Transforming Communities Together Who we are What we do Places of Support Blogs Get in touch Developing a ‘Community of Practice’ for groups supporting the homeless 13 people from groups across Walsall and wider attended our first meeting to explore the benefits of groups tackling homelessness in the borough working together. We are working with Homeless Link, a national charity, and locally with YMCA Black Country. One of the Homeless Link staff members explained to the group that a ‘Community of Practice’ is: * For pulling together ideas and good practice with the aim of creating change. * For sharing knowledge. * Solutions focused - asking ‘what can we do together?’ * Changing our knowledge and skills. * A safe venue to listen and receive feedback, tips etc. * For learning about what hasn’t worked. * Learning from other area and national work. * For innovation and trying out small changes. * Led by the group - what do groups feel main issues and problems. Examples of good practice included: * In Birmingham, the COP is upskilling groups and doing welfare rights training. * In Stoke - exploring how the Care Act relates to homelessness. * In Wolverhampton- focusing on Women’s homelessness. Comments from the group on the idea of a Community of Practice included: * “It gives us strength in numbers”. * “It helps us to coordinate and prevent duplication”. * “If the council could see voluntary groups working together, the council would start to listen more.” * “Ensuring everyone can get food and support” We look forward to future meetings and more groups joining.