Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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I say, I say...

June 06 2010
Join the SHIEN network and make yourself heard
Scottish Homelessness Involvement & Empowerment Network (SHIEN) recognises the importance of having your say, and supports and promotes service user involvement in homelessness services across Scotland.

The network is free to join for individuals and organisations, so people can keep up to date with upcoming events and find the best way of making sure their voices are heard.

Established in 2008, the network is supported by the Scottish Government and facilitated by Glasgow Homelessness Network. Over 400 people and organisations have joined the network, and include service users, managers, frontline staff, and decision makers.

Sometimes, the importance of service user involvement is not recognised in services, and is either seen as using up vital resources or an irritating form-filling requirement. Very often, responsibility can be an addition to an already very chronic workload. By bringing together people who have had positive experiences of service user involvement and by offering easy guidelines getting started, SHIEN helps services understand the benefits of service user involvement and share good practice.

The network supports service user involvement by hosting free events in local areas, bringing together service users, frontline staff, decision makers and managers to discuss local problems and try and find solutions. Events were held in Aberdeen and Stirling last year, to generate ideas on how to improve services. One example was a booklet about a residential service produced by its young users, which was given to them at their first appointment. Another was from an individual who had been sleeping rough, who started volunteering and ended up leading the project which had helped him settle in his own home.

The Resource Exchange website provides information on all events, and encourages people to pass on useful information. It also includes tips to improve service user involvement.