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Barca-Leeds is a community organisation formed in West Leeds in the 1990s.

Barca deliver the Engage Leeds service in the West North West of the city, and also offer a city-wide specialism in supporting people with Complex Needs. A person is allocated to a Complex Needs Worker when high levels of complexity and need are identified at the initial referral stage.

‘Complex Needs’ is defined as having significant issues within four areas:

  • drug or alcohol dependency
  • homelessness
  • offending
  • mental health

An assessment tool is used to assess and quantify the level of support needed for each individual. This ensures their need is sufficiently great as to require a Complex Needs Worker and to measure progress while in support.

Complex Needs Workers work alongside the allocated Housing Support Workers [HSW] and Assistant Housing Support Workers as well as linking with other specialist workers across Engage Leeds to ensure clients receive all the support they require.

The Complex Needs Workers host regular help and advice sessions for colleagues and provide advice on for individual cases that may not need ongoing Complex Needs Worker support.

The Complex Needs Workers also liaise and work closely with other agencies across the city such as Forward Leeds, WYFI and Offender Managers to ensure the city is offered a seamless journey of support for its citizens with complex needs.

Riverside Care and Support have over 100 years history of providing housing support and services for the homeless in Leeds.

Riverside deliver the Engage Leeds service in the South of the city from bases at Bracken Court and Ladybeck House. They also lead on the Peer Support, Mentoring and Volunteering element of the Engage Leeds service.

By training and supporting volunteers to befriend and mentor people being supported by Engage Leeds, we create the opportunity for people to ‘give something back’ and put their lived experience to positive use. It is possible for people to progress from being supported by Engage Leeds, to volunteering as a peer mentor, becoming a trainee on the service and on to employment as a Housing Support Assistant or Worker.

Interested in volunteering with Engage Leeds? Visit the Volunteering page.

Connect Housing Association is based in Harehills. Across West Yorkshire, Connect provide over 3000 homes. Connect deliver the Engage Leeds service in the East North East area of the city, and also offer a city-wide service supporting people with dementia.

Using their specialist skills, knowledge and expertise of supporting people affected by memory problems, Connect’s team of Dementia Housing Support Workers work with people at risk of homelessness. The aim to support individuals to live independent and fulfilling lives for as long as possible, but when necessary Support Workers can also work with people and their families / carers to make informed choices about their future housing, care and support needs. Connect’s team are Dementia Friends trained and understand the very difficult challenges faced by someone with Dementia. A formal diagnosis of Dementia is not essential to receive support from the Dementia team as we recognise that many individuals with early symptoms may need support to seek a diagnosis and engage with other professionals.

Connect’s Dementia Support Workers can work alongside GP’s, Memory Nurses and other health professionals, specialist housing providers, Social Work teams and a range of voluntary agencies such as Age UK and local Neighbourhood Network schemes to support clients to be safe and well in their home and connected to appropriate services that can offer ongoing care and support.

GIPSIL has been providing housing-related support to young people, particularly in East Leeds for 25 years.

GIPSIL provides the ‘hub’ for the Engage Leeds service from the Support Centre at Woodfield Court, Gipton. This is where all referrals are received and assessed.

The first priority is to tackle the immediate issues which may lead to someone becoming homeless, whether by providing ‘triage’ advice, or by signposting to is to provide advice and signposting to relevant services and agencies. If longer-term support is needed, the Hub team will assess the person’s needs and allocate them to the appropriate Engage Leeds area and specialism for support.

GIPSIL also provides the specialist Advice, Employment and Engagement service within Engage Leeds across all three areas of the city. ‘Opportunity Shops’ are enhanced work clubs. As well as traditional work club services - such as access to IT, internet and email, and assistance with CVs and job applications - Opportunity Shops enable people to sample opportunities which will move them closer to employment, such as volunteering, work experience and apprenticeships.

Opportunity Shops are held weekly in community venues across the city: see the Advice, Employment and Engagement page for more details.