply passing the time.
                                    Our vision for Threshold over               Action with Vision is making a positive
                                    the next three years is clear
                                    and uncompromising:                         difference” – Joel Barker, Scholar and Futurist, 1980
                                    We aim to be recognised as “Business        has mutual advantage, investment          By 2011 we want to halve the number
                                    of the Year” in the not-for-profit sector.   creation, entrepreneurship through        of people that are asked to leave our
                                    This comes from our insight that            social enterprise, enable business and    projects. Reasons are abundant and
                                    having socially responsible aims and        education links, growth, sustainability   varied: non-engagement in support
                                    being a charity by no means precludes       and the development of infrastructure     and resettlement plans, failure to
                                    us from conducting our operation and        for the future.                           comply with payment schedules,
                                    ourselves in a business-like way.           Strategically Threshold will develop      or indiscretions against the zero
                                    Indeed, we’d claim that our point of        growth targets to meet identified need     tolerance of using drugs and alcohol
                                    difference is that we can combine the        and close gaps in service provision. It   on our premises.
                                    sensibilities of the charitable sector      is our aim over the next three years to   We also aspire to act as a centre of
                                    with the efficiencies and focus on            consolidate our services and income,      competence in the effective assistance
                                    results that characterise a commercial      generate greater support both locally     to the homeless in the UK. We have
                                    organisation. Look what we have in          and nationally from funding sources       developed a number of operating
                                    common:                                     and secure commissions from the           procedures and assessment tools that
                                    ● focus on client satisfaction              Local Authority for services that         can be applied elsewhere, and we

                                                                                meet the new Homelessness Strategy        seek recognition of our operational
                                    ● effective use of resources and
                                      elimination of waste                      2008-2013.                                excellence from our peers and
                                                                                We will build a creative environment      colleagues in the not-for-profit sector.
                                    ● ingenuity and creativity
                                                                                in which residents can explore new        A recent example is our application of
                                    ● awareness of the bottom line,             skills that will lead to employment       our Outcome Monitoring approach to
                                      and of our shareholders
                                                                                such as building skills or painting and   evaluating residents’ progress through
                                    The image that we wish to impress           decorating through a new planned          our processes – you’ll find out more on
                                    upon Swindon and the business               proficiency project attached to the        the next page.
                                    community is that Threshold is a            resettlement move-on hostels. This
                                    first class voluntary organisation           greater capability will help Threshold
                                    worthy of support and developing            meet the challenges of the ever-
                                    a partnership association with; one         changing political and economic
                                    that will lead to a relationship that       environment in which we operate.
How will we know we have                Are we already making                       How will we get there?
achieved our vision?                    progress?                                   A number of things need to be in
When we can claim that we have:                                                     place to enable us to achieve our
                                        Undoubtedly.                                ambitions for Threshold:
● been recognised as
                                        We consider ourselves more                  ● investment in senior
 “Local Business of the Year”
                                        businesslike in our behaviours, our           management: currently the
● satisfaction feedback over 70%                                                      organisation is too dependant
                                        attitudes and in our relationships with
  of all comment and feedback                                                         on just two key people with 38
  surveys that are returned             all our stakeholders; we are ‘sharper’ in
                                                                                      years experience between them
                                        questioning protocols and directives
● decreased the number of                                                           ● Extend our properties – using
                                        issued from local government, for
  people that are asked to leave                                                      the property turndown as a
  our projects due to non-              example on service level agreements.
                                                                                      timely opportunity to invest or
  engagement in support and             Our front-line staff are honing                extend
  resettlement plans or failure         their advocacy, consultation and
  to comply with the payment                                                        ● More active fund-raising, and
                                        negotiation skills; they now embark
  schedules                                                                           raising resources in the form
                                        on an interview with an applicant             of corporate sponsorship,
● secured income on service             prepared, professional, with data and         skills supply and employee
  level agreements for 3 years;         skills, looking for ways to say ‘yes’ to      volunteering
  encouraging sustainable
                                        an action plan for a client.                ● Seek more robust government
                                        This in turn means our clients are            funding – national and local
● met 50% of the relevant Local
  Authority’s Homelessness              encouraged to take more personal            ● Build a strong, long-term Board
  Strategy 2008-2013                    responsibility for their actions and the      of Trustees with a balance of
  requirements                          consequences of their own behaviour.          skills

● matched our resources to
  provide or facilitate services that
  have been identified as being
  most important to stakeholders
● a staff retention of consistently
  over 80%
● staff satisfaction surveys with
  satisfaction feedback over 80%
● 6 or more business supporters                                                                                         THRESHOLD ANNUAL REVIEW – 2007/08
  and partners
● developed a social enterprise
  business with client
                                    Influencing skills lie at the heart of our competencies. And using
                                    these to develop productive relationships, working in partnership
                                    with other agencies and businesses in the community, is the key
                                    to boosting our expertise and resources.
                                    This can manifest itself in any number of ways:
                                    ● how we influence clients to take       compassion has to break through          the realities and causes behind
                                      positive action to rehabilitate       the natural reluctance of a broadly      homelessness, and we have found
                                      themselves;                           affluent population to acknowledge         this has helped develop a more
                                    ● where we persuade local businesses    the existence of the marginalised and    interdependent, productive working
                                      to assist, in the form of donations   to understand why and how that can       relationship to the benefit of our staff,
                                      of funding, time or expertise;        happen in their town.                    clients and applicants.
                                    ● how we help partner organisations     A fine example of this is the help        Over the last 4 years we have also
                                      through best practice or creative     from Zurich we are receiving with        developed a link with the Social Work
                                      problem-solving;                      our database management, and             Degree course at both the Bath and
                                                                            employees from another large             Bristol Universities, for whom we
                                    As a charity we try to veer away from

                                                                            corporate company have offered to         are pleased to provide a regular 6
                                    politicising the homeless; we are
                                                                            help us manage our data protection       month work placement with in-house
                                    active, nevertheless, in lobbying on
                                                                            responsibilities. Through mentoring      supervisors who are qualified to
                                    their behalf, in seeking to persuade
                                                                            and employee volunteering,               mentor and advise students.
                                    the Borough to address the needs of
                                    the homeless and disadvantaged on       local businesses are able to input       As you would expect, perhaps our
                                    our doorsteps.                          professional and operational expertise   closest working relationships are
                                                                            that boost our organisation’s            with the various departments of
                                    We also see it as an important part
                                                                            performance, in a way we could never     Swindon Borough Council, where we
                                    of our role to persuade the local
                                    community to offer support to our        afford as a charity.                      attend working forums, and chair the
                                    clientele. We find that the people of    The Police Learning & Development        Homelessness Strategy forum, through
                                    Swindon are generous and feeling        Programme continues to provide           which we helped shape the 2008-13
                                    when made aware of the issues           an important opportunity for our         Homelessness Strategy For Swindon.
                                    that surround homelessness; this        local constabulary to learn about
                                                Rob’s story:
       The heart of our influencing              “I am a recovering addict and came          me because as soon as I got hold of
       abilities lie with our Outreach and      to Swindon 5 years ago. I was new to        benefit money it went on drugs. I was
       Resettlement staff, who are in the        this area and homeless with nowhere         given a bed for the night, and I still
       front line dealing with the myriad of    to turn. I had a bad attitude towards       remember how grateful I
       social issues that lead people of all    life and felt like I was in self-destruct   was – not just for the shelter, but for
       ages to become homeless.                 mode. I got into heroin, and it was not     being trusted for the first time I could
       Without doubt, the best condition        long before things got worse for me,        ever remember.
       for influence is in success. We are       and I ended up in prison for 5 months.      Something clicked – I was grateful
       proud of the service we offer and                                                     and appreciative to have a warm bed,
                                                One day a friend told me about
       the lives we change. It is from this                                                 shower and regular meals; the staff
                                                Culvery Court, which is a direct access
       position of success, knowledge,                                                      remarked how positive I had become.
                                                hostel for the homeless. I went there
       experience and expertise that we                                                     Before I had taken them for granted,
                                                and was immediately given a bed
       are able to position ourselves as an                                                 felt angry and just worried about
                                                for the night. Because I used in the
       organisation of people who have an                                                   when I could use heroin again. My key
                                                hostel they could not let me stay, and
       authoritative voice and something                                                    worker helped pull my life together. It
                                                I went to the Salvation Army hostel
       to offer the debate.                                                                  was her support and my willingness to
                                                and lived there for 6 weeks. One day
       To illustrate this, here is a case       they searched my room and found             be supported that motivated me in a
       study that demonstrates the              a syringe, so I was told to leave. I        positive direction.
       skills our staff employ every             was again homeless, my plans for a          I realise now that my key worker
       day in their relationships with          new start and better future were fast       saved my life.
       clients and residents. It is, sadly, a   dissolving.                                 The court gave me a drug testing
       typical example of what we meet                                                      treatment order and 18 months
                                                For the next 2 months I lived on the
       throughout the year, although this                                                   probation, and I attended a drugs
                                                streets, living in one of the town car
       client at least has been able to turn                                                treatment centre every day, given
                                                park stairwells, and now and then with
       the corner with our help…                                                            detox treatment, and eventually
                                                a friend who could put me up for a
                                                couple of nights. I was so grateful for     stopped using altogether.
                                                this since sleeping rough is very scary     The staff recognised the improvements
                                                – you never feel safe.                      I’d made to my life, and the day came
                                                I found a new depth of low, sinking         when they put me forward for one
                                                further than I could ever have              of the move-on houses. After living
                                                imagined. I was using a lot of heroin,      there for 5 months I went through a
                                                shoplifting every day to pay for it.        depression and started to mess around
         My key worker                          The crazy thing was that I’d steal          with drugs again – once again my
  helped pull my life together.                 something worth £100 and only get           life started slipping. Looking back, it’s
                                                £5 or £10 for selling it in a pub.          frightening how quickly you can fall          THRESHOLD ANNUAL REVIEW – 2007/08
   It was her support and my
                                                So I had to steal more and more just        back into bad attitudes and habits. But
  willingness to be supported                   to raise a few pounds. So it was not        this time was different: I had the sense
that motivated me in a positive                 long before I was caught, and up in         to talk to staff about my situation, and
direction. I realise now that my                front of the magistrates court with         they persuaded the authorities it was
                                                four theft charges.                         a temporary slip after nearly a year’s
    key worker saved my life.
                                                I could not see my life getting any         solid progress; I was relieved (and
                                                better – the only way for me was            astonished, actually) and moved into
                                                down, down even further. Then I             the drug-free house, Old Appleyard.
                                                ran into two Outreach workers from          I have been here now for four months
                                                Threshold, who arranged for me to           and am happier, positive and heroin-
                                                be readmitted to Culvery Court if           free. I can at last see a future for myself
                                                I paid rent in advance. This suited         – for the first time in my life.”
                                    At the risk of being immodest, we find our run of innovation far
                                    outstrips the resources we can command to bring them all into
                                    fruition; shortage of ideas is not a problem at Threshold!
                                    In today’s world any charitable             our inspirations. An important – and          resources available to us. Our theme
                                    organisation will have to summon            recent - example of this is in the way        is now “Doing More with Less”. This
                                    great ingenuity and creativity simply       we submit proposals for funding and/          rallying-call has encouraged us to
                                    to be able to run its organisation          or other support for our initiatives.         stop operating in narrow silos, but
                                    effectively. There is a constant balance     In the past we have been guilty of            become integrative, seeking to make
                                    to be drawn between the resources           making a proposal on a narrow, ‘cash’         best use of our resources and expertise
                                    available, public accountability of how     basis – seeking the funding to cover          right across the entire organisation,
                                    those resources get deployed, and the       only our basic outlay in running the          rather than chasing excellence in each
                                    need for the charity’s services.            project. We have learned to become            section of Threshold.
                                    The need inevitably outstrips the           far more adept at making the case for
                                    supply – perhaps one of the crucial         full cost recovery. This core business
                                    differences between charities and            skill – the ability to forecast accurately,
                                    commercial businesses. A business           and to adapt forecasts along the

                                    will justify extra resources if it has an   way as it becomes clear a project is
                                    increased demand for its product or         becoming more expensive to run – is
                                    service; a charity tends not to have        one we have had to develop ourselves.
                                    that facility.                              It has proved to be particularly
                                    This means that necessity becomes           important given the long-term nature
                                    the mother of our inventiveness in          of many of our projects and service
                                    how we deal with juggling priorities,       initiatives. It has also encouraged us to
                                    conflicting pressures, rapidly changing      focus more precisely on the outcome
                                    demands, and the manifestations of          we are seeking to achieve, and on
                                    public accountability and regulation.       assessing the benefits it brings and the
                                    In line with the theme underpinning         social disadvantages it displaces.
                                    our Vision, we find ourselves turning        Close on the heels of this development
                                    to the corporate world for solutions to     is the way we make best use of the
The most obvious benefit that has             lawfulness, social activities, interaction,   “I am delighted to see
rapidly emerged from this mind-set is        personal skills, and of course
                                                                                           once again the valuable
staff rotation, which has allowed us to       accommodation. These are identified
share best practices and knowledge,          in five 30-minute interviews at the            contribution that Threshold
and to use our own expertise as              outset of the client’s interaction with       continues to make for some of
development for each other. We will          Threshold, and their progress on              the most excluded individuals
supplement this by making skilled            every dimension is tracked on an
                                                                                           within our Community.
specialist mentoring available to            ongoing basis.
our people over the next year.               This ‘research’ style approach is a           The Council has a long and
This in turn has prompted us to              true innovation for our resettlement          successful track record of
consider how best to develop this            workers; it allows them to apply
                                                                                           working in partnership with
support using technology. We aim             measured considerations to a client’s
to develop and offer our staff access          situation, where before they relied           Threshold, this review typifies
to various experts in the many areas         on their range of experience and              the difference Threshold
they encounter in their work with            expertise to make a more subjective           makes to people’s lives.”
the homeless – these will cover a            judgement.
wide range including legal, financial,        We now wish to automate this                  Michael Ash,
employment, social, business,                approach to make it easier for the            Deputy Director of Housing,
psychological, educational, health, and      staff, and to give us much-needed              Swindon Borough Council
professional skills development (such        management intelligence on the
as counselling skills). Until recently the   trends and results we are delivering
cost and practicality of this would have     – and the challenges still facing us.
been prohibitive; we are exploring the       Another example of the sort of tool
development of an on-line support            a commercial enterprise would take
service for our staff, who will then be       for granted, but which is invaluable in
able to book a conversation with one         our work and with which we will need
of our team of consulting experts who        expertise from the business world.
give their services for free. This makes
                                             Of course, our staff have to be flexible
a relatively short time commitment
                                             and innovative in every intervention
on the part of the topic expert pay
                                             they make with clients and residents.
high dividends in areas of our staff’s
                                             We describe elsewhere the activities
knowledge and development – and
                                             we have developed for residents of
immediately impacts on the service
                                             Mullane House, and we are also in
they offer their clients.
                                             the process of introducing makeovers
Perhaps the most influential and              for clients, to make them more
far-reaching impact of our recent            successful when applying for jobs
                                                                                                                            THRESHOLD ANNUAL REVIEW – 2007/08
innovations has been our own                 – and, indeed, in their interactions with
Outcome Monitoring. This is a process        other agencies, the Borough, banks,
we developed ourselves, an approach          and those originations key to their
to formally assessing and measuring          rehabilitation.
the progress made by our clients. This
is still being extended and developed
with additional ideas, but after 8
months field-testing we are extremely
pleased with the potential of this tool.
It tracks very precisely a client’s
abilities in a variety of dimensions
– e.g. employment prospects, financial
security, personal safety, health,
                                    Our employees are our greatest asset, delivering our services to
                                    the highest standard possible within the resources available.
                                    Staff Development…
                                    We employ 25 staff (of which 3 are         (Practical Quality Assurance System     We are on the point of designating
                                    part time) to manage the hostels          for Small Organisations – Version 1).   one member of staff as a Core
                                    and services. Our employees are our                                               Competence Coach, which will
                                                                              As the organisation is very people
                                    greatest asset, delivering our services                                           account for half of their role. This
                                                                              focussed we have worked hard to
                                    to the highest standard possible within                                           role entails coaching colleagues
                                                                              employ systems and processes for
                                    the resources available and are key                                               in a planned skills development
                                                                              the benefit of our employees, which
                                    to any vision or development plan                                                 programme, through both on- and
                                                                              in turn generate better services for
                                    the organisation may have. We have                                                off-the-job training and instruction,
                                                                              our customers and quality outcomes
                                    introduced business systems and                                                   supplemented by investment in
                                                                              for our funders. This year we were
                                    process to ensure that we work to                                                 recognised qualifications where
                                                                              proud that we have been re-assessed
                                    quality standards that are                                                        appropriate. This is vitally important
                                                                              under the new standard of Investors
                                    acceptable to employees, funders                                                  because of our 25 staff only 4 have
                                                                              in People and have been awarded the
                                    and our customers.                                                                more than 5 years experience.
                                                                              recognised status once again.
                                    We have adapted and adopted

                                                                              We will continue to support our staff    Hand in hand with this initiative we
                                    “The Balanced Scorecard” approach                                                 have introduced staff rotation, to
                                                                              in being enthusiastic, energetic and
                                    to target setting, employee reward                                                distribute best practice and broaden
                                                                              dynamic in their approach to working
                                    and outcome monitoring. We have                                                   our people’s awareness of the full
                                                                              with Swindon’s homeless population
                                    extended the latter to our client group                                           services we offer. As much of our work
                                                                              and other specialist agencies and
                                    through substantial client feedback                                               involves referring clients from one
                                                                              services that compliment our own
                                    and assessment of progress using                                                  service to another within Threshold,
                                                                              work. They will be encouraged
                                    the main topics from the Supporting                                               this is extremely important, and useful.
                                                                              through good, quality training
                                    People Grant, which is our main                                                   As a result we have already seen a
                                                                              and development opportunities,
                                    funding stream and this supports                                                  sense of job enrichment, boost to
                                                                              employee-friendly policies and a
                                    our achievement outturns, leading                                                 morale, upskilling, and foresee benefits
                                                                              good working environment, intended
                                    to quality assessment standards from                                              from increased retention, and the
                                                                              to enable Threshold to recruit and
                                    the local authority and peer group                                                ability to plan succession.
                                                                              retain quality staff.
                                    auditing to level 3 through PQASSO
With issues such as substance misuse         and delivery of services; promoting        “I am delighted to have been involved
we do take a tolerant view with those        Threshold’s aims and values to             with supporting Threshold for nearly
who depend on substances and are             the community.                             10 years through Zurich Community
aware that windows of opportunity            The Mullane House residents, who are       Trust challenges. I am constantly
where the individuals’ motivation            16 -21 years old, have participated in     inspired by the teams and what they
to change their habit are often few          a number of new activities this year       achieve for those homeless people
and far between. To this end we wish         and this has made big inroads into         who rely on their help to rebuild their
to extend our service, at The Old            their quality of life and sense of self    lives. Working with Threshold has
Appleyard which is specifically geared        awareness, developing self-worth and       certainly opened my eyes to the wider
to those clients with these issues. It is    getting along with others:                 issues associated with homelessness
hoped to build an extension on the                                                      and the barriers to be overcome
                                             The Venture Trust: a residential trip to
existing hostel, creating a minimum                                                     – their work is vital to Swindon.”
                                             the North West Highlands of Scotland,
of 2 further bed spaces as well as                                                      Karen Taylor, Zurich Intermediary
                                             allowing participants to escape
expanding the services of our trained                                                   Group, Swindon
                                             the struggles of everyday life by
Substance Misuse Worker across all
                                             taking part in a variety of challenges:
projects to assist in supporting people
                                             canoeing, abseiling, hill walking,
right through the resettlement process
                                             conservation and construction.
not just at the beginning when the
                                             The Princes Trust: 4 residents enrolled
issues hamper the initial development
                                             on the Princes Trust programme. By
of progress and change. The balance of
                                             successfully completing the course
our surplus this year will be utilised for
                                             they have developed a number of skills
the extenstion once the transfers and
                                             such as group work, communication,
allocations have been made
                                             interview techniques and confidence
The charity thrives on the unique
                                             building; they also had to prepare
input and enthusiasm from both
                                             and give a presentation in front of
our service users and employees to
                                             an audience. The residents gained
develop services and processes that
                                             certificates in completing 100
create opportunity for change and
                                             hours of voluntary work, City and
meet the needs of those who the
                                             Guilds Food Hygiene, First Aid and
charity was set up to assist. We wish to
                                             Work Experience.
continue to encourage participation
                                             Decorating: to encourage pride in
of our residents in decisions about
                                             their home, learn some DIY skills and
their community and the services
                                             encourage team work the residents
within Threshold. We, in turn, will
                                             have started decorating the hostel.
use our influence and resources to
enable improved provision, services          Football: to encourage them and
and facilities that will meet individual     residents from other projects to
                                             continue in the participation of sport                                               THRESHOLD ANNUAL REVIEW – 2007/08
identified needs and those of the
wider local community and authority.         and good healthy competition a
                                             tournament was held between the
We will work in partnership with other
                                             different projects.
community groups, the private and
public sector to deliver services to the     Other planned activities include gorge
highest possible standard involving          walking, rock climbing and regular
service users wherever possible.             trips to areas of interest to broaden
                                             their knowledge of local environment,
We will create easily accessible services
                                             history and culture.
and communication pathways that
create efficient and effective working
                                    In the last 12 years the organisation has grown from a £350,000
                                    turnover to today’s staggering figure of £950,000.
                                    This has been achieved through             to our resettlement programmes.          Threshold Outreach Service
                                    being focussed on the unique               From here people are achieving           Over the year Threshold’s street
                                    selling points of the business and         independence quicker due to the          outreach worker’s have: enabled,
                                    only expanding services that meet          change in our approach to assisting      through negotiation, 31 people to
                                    actual need and are in demand;             and supporting our residents.            access Culvery Court, 19 people to
                                    closing services that have been            For the staff these changes have          access other hostel accommodation;
                                    duplicated or are no longer viable         meant more opportunities for them        12 people into private rented/B&B
                                    due to funding restraints or changes       to gain relevant experience with         accommodation, assisted access to
                                    in the market and economy. The             different client groups or specialties    specialist drug and alcohol support on
                                    fixed assets have increased to over         such as youth and substance misuse.      42 occasions. In addition to this, last
                                    £500,000 secured in property and                                                    year the Outreach Service has: enabled
                                                                               Our hostel accommodation provides
                                    the surpluses are reinvested into the                                               health treatment on 101 occasions,
                                                                               single bedrooms for all and this has
                                    established services thereby ensuring                                               facilitated claiming of benefits and
                                                                               had an enormous effect both in
                                    sustainability for the future.                                                      offered debt advice on 48 occasions.
                                                                               terms of integrity and privacy for the
                                    Resettlement and Hostel staff               users of the services. There has been    This has been a turbulent year
                                    (including Team Leaders) undertook         marked decrease in incidences of         for Threshold’s Outreach Service,
                                    the City & Guilds course “Supporting       violence and aggression and fewer        including a long period from July to
                                    the Development Needs of Homeless

                                                                               reports of damage to the building        December 2007, when there was no
                                    and Vulnerable People”. The training       itself. The hostels have shaped a        service at all. The goodwill that the
                                    created opportunities to challenge         culture that encourages mutual           previous team had built up in the
                                    and change individual attitudes and        respect which in turn has improved       street community greatly facilitated
                                    perceptions of the clients that they       the environment of the surroundings      the establishment of the new team.
                                    supported. The question that the           that people live and work in.
                                    course led staff to ask themselves was                                               The team attends the Broadgreen
                                    “Do we support homeless people or                                                   Breakfast Club regularly as this venue
                                    people who are homeless?”                                                           provides a daily, easily accessible
                                                                                                                        point of contact for people in need.
                                    Since this training and the change          “Do we support homeless                 The Wiltshire Law Centre, the Health
                                    of staff with a new rota that includes
                                    internal rotation across all services in
                                                                                people or people who are                Visitor for the homeless, a Swindon
                                                                                                                        Service Users Forum (for help with
                                    Threshold we have notice an increase               homeless?”                       drug problems) and a Community
                                    in our resettlement statistics with                                                 Psychiatric Nurse, all regularly attend
                                    more people positively moving on                                                    the Day Centre.

                                    from our direct access hostel and in
The Old Appleyard                          whilst taking illegal substances or        Through the process of Outcome
Received 37 referrals; of these 11 were    alcohol. Their key worker will assist      Monitoring introduced during the
from Culvery Court, 1 was from the         in a wide variety of areas, such           year, staff are able to make an initial
Substance Misuse Service and 1 was         as budgeting, problem solving,             formal assessment of an individual’s
self referral. Leavers: Threshold move-    cooking and cleaning. These subjects       requirements and through the provi-
on accommodation 4, return to family       will then form an Independent              sion of structured support are able to
& friends 1, private rented 2, withdrawn   Living Planner, which in turn will         present options for advancement to-
to Culvery Court 1, abandoned 2,           be used as part of the resident’s          wards independent living. At a point
asked to leave 6.                          nomination by Threshold for council        when a client decides to embrace
                                           accommodation.                             positive change we can move them
Invariably substance misuse issues                                                    on to other Threshold projects such as
are the most pressing problem. Each                                                   The Old Appleyard, Mullane House or
resident has only 6 months from the        Mullane House
                                                                                      one of the move-on houses.
date they move in, in which to reduce      New residents this year 20; occupancy
their drug use, arrange for substitute     rates over whole year 94%. Leavers:
medication and then stabilise on           Threshold move-on accommodation            Resettlement Team
that medication. To assist the other       3, other supported accommodation           New residents this year 25; occupancy
services the Substance Misuse              1, return to family & friends 2, private   rates over whole year 100% for men
Worker meets with each resident for        rented 2, withdrawn to Culvery Court       and 79% for women. Leavers: LA/HA
a minimum of 1 hour per week in a          1, abandoned 4 , asked to leave 6.         tenancy 10, private rented 1, support-
formal 1:1 setting, using Cognitive        Mullane House is a purpose-built           ed accommodation 2, return to family
Behaviour Therapy, and in an informal      project, owned by Sarsen Housing           & friends 2, withdrawn to Culvery
group setting where they discuss, in       Association, situated in a mixed           Court 2, abandoned 3, asked to leave 9.
turn, how their week has been, what        tenure estate. It can accommodate          The majority of those leaving for their
flashpoints or problems have arisen         6 young homeless people, male and          own tenancies accepted the offer of
and how they have coped.                   female, aged 16 to 21 years old, who       floating support and were sufficiently
During a resident’s stay they have         have endured an unsettled way of           self reliant for these contracts to be
the opportunity to learn how to relax      life to the extent that they need to       ended within the first 3 months.
in a normal household setting and          re address their social and life skills    Towards the end of the year,
to break contact from potentially          to enable them to attempt to live          the success of the resettlement
destructive friendships formed             independently.                             programme in its aim of
                                           The issues these young people tend         moving people into their own
                                           to have concerns with – drug issues,       accommodation was such that we
                                           alcohol issues, abuse, mental health       were forced to create a waiting-list
                                           issues and learning difficulties –           for the move-on accommodation
                                           means their resettlement programme         in the local community. The lack of
                                           can take much longer than at other         suitable tenancies put residents in
                                           resettlement projects.                     an indeterminate state until the new
                                           By receiving the Supporting People         financial year when the next round of
                                           Grant, we are able to offer a much          nominations could begin.
                                           higher level of support, providing         We were pleased to see an increase
                                           the fundamental skills necessary to        in the ethnic minorities accessing our
                                                                                                                                THRESHOLD ANNUAL REVIEW – 2007/08
                                           allow our residents to make the most       resettlement services. Threshold has
                                           of their opportunity to fulfil their        been working with external specialist
                                           potential and reach their goal             agencies to address language and
                                           of independence.                           cultural differences, in line with our
                                                                                      equal opportunities policy and the
                                                                                      result has been that several residents
                                           Culvery Court
                                                                                      of ethnic origin have worked through
                                           New residents 194; occupancy               their programme and have now
                                           rate over whole year 96%. Leavers:         settled into the community.
                                           Threshold move-on accommodation
                                                                                      They are making good neighbours,
                                           15, Threshold’s Old Appleyard 10,
                                                                                      integrated social contacts and
                                           Threshold’s Mullane House 13, other
                                                                                      positive contributions to their
                                           longer term supported housing 13,
                                                                                      new communities.
                                           private rented 20, return to family 6,
                                           Moved-in with friends 6, abandoned

                                           39, asked to leave 73.
                                    case studies                                                                                             Eric’s Story
                                                                                                                                             Eric had had a well-paid job in IT,
                                                                                                                                             rented accommodation and his
                                                                                                                                             own car.
                                    Mohammed’s Story                                                                                         After many years battling with alcohol issues, the
                                                                                                                                             pressures of life had taken their toll and Eric had
                                    Mohammed came to England from Sudan as an unregistered immigrant                                         started drinking very heavily. This pre-empted a
                                                                                                                                             slide which saw the loss of his job, eviction from
                                                                                                                                             his flat, destitution leading to sleeping rough
                                                                                                                                             under a bush for the summer.
                                                                                                                                             Eric turned up on our doorstep in August 2007,
                                                                                                                                             a dishevelled figure that had just been
                                                                                                                                             discharged from hospital after being attacked
                                                                                                                                             and hit on the head. After settling into Culvery
                                                                                                                                             Court, his key worker quickly set about
                                                                                                                                             supporting Eric and helping him get his life back
                                                                                                                                             on track. In the key work sessions, Eric told us he
                                                                                                                                             had wanted help in getting permanent housing,
                                                                                                                                             support with his alcohol issues, help with
                                                                                                                                             employment and training.
                                                                                                                                             We discussed many options on housing, such as
                                                                                                                                             private lettings, registering with the council and
                                    Mohammed had lived in Eritrea, and had worked       complex needs and communication issues,              looking on the internet. Eric started attending
                                    for the Government following national service in    which represented a considerable challenge.          SWADS (Swindon Wiltshire Alcohol Drugs
                                    the Armed Forces there. Due to political unrest     An internal referral to the Resettlement Team,       Services), from whom we obtained glowing
                                    and religious beliefs, Mohammed found himself                                                            reports of Eric’s willingness to engage with their
                                                                                        resulted in him being offered accommodation
                                    imprisoned and was detained in abhorrent                                                                 support. He also started doing voluntary work
                                                                                        in their Move On hostels following an interview.
                                    conditions.                                                                                              setting up all the computer systems for a charity
                                                                                        Mohammed undertook the resettlement
                                                                                                                                             shop, and was enjoying it immensely. We felt Eric
                                    His journey to the UK started when he escaped       programme with enthusiasm, but certain parts
                                                                                                                                             was engaging so well with the support offered
                                    from prison, made his way through Sudan, Italy,     of it he found very difficult due to language
                                                                                                                                             at Culvery Court and actively dealing with his
                                    France and eventually found his way to the UK.      difficulties, particularly written English.
                                                                                                                                             alcohol issues he would be a good candidate for
                                    On entering the UK, Mohammed was held in            With the help of the local community,                our Move On programme.
                                    a detention centre whilst his application for       Resettlement found an interpreter to help            We discussed this with him and he felt very
                                    asylum was considered by the Home Office.             during the keyworking sessions. Each week,           positive that this would be another goal for him
                                    Fortunately, he was given the status of an          the keyworker, Mohammed and his interpreter          to achieve. Eric and his key worker filled out the
                                    asylum seeker; he was granted support through       would sit down and work through the                  Move On application form and the Threshold
                                    the usual channels of the National Asylum           programme, translating and ensuring that             Resettlement Team offered Eric an interview. This
                                    Seeker Service (NASS), and he was dispersed         Mohammed got the best out of the information         went well and in November 2007 Eric moved
                                    by the Home Office to Swindon, where he was           being given to him. To help his English,             into one of Threshold’s three-bedroom houses.
                                    given temporary accommodation whilst his            Mohammed and his key worker went to the              Eric is today still there, attends SWADS and has
                                    application to become a refugee was being           local college and was able to gain a place for       been sober since August 2007. He still enjoys
                                    considered.                                         Mohammed on the English for Speakers of Other        working voluntarily at the charity shop and is
                                                                                        Languages course (ESOL), which Mohammed              looking to further his IT skills by doing some
                                    He was later granted refugee status and given
                                                                                        undertook with great zeal. Over time, there was      further training courses to update his expertise.
                                    limited leave to remain in this country. However,
                                                                                        a great improvement in his English, to the extent    His key worker is delighted to view Eric as one
                                    this was only the beginning of Mohammed’s

                                                                                        that the interpreter was gradually phased out of     of Threshold’s many success stories – but is
                                    problems. As is usual in these circumstances,
                                                                                        the key working sessions.                            never complacent, as we know only too well
                                    once Mohammed’s application had been
                                                                                        During his stay at Threshold, Mohammed               how easy it is for someone with such issues to
                                    successful, he was made homeless, as his right to
                                                                                        undertook voluntary work, helping others that        suffer a setback. But for Eric at least, the signs
                                    support from NASS ceased.
                                                                                        had been in the same situation as he. There was      are good, he has now been nominated for
                                    He found himself with nowhere to live. He                                                                his own tenancy with the Borough Council
                                                                                        a role reversal, which still continues, and he now
                                    turned up at Culvery Court, distressed and                                                               with the intention of keeping in touch with
                                                                                        translates for other people.
                                    anxious. It took a while before he even learned                                                          us at Threshold – an important aspect of his
                                    to trust the staff team; he found hostel life        Mohammed was nominated to the Borough                continuing rehabilitation.
                                    challenging, because he did not willingly           Council for his own tenancy. Through the
                                    interact with the other residents, and had to       resettlement programme Mohammed now
                                    be prompted by staff to attend to everyday           understands systems and processes required
                                    requirements such as eating and personal            to attain, sustain, maintain and retain a home
                                    hygiene. He was depressed and scared and            of his own in the UK. He can now help others
                                    considered himself outside of the eligibility       do the same. He now lives independently,
                                    criteria of local support services. Mohammed’s      and is looking for work and is a valuable and
                                                                                        purposeful member of the community.

                                    resettlement proved to be difficult due to his
Peter’s Story                                         Peter contacted Swindon College to enquire
                                                      after courses he might benefit from. They
                                                                                                             “What can I say about Threshold?
Peter came to Culvery Court in
October 2007 having been referred
                                                      referred him to Wessex Training, who had offered        They’ve put a smile back on
                                                      him the opportunity to attend a 13-week course
by Swindon Borough Council’s                          to further his education in Maths and English.         my face and given me a proper
homeless department.                                  He found this course very good for him, not only
                                                                                                             life – I couldn’t have done it
A local lad, he had felt forced to leave home         educating him but enhancing his sense of self-
after a long-running difficult, occasionally violent    worth and confidence.                                   without them.
relationship with his parents.                        It was apparent that with the progress he was
Having managed for several weeks sleeping             making, Peter was proving himself to be an ideal       Above all, my family can be
on sofas in friends’ houses until it was clear        candidate for Mullane House and so he applied          proud of me again. It’s largely
he was outstaying his welcome, he ended up            for the next vacancy. At the end of November he
sleeping rough. Like many young people finding         was offered a place in Mullane House.                   down to the support I’ve got
themselves homeless, having been taken care of        Peter had gradually developed the ambition
all their lives, Peter was not aware of the support
                                                                                                             from Threshold: people who
                                                      to work at Great Western Hospital, and it was a
available to him, or how to claim benefits.            major milestone for him when he was offered a           listen to me, don’t judge me,
So he was virtually starving and in need of           job as a hospital porter there.
care. Having been beaten up and robbed while
                                                                                                             don’t wind me up, but get me to
sleeping in one of the town centre car parks,                                                                talk about things and think
Peter learned to sleep rough in areas away            Alison’s Story                                         things through.
from the town centre. When he was once again          “I’d never even heard of Threshold
assaulted, and raped, he went to the Borough for
                                                      Housing Link, even though I’ve                         And if I can do it – so can you.”
help. They referred him to Culvery Court.
                                                      lived all my life in Swindon.
                                                      I can’t say how pleased I am I was put in touch        Tina,
                                                      with them. It became a real turning point in my        Wootton Bassett,
                                                      life. I’d previously been in and out of Swindon        Client of Threshold
                                                      Council accommodation, and had built up quite
                                                      a big debt with them that was worrying me. One
                                                      of my problems has been that I’m not really very
                                                      self-confident, and I’m a worrier, so it was a relief
                                                      to be given a key worker to help me.
                                                      Drug misuse has been the cause of so much
                                                      trouble and sadness in my life. For the last six
                                                      years I’ve been using drugs, mostly heroin and
                                                      crack. I’m not proud of it, but it was a great
                                                      escape from the dismal reality of my life – at
                                                      least at the beginning. Then it became a habit,
                                                      and of course I had to take more and more just
                                                      to be able to appear normal – so there’s no
                                                      pleasure in it any more, but you’re hooked. Not
                                                      taking it leaves you incapable of functioning, so
                                                      the downward spiral begins.
                                                      It was my probation officer who first made me
He was assigned a key worker who had
                                                      aware of Threshold. He arranged an interview,
regular meetings with him and conducted
                                                                                                                                                                   THRESHOLD ANNUAL REVIEW – 2007/08
                                                      and whilst it wasn’t easy trying to make sense of      Now I’m making good progress, I’ve started
a full assessment to ascertain his needs. His
                                                      what had happened in my life, my key worker            doing voluntary work. I’ve always wanted to
overwhelming priority was to find stable
                                                      helped me realise I should stop pointing the           do it. Again my key worker supported and
accommodation, followed by opportunities
                                                      finger at others, stop blaming drugs, and take          encouraged me, meeting once a week to set me
for further education. One result of his
                                                      responsibility for my own life.                        up with the courses and places I needed to go,
home difficulties had been the impact on
                                                      He knew what he was doing, seemed to                   to get qualified to do it properly.
his performance at school, and Peter had no
qualifications. With regards to accommodation          know all the possibilities out there, where to         Best of all, two years on, I’ve just been told I’ve
the key worker explained to him there may be          get help from, through different people and             been nominated for my own council flat. I can’t
a possibility to move to our Mullane House if         organisations. He got me to sort out my debts,         say how that makes me feel – I feel I’ve achieved
the staff felt he was a suitable candidate. Peter      organise my money and other affairs, and got            something huge. It may not seem much to
was also encouraged to look for private lets; this    me into a woman’s shared house managed                 ordinary people, but it’s the most I’ve managed
he did every week, but without success, which         by Threshold. Most of all, he helped build my          in my life. And the great thing is that, once I get
made him very dejected. He has since said that        confidence, start thinking more positively, and         my own flat, I can still come here to Threshold if
he found his regular sessions with his key worker     when those little doubts and thoughts sat in           I need to ask any questions or have any worries.
acted as a form of therapy, re-injecting his          the back of my mind, talking with him and other        That’s like one of those safety ropes –
positive outlook and optimism.                        staff helped me deal with my problems.                  I’m not on my own.
                                    chairperson’s report
                                    A charity is a unique type of organisation, one that has to balance
                                    the apparent conflicts between being business-like while
                                    fulfilling a humane mission: focussing on people not profits, but
                                    maintaining an efficient and effective organisation…

                                    …It is this balance that                  This year we have piloted a new            agencies signing up to one vision
                                                                              measuring system, based on self-           for our community, creating a multi-
                                    Threshold works hard to
                                                                              evaluation by clients with their key       agency framework to deliver
                                    achieve, and which presents               workers, which is now producing            the strategy.
                                    an unusual challenge to its               information that will be used to judge     There is a potential downside to this,
                                    people. At Threshold we are               our performance. We will use the           however, because the commissioning
                                                                              information to demonstrate successes,      for services to fulfil this vision could
                                    proud of our achievement
                                                                              celebrate achievements and improve         see the loss of some local voluntary
                                    of this balance, and of the               how we work, enabling Threshold            agencies providing services for local
                                    admirable results delivered               to become even more of a learning          people. Commissioning will be one of
                                                                              organisation.                              our biggest challenges in the years to

                                    week in, week out by our
                                                                              As well as demonstrating its ability       come, as economies of scale provided
                                    dedicated staff.
                                                                              to operate efficiently and effectively,       by larger national organisations will
                                    A further factor in this achievement is   Threshold continues to demonstrate         win through rather than smaller,
                                    that we constantly challenge ourselves    real vision and influential leadership.     local, quality services. Already many
                                    about what we can achieve with            We are looking to be involved at a         smaller organisations are discovering
                                    homeless people. The board remains        strategic level with the local authority   the manpower required to undertake
                                    proud of the innovation shown by the      and the last 12 months have seen           commissioning can be too great a call
                                    senior management team, and how           Threshold being involved at the            on their resources.
                                    prepared they are to evolve in order to   highest level with the formation of        We know that our line of work requires
                                    capture different types of outcomes        the new homelessness strategy for          commitment and education in order
                                    to meet the changes necessary             Swindon for 2008-2013 by chairing          for the organisation’s vision to be
                                    to enhance people’s lives and the         the forum of relevant agencies. This       achieved and that our staff are our

                                    community in which we operate.            has resulted in all the local homeless     greatest asset. This last year has been
testing for the staff team with staff        Two Trustees resigned this year, namely   Significant Activities
vacancies and absence due to illness of    Peter Alberry and David Line and we       The principal activities are the
experienced staff affecting morale and       would like to express our thanks to       operation of:
motivation at times. I am delighted to     them both for their contribution to
                                                                                       ● a Street Outreach Service;
report that the organisation has now       Threshold’s business during their time
                                                                                         supporting, assessing risk and
stabilised with the advent of some         with the charity. We also welcomed
                                                                                         need of those sleeping on
excellent new people, and we have a        two new people to the induction
                                                                                         the streets
full staff team that is eager, committed    period of becoming a trustee and it
                                                                                       ● a 20 bedded direct access hostel;
and ready for the challenges this          is hoped that both will be co-opted
                                                                                         supporting 20 residents each day
coming year will bring.                    within the year. The board remains at
Above all, though, Threshold is about      an acceptable level of seven members        ● 3 move-on resettlement hostels
Achievement through Action. The            but recruitment will continue to reach        for men; supporting up to 11
need to provide a balance between          a full compliment.                            residents each day
offering a value led service and a          I am pleased to chair a charity that,       ● a move-on resettlement hostel
financially competitive business has        now in its 36th year, continues to            for women; supporting 4
been a struggle and we are managing        move with the times, whilst still             residents each day
this by encouraging innovation             meeting the needs of the people we          ● a Substance Misuse 2nd stage
and a “doing more with less” stance        aim to serve, not what we think they          resettlement hostel; supporting
throughout the organisation,               need. The organisation continues              4 residents each day
saving money and resources. The            to perform well in an environment           ● 2 adjoined resettlement hostels
board has supported the plans and          that has high expectations regarding          for people between 16 and 21
ideas of the senior management             the focus of energies and resources.          years old; supporting 6 residents
team and welcomes a period of              It takes effort and determination to           each day
consolidation within the services and      remain in this position year on year
                                                                                       ● a home for life for older homeless
the development of staff training.          and I believe Threshold always rises to
                                                                                         men; supporting 5 residents
The “doing more with less” theme is        this challenge. Our ability to influence
                                                                                         each day
continuing through the introduction        change and have an impact on people
of staff rotation to build skill bases      comes directly from our perseverance
and enable succession planning             to provide quality services for
for the future.                            homeless people.
Core competence training will also
become a priority this year with
all new staff being encouraged to
complete their training within the first
12 months of their employment rather
than the current 18 months. Recruiting     Kieran Archer
and retaining people with skills and       Chairperson
                                                                                                                              THRESHOLD ANNUAL REVIEW – 2007/08
expertise has always been a challenge
for a charity such as Threshold and so
this year to have a staff stability rate
of 80% is commendable. The Trustees
express their thanks to the staff for all
their hard work; their dedication and
motivation is an inspiration to us all.
The board also needs to recruit
Trustees with both business skills and
compassion in order to create the right
mix, offering support and professional
governance to the day to running of

the charity.
                                    summary accounts
                                    Statement of Financial Activities Year ended 31st March 2008

                                          2007                                                                    2008
                                             £                                         Restricted       Designated       Unrestricted                Total
                                          Total                                            Funds             Funds             Funds
                                         888,761   Incoming resources                       71,286                  0             875,238        946,524

                                         837,402   Resources expended                       62,112                                778,325        840,437

                                          51,359   Net incoming resources                    9,174                  0              96,913        106,087

                                              0    Transfers – see note                                        12,069              -12,069               0

                                         365,981   Fund balances brought forward            15,551             22,180             379,609        417,340

                                         417,340   Fund balances carried forward            24,725             34,249             464,453        523,427

                                    Balance Sheet at 31st March 2008

                                          2007                                                        2008      These summarised accounts may not
                                                                                                                contain sufficient information to allow
                                              £                                                           £
                                                                                                                for a full understanding of the financial
                                         513,722   Fixed assets                                      504,312
                                                                                                                affairs of the charity. For further
                                         218,964   Current assets                                    282,528    information the full annual accounts,
                                                                                                                the auditors’ report on those accounts
                                        -122,338   Less current liabilities                          -90,530    and the Trustees’ Annual Report should
                                                                                                                be consulted: copies of these can be

                                          96,626   Net current assets                                191,998
                                                                                                                obtained from the charity’s offices at
                                                                                                                Wade House, Queen Street, Swindon.
                                        -193,008   Creditors due after more than one year        -172,883
                                                                                                                Or alternatively you may request a
                                         417,340                                                     523,427    copy by sending an email to:

                                          15,551   Restricted funds                                   24,725

                                         379,609   Unrestricted funds                                464,453

                                          22,180   Designated funds                                   34,249

                                         417,340                                                     523,427
financial review
Reserves policy                           Charitable Trusts and Foundations         As part of the annual audit the
In line with Charity Commission           account for 7% (2007 - 13%), donations    Auditors, in their management letters
Guidance (Charities Reserves CC19)        and membership fees 1% (2007 - 1%)        to the Trustees, identify any areas
the Trustees are aware of the need        and other fundraising activities 2%       where controls need revising. These
to secure the viability of Threshold      (2007 - 2%). Net Income and Resources     items are fully discussed, acted upon
Housing Link beyond the immediate         increased by £100,000 due to              and minuted by the Board of Trustees.
future therefore, the Trustees have set   increased SPG and rental income.          The Charity plans continuing normal
up a Reserves Fund:                       Expenditure during the year               activities in the forthcoming year,
1. To provide reliable and continuous     has continued to support the              with the aim of increasing income
service over the longer term; Threshold   organisations four key objectives.        to support the two services that are
must be able to absorb setbacks           (please see overleaf ).                   under threat of closure due to funding
and take advantage of change and          The overall results for the year          depletion.
opportunity. Accordingly, an amount       produced a surplus of £106,087 (2007:     Strategically Threshold will develop
equivalent to three months’ total         £51,359) before transfers to reserves     growth targets to meet identified need
operating expenses should be accrued      and major repairs fund as per policy      and close gaps in service provision. It
as Reserves and held as Unrestricted      were undertaken. The surplus/free         is our aim over the next three years to
Funds. Threshold needs to increase the    reserves covers only 2.7 months           consolidate our services and income,
reserves level by at least £34,000 to     essential overhead costs; as stated
                                                                                    generate greater support both locally
meet policy requirements.                 earlier to be in line with the reserves
                                                                                    and nationally from funding sources
2. Potential costs that may not be        policy a further £34,000 has to be
                                                                                    and secure commissions from the
covered by anticipated income during      generated.
                                                                                    Local Authority for services that meet
the next financial year are recovered      Assets include £500,000 of property       the new Homelessness Strategy 2008-
from Unrestricted Funds.                  in unrestricted funds. Tangible           2013
Funds held                                fixed assets are down due to
                                                                                    A number of things need to be in
                                          increased expenditure and property
At 31 March 2008 reserves totalled                                                  place to enable us to achieve our
£523,427 (2007: £417,340), this is made                                             ambitions for Threshold:
up of unrestricted funds of £464,453      In the year 97% of expenditure was
                                                                                    ● investment in senior management:
(2007: £379,609); designated funds        attributable to direct charitable costs
                                                                                    currently the organisation is too
£34,249 (2007: £22,180) and restricted    and 3% to Governance.
                                                                                    dependant on just two key people
funds of £24,725 (2007: £15,551).         Risk management                           with 38 years experience between
Principal funding sources and             The Board of Trustees have identified      them
results for the year                      and assessed the major risks to which     ● Extend our properties – using           THRESHOLD ANNUAL REVIEW – 2007/08
The principal sources of net income is    the charity is exposed, in particular     the property turndown as a timely
the Supporting People Grant which is      those relating to operations and          opportunity to invest or extend
a grant from Central Government that      finances, and are satisfied that systems
                                                                                    ● More active fund-raising, and raising
is administered by the Local Authority    are in place to manage those risks.
                                                                                    resources in the form of corporate
and which accounts for approximately      Under the risk management policy,         sponsorship, skills supply and
50% (2007 - 49%). Further to this,        potential risks to the organisation are   employee volunteering
accommodation charge income               identified and reviewed regularly.
                                                                                    ● Seek more robust government
accounts for 40% (2007 - 35%),            A risk management report is also a
                                                                                    funding – national and local
                                          standing item for Board of Trustee
                                          meetings.                                 ● Build a strong, long-term Board of
                                                                                    Trustees with a balance of skills
                                    financial review
                                    2007|2008 continued…
                                    OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES                     STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES 2008|09            3. Maintain financial stability by means
                                    Objectives & Aims                             Our four main objectives are to:        of a robust funding strategy and
                                                                                                                          sound management of our financial
                                    The Memorandum and Articles of                1. Ensure our service provision
                                    Association state that the principal          responds to service user needs,
                                    objects for which the charitable              resourced by optimum levels of            To achieve this we need to:
                                    company is established are:                   appropriately skilled staff.               ● analyse and evaluate recent
                                    The relief of poverty, hardship, sickness       To achieve this we need to:               income trends
                                    and old age in particular persons who:          ● identify opportunities for            ● identify predictable income
                                    a. by reasons of mental and physical              development                             sources
                                       infirmity are unable to fulfil their           ● prioritise education and              ● identify indicators likely to affect
                                       duties as citizens or their obligations        workforce planning                      specific funding streams
                                       to employers; or                             ● consider capacity issues and key      ● explore new partnership
                                    b. are homeless, ex-offenders and                  growth areas                            opportunities for joint working
                                       those with substance misuse issues         2. Provide a high quality, reliable         arrangements
                                       and/or addictions.                         service through the exercise of           ● maintain tight control of
                                    Strategic Vision Statement                    sound governance, meeting all of our        expenditure consistent with
                                    Our vision at Threshold is to be              statutory and charitable obligations.       agreed spending priorities
                                    a leading provider and centre                   To achieve this we need to:             ● demonstrate that all planned
                                    of excellence for supported                     ● revise and review our staff              expenditure is underpinned by
                                    accommodation for the single                      policies and staff handbook              “value for money” principles
                                    homeless. We aspire to provide the
                                                                                    ● review our supervision and          4. Agree our future direction in
                                    highest quality service, which is
                                                                                      appraisal system                    relation to service development and
                                    responsive, flexible and needs led.
                                                                                    ● introduce a strategy for staff       performance. In light of the evidence
                                    Statement of Values                                                                   we have, our considerations will
                                    We believe in a philosophy of support                                                 focus on:
                                                                                    ● plan future workforce
                                    that respects the choice of the
                                                                                      requirements                          ● the future of the Old Appleyard &
                                    individual in their accommodation
                                                                                    ● build upon current risk                 Mullane House Projects
                                    and life style choice. It is our aspiration
                                                                                      management processes                  ● developing future funding
                                    to ensure that people will be treated
                                    with dignity and respect whilst
                                    with Threshold services. We are an

                                    organisation committed to supporting
                                    those facing challenging and difficult
                                    times in their life. We provide highly
                                    skilled, professional support, practical
                                    help and welfare advice to service
                                    users. Accommodation and support
                                    is provided through partnership
                                    agreements with statutory bodies,
                                    contributions from service users and
                                    by independent fundraising.
thank you…                                                                                                                                                                                                                tha·nks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Express gratitude
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hold responsible
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             3.   Credit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             4.   Appreciation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Threshold is a million-pound
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          turnover business, with up to 1000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          clients each year requiring a dazzling
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          array of assistance, based on as many
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          personal issues as there are clients.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As a charity Threshold could not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          deliver a fraction of its results without
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the input, assistance, expertise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          and compassion of a wide variety
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          of people:
                                                        R J & P A M ar tin The
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To all of these heroes, who provide
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the mulch and the water to help
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          our seedlings nurture and grow,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          especially those we weren’t able to         THRESHOLD ANNUAL REVIEW – 2007/08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          include here, go our heartfelt thanks,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          and the gratitude of our clients
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          whose lives have been improved and,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          in some cases, literally saved by your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          generosity of spirit.
                                    thank you…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             “I am so grateful for Threshold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Housing Link and the incredible
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           commitment of their team and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           supporters in caring for the homeless.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           It is a work close to the heart of Christ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           and I have seen first hand what a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           difference it makes to those who
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           believed there was no-one who could
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           help them.”
                                                 Swindon Salv
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Head Office                           Governance                            Bankers
Threshold Housing Link              Memorandum and Articles of            The Co-Operative Bank
37-39 Queen Street                  Association - reviewed and            4/5 Regent Circus
Swindon                             updated 2006                          Swindon SN1 1UG
SN1 1RN                             Patrons                               Auditors
                                    James Arkell                          Monahans
Tel: 01793 524661                   Anne Snelgrove MP                     38-42 Newport Street
Fax: 01793 485915                   Rt. Rev’d Liam Slattery RC Dean of    Swindon SN1 3DR
Email:    Swindon
Web:                                                       Solicitors
                                    Trustees (at March 31 2008)           Lemon & Co.
Constitution                        Kieran Archer (Chairman)              34 Regent Circus
Company Limited by Guarantee,       Elizabeth Holding (Company            Swindon SN1 1PY
Registered at Cardiff, No. 1926938   Secretary)
Registered Charity No. 1017599      Bruce Oliver                          FullagarBrooks
                                    Nigel Henham                          4 Cricklade Court
                                    Wayne Mitchell                        Swindon SN1 3EY

                                    Senior Management Team                Trustees Appointment
                                    Cher Sawyer                           Recruitment via personal introduction,
                                    (Business Development Director)       REACH, advertisements – Informal
                                    Phil Smith                            introduction to the Chairperson of the
                                    (Operations Director)                 Board, introduction to the full Board
                                                                          of Trustees and Senior Management
                                                                          Team, full application form completed,
                                                                          skills matrix completed, 2 references
                                                                          secured, CRB check completed,
                                                                          3 months observation, visits to
                                                                          projects and services, Conflict of
                                                                          Interest declarations, registration
                                                                          with Companies House and Charities

                                                                             Threshold Organisational

                                                                                    Board of Trustees

                                                                               Senior Management Team
                                                                             Business Development Director
                                                                                  & Operations Director

                                                                          Finance and             Hostels and
                                                                         Administration            Services
 get involved!

        This Review sets out to show what a charity can achieve
             when it is run like a business and benefits from so
       much assistance from so many people and organisations.
         If you have been touched by the plight of the homeless
      in Swindon, and the personal tragedies that lie behind each
  statistic, there are so many ways for you to help make a difference.
     Our website gives details of the things you can offer, from very
   simple donations of unwanted furniture and household goods to
        companies offering sponsorship. Making cash donations
        was never easier with Quickdonate – and your donation
                 qualifies for Gift Aid giving us even more.