Wales homeless partnership wins top award

12 November 2015

Llamau KTP awards

A pioneering partnership which has helped improve the lives of homeless young people in Wales has won a UK ‘Best of the Best’ award

Representatives from Cardiff University and leading homeless charity Llamau received the Research Council UK Societal Benefit Award 2015.

The ceremony in London, hosted by Innovate UK, celebrated the very best Knowledge Transfer Partnerships across the UK to mark the 40th year of KTPs.

Llamau provide supported accommodation, education and training to homeless young people and vulnerable women in Wales. They teamed up with Cardiff University after discovering research exploring mental health issues among vulnerable young people.

Awarded a three year KTP grant by Innovate UK, Welsh Government and the Economic and Social Research Council, the project translated research into practice, helping Llamau to improve services for the most vulnerable young people in Wales.

The researchers developed screening techniques to help Llamau staff identify 'at risk' warning signs and deliver better support services to young people. Cardiff's researchers helped the charity improve its assessment and monitoring procedures and develop better staff training, which in turn has helped young homeless people develop skills to live independently and reach their potential.

Dr. Katherine Shelton, School of Psychology, said: “Collaborating with Llamau to translate our research into practice has been incredibly rewarding for the staff and students involved, and this RCUK award is the icing on the cake. We are absolutely delighted and plan to continue to work together to raise awareness of the mental health needs of vulnerable young people.”

Sam Austin, Operational Director & Deputy Chief Executive, Llamau, added: “It is an absolute honour to have won this award. I see the impact of the research on a daily basis through staff using the mental health and wellbeing questionnaire to fully support a young person and access appropriate services, informing our mental health training and citing it in tenders and grant applications to emphasise our expert knowledge and added value.  The KTP has allowed us to forge an ongoing and successful partnership with Cardiff University.”

The award was presented to Dr Katherine Shelton (School of Psychology), Sam Austin (Llamau), and Kate Hodgson (KTP Associate).