About Fusion Housing
We are a non-profit making charity working to help individuals who are experiencing housing related problems and need support with learning and employment.
Fusion Housing was created in 2010 but its roots in Kirklees go back much further. Fusion Housing grew out of the joining of SHAP which supported young people to be able to successfully maintain and keep their tenancies, and CHAS who’s basis in Kirklees was providing housing advice.
As the organisation has grown the services we provide has developed. Currently we run:
- A range of Housing Support services for young people across Kirklees, including Young Parents, Refugees and Asian Women.
- A Bond Guarantee service to help individuals that do not have children, and on low income and who are in band C/D/E with the council to secure a private rented property in the Kirklees area (subject to meeting our criteria and background checks)
- A Managed Tenancy service that provides tenancies in shared accommodation let directly by Fusion Housing to clients aged 18 to 35 years old.
- An Advice and Specialist Legal Advice service helping with Housing matters and representation at Housing Possession hearings in the county court.
- A range of informal and accredited learning opportunities, information, advice and guidance to support young people into education, employment and training.
- A Food Bank service based in our offices in Dewsbury and serving the North Kirklees area.
All of our services are non-judgemental, open to a diverse community and have been designed with your needs in mind. If you need help you can access our services through our drop in service, calling us, emailing us, or ask an existing worker to refer to us if you are involved with other agencies.
Welcome to Fusion Housing.
Meet the Fusion Housing Team
My work history has four main components: one is that for most of my working life I have worked directly with or managed organisations working with young people; secondly I’ve been able to integrate my interest in community politics into my working life; thirdly I’ve been able to influence the way organisations work aiming for a democratic and participative structure and lastly apart from a couple of years I’ve been able to work in the voluntary sector, a sector which suits me and I it.
My first job after training as a teacher was on a decorating project for disengaged young people with Bradford Council, a job I enjoyed and one in which I could use my teaching experience without working in a school, an environment I decided wasn’t right for me.
This was followed by five years with Leeds Council for Voluntary Service, firstly running courses for young people who for various social and emotional reasons were at a disadvantage when trying to access education, employment or training. My job was to help increase their confidence and self esteem so that they were better prepared and stronger in the competitive market. I then became the Staff Training Officer.
After this I went to work at Leeds Housing Concern as their Staff Support Co-ordinator during which time I accepted a year long acting Directors post, it was at this job I developed my interest in housing.
From there I went to Sheffield for a job in tenant participation, a very challenging position and one where I learnt a lot about negotiation and compromise working with councils and tenants groups across Yorkshire.
In 1993 I came to work at SHAP as the Manager, I had six colleagues then and the organisation provided accommodation and intensive support to 30 young people in Kirklees. I now have 90 colleagues and we provide various services in Kirklees, Wakefield and Calderdale. I still enjoy my work and believe that our staff really do make a positive difference to people’s lives. – Helen Minett, Director of Fusion Housing
Fusion Housing has its foundations firmly rooted in providing Housing Support to some of the most vulnerable members of the community. Our Support Service started with 6 members of staff in 1991 when we were SHAP and has grown employ 17 workers as the organisation has evolved into Fusion Housing.
We have continually worked to the beliefs and values that have allowed us to provide you with an individual and person centered service.
- We work with a non-judgmental attitude towards all the young people who access our services
- We respect and encourage diversity,
- We ensure a high quality of service
- We promote to equality of access to our services and promote a democratic approach to the running of Fusion.
Many of our staff have been working with us for a number of years and fully believe in the importance of the work that we do. They are committed to helping you make a positive change in you life and thrive on supporting you to reach your goals and succeed in your future.
Our Advice Team is currently made up of 11 members of staff providing specialist independent housing advice across Kirklees. The teams range from housing options workers to fully qualified Housing Law solicitors to assist you with a levels of housing problems.
Our hardworking, determined team will work with you to identify, challenge and resolve your housing issues. We aim to prevent homelessness and try to keep your home secure for you and your family.
Head of Housing Services“I am responsible for all of our current Housing Support Services at Fusion, and developing new ones, to make sure we are meeting the needs of people in Kirklees. I really enjoy working at Fusion as we have such a great staff team who are committed to providing the best service that we can. I think one of the best things we do is our Client Involvement Groups where clients can tell us what they think and have the opportunity to be on Recruitment Panels for new staff.”
Housing Advice“I have worked for Fusion for around 20 years in different roles. I have worked in the Housing Support Teams, as Housing Support Worker across a range of services, including our Refugee Housing Support service , and a as Team Leader. More recently I’ve been involved in setting up our frontline services in Huddersfield and Dewsbury following the physical merger of our organisations. I currently work in our Housing Advice Team. I have enjoyed working in different roles, with the wide variety of people and circumstances that I come across. I like working with people to improve their situations/lives, and it’s really great to see what people with lots of barriers can achieve with a helping hand”.
Head of Advice Services
It has been quite a journey…
As an unemployed Huddersfield graduate I was looking for something to do and help me get some experience needed to improve my chances of a job. It was clear that a degree in Geography was not going to open any doors for me.
I took the plunge and went to see Kirklees Volunteer Bureau and an opportunity at a small local charity caught my eye – CHAS (Community Housing Advice Service). Little did I know that this would trigger a 30 year career in advice work. 1984/5 was the turning point when I progressed from volunteer to paid employment with CHAS via what was then called the Community Programme to assist claimants off benefits. Within 9 months I was living in Newbury in Berkshire and working for Shelter as a Housing Adviser.
The lure of the north was however too great, CHAS had secured grant aid funding from Kirklees Council for the first time and I applied to be a housing adviser. So I came back to Huddersfield in 1988 – more experienced and a little wiser. From there I progressed to a Senior Adviser role and then to Managing the Advice Service.
The organisation has continued to evolve with the introduction of Legal Aid Contracting (and its recent reform) and development of quality assured legal advice, the setting up of SHAP (Single Homeless Accommodation Project) – providing support and learning services – and creation of Kirklees Bond Bank to help homeless clients access private rented accommodation.
SHAP became a highly successful organisation independent of CHAS and all came full circle in 2010 with different specialisms of these services now together as part of Fusion Housing. I am proud to have been a part of the journey and could not have imagined all those years ago an organisation would exist where clients could access the range of services we have available.
Many staff have come on gone over the years but all have played their part in achieving what we have today.
Learning and Employment Team
Fusion Learning and Employment is a small team of workers dedicated to helping people in Kirklees get back into learning, education and jobs. The team grew out of the Inroads partnership which was formed in 1998 and has been delivering workshops, courses, work clubs and advice and guidance ever since.
Our team have a flexible approach to learning and employment which supports your individual needs. Most of the people we help are, have been homeless or are in housing need. They may also be facing other issues. We have developed a range of employment and learning options to promote engagement with education, to develop interpersonal and independent living skills and to get you ready for work. Our team provides additional support to help you move onto other services when you are ready.
Finance and Admin Team
The Finance and Administration team are an essential back-up service for the organisation playing a key role in the development of policy, health and safety, IT and financial security and stability amongst the day to day tasks of personnel and administration functions. I have worked with the organisation for over thirteen years and I have seen our services develop and adapt through an ever changing political and financial climate. Whatever challenges come our way we are always present in ensuring equality for the benefit of our client group.
Finance & Administration Manager
Initial Contact Team
If you are calling us, emailing us or accessing our drop in sessions to ask for advice and support then our Initial Contact staff will be the people that you see or speak to first. They are experts in assessing and dealing with your initial enquiries and problems. They will signpost you to the right specialist team that can work with you to resolve your issues.
The team understand that your situation can often be confusing, stressful and upsetting and work hard with you to manage your problem as quickly and simply as possible. The team offer a flexible service that is open to all individual over the age of 16 in the Kirklees area.
Fusion Housing Kirklees Ltd provides housing advice, housing support services, learning opportunities and a recycling service to people in Kirklees.
We need new Trustees with an interest in and knowledge of our work who can bring their experience and skills into our organisation to enable us to provide an accessible, effective and appropriate service to our clients.
The Fusion Board meets once a month on a Monday evening for approximately 2 hours and plays a key role in the following areas: ratifying policy and strategy, employment issues, financial accountability and control, review and evaluation.
We are committed to providing a supportive environment to our diverse workforce and wish our Board to reflect this.
Fusion Housing has a commitment to safeguarding children and adults at risk and endeavours to ensure that all its practices and procedures reflect this. Every aspect of service delivery is assessed to ensure that any risks are minimised and controlled. Full details of these are contained in our Safeguarding Children and Adults Policy.
If you are interested in becoming a Trustee please complete Trustee Application Form.