Our year in review: Settle's 2022-23 Impact Report
This is our Chair and Chief Executive’s introductory statement:
This year, Settle has continued to grow its impact whilst navigating the challenges of the Cost of Living Crisis.
This marked the first year of our three year strategy. Our 2022-25 strategy sets out how we plan to significantly reduce the number of young people who become homeless after leaving care and we have made good progress against our bold objectives.
We increased our reach and impact significantly this year. We supported 167 young people through The Settle Programme which is the most we’ve supported in our history and a 16% increase from the previous year. Whilst increasing our reach we are proud to have maintained the high quality of our work. Indeed, 97% of Programme graduates have sustained their tenancies this year, 92% feel more in control of their lives and those in rent arrears have reduced their arrears by an average of £959.
It can be hard to capture the life changing impact of our work in numbers but we’ve helped young people achieve some remarkable things this year.
A frontline staff member supported one young person to claim a life-changing £20,000 of backdated disability payments. One young person stated that after accessing our mental health service, ‘I’ve learnt that I can live with what’s going on in my head, mental health wise, which is nice because I never thought I’d be able to cope with it.’ These are just two stories from the many young people we supported that help illustrate why what we do is so important.
In order to increase our reach we have expanded our existing partnerships and developed new partnerships with local authorities and housing associations. We are pleased that 15% of London’s local authorities have now adopted our model to prevent their young people leaving care from becoming homeless.
This year we launched our Alumni Programme and appointed our first Alumni Officer to provide ongoing support to our growing community of Graduates with employment, education and training and social opportunities. We also significantly increased the amount of direct financial and mental health support we provided to young people to support them through the Cost of Living Crisis. We provided £25,949 of emergency grants for young people and mental health support through therapeutic counselling which is a 113% increase on the last year.
To support this growth in impact we’ve developed the organisation across a number of key areas. We appointed an external evaluator, Rocket Science, to evaluate our work over the next 3 years and ensure we are continuously learning and improving our work. We also strengthened our governance by completing our first external governance review. This was carried out by Digiboard and we were pleased their report scored us 5.9 out of 7 and found that Settle is performing ‘Very Well’ across their four focus areas: Purpose, Governance, Reputation and Income Generation. Finally, we recruited an additional two trustees, a Programme Graduate and a Treasurer, to add new skills and experience to our Board.
Building a diverse and inclusive organisation that values lived experience is one of our strategic objectives and we are pleased with the progress we made this year. We’re proud that 33% of our board has lived experience of the care system which ensures this experience is represented at all levels of the organisation.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the individuals, trusts and foundations who give so generously to Settle. We are grateful to our loyal supporters and partners who have continued to stand with us over the last year.
With youth homelessness increasing last year and young people bearing the brunt of the cost of the economic downturn, our work is more vital than ever. We are determined to meet this growing need and ensure young people can build the stable foundations they need to move forwards with their lives.