Mayday welcomes Alex Fox OBE as new CEO

Mayday is excited to announce the appointment of Alex Fox OBE as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), joining the team in early 2022.

Alex brings considerable experience and joins Mayday from Shared Lives Plus, a UK membership charity for more than 6,000 Shared Lives carers, 150 Shared Lives schemes and a growing network of over 25 local Homeshare organisations. Shared Lives is one of the few strengths-based, person-led adult social care approaches to have scaled up to be truly UK-wide, reaching 15,000 people.

During Alex’s career he has welcomed and embraced systems change and strength-based working. He has been proactive in learning from people who use services and in 2018 published a book, Escaping the Invisible Asylum, which calls for a radical change in the relationships between people and the services and institutions within the Social Care sector. Alex is also Vice Chair of Think Local, Act Personal, a national partnership supporting the personalisation of care and support and a senior visiting fellow at Birmingham University. Having led a government review of health and care charities, he recently featured Mayday’s work in Meeting as Equals, a Royal Society of Arts/ National Council of Voluntary Organisations report on building ‘asset-based’ charities.

Alex takes over Mayday’s systems change mission from Pat McArdle, who led the organisation from 2010, before stepping down in August of this year.

Alex said: “Over the years, I’ve admired Mayday’s work and heard my inspirational predecessor Pat McArdle speak about the radical path that Mayday has taken. Mayday is one of only a few charities that I’ve seen truly live its radical values and be willing to be led by what people really want. Mayday has developed an approach to supporting people going through tough times which works, and which has the potential to reach thousands and transform a system which is broken for too many people. I’m excited to be joining such a unique a creative team of activists.”

Julie McEver, Chair of Mayday said: “The Board is thrilled to have been able to appoint Alex as CEO. We look forward to welcoming Alex and supporting him to evolve the work of Mayday and drive the mission forward.”

For more from Alex about joining the Mayday team please read his latest blog, Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk

Change

I recently hit the milestone of 10 years at Mayday and I have come to accept that there may not be the ‘homeless revolution’ I had once envisioned. That’s fine. My time at Mayday has taught me that my view is one of many and the direction to challenge the failing homeless system needs to be led by people who are experiencing it, who are often trapped within it and who want to act.

We may be lacking a revolution, but I’m happy to have seen the start of a gradual acceptance in the sector that current systems are not working for people and might be a contributing factor to why so many people remain in services for so long. However, I do question whether the sector and the public recognise the true extent to which this is real, but the fact that a tiny door has opened to allow for greater awareness and maybe even change, can only be good news.

On that positive note and to coincide with the theme of change, it is time for me to officially share that I will be stepping down as CEO of Mayday in August. It’s no secret that Mayday has been through some big changes since I took on the role in 2011. I don’t feel the term ‘organisational transformation’ does the years of uncomfortable realisations, challenges and learning, justice.

I’m leaving an organisation that is courageous, passionate and embraces opportunities to learn. An organisation that is led by its mission and the people it works alongside. I do not doubt that this collective of activists will continue to go against the grain, challenge the status quo and strive for a system that works for people going through tough times.

For me, I have no intention of giving up on my activism, so this isn’t a goodbye, more of a see you later!

x Pat

Mayday Trust launches the Personal Transitions Service

Mayday Trust’s new Personal Transitions Service builds on individuals’ strengths, assets and ambitions as a way of transitioning out of tough times, such as homelessness, leaving prison, psychiatric hospitals or care. By replacing traditional key-working responses with inspiring asset-based coaching and highly personalised real world opportunities, individuals achieve their aspirations and move on with their lives quickly, with dignity and respect.

Over the past two and a half years, Mayday Trust has been delivering the Personal Transitions Service in Oxford.The launch event brought together the learning and experience of people who have been part of it, including Mayday Trust staff, people who have made incredible progress as a result of working with the Personal Transitions Service, and people and organisations who have funded and supported us.

You can catch up with the speeches here:

Pat McArdle- Deconstructing a broken system

Mayday’s Chief Executive, Pat McArdle describes why the sector requires a paradigm shift to transform how we tackle homelessness.

Sarah Hughes- Delivering system change on the ground

Mayday’s Asset Manager Sarah Hughes describes her experiences of bringing about systems change through delivering Personal Transitions Service.

WeiHsi Hu – Evaluating the Personal Transitions Service

WeiHsi Hu, the Director of Logical Thinking discusses their research looking into the effectiveness and impact of the Mayday Trust’s Proof of Concept for Personal Transitions Service.

Lankelly Chase – Personal Transitions Service and System Change

Julian Corner and Jess Cordingly from Lankelly Chase share their learning from funding and seeing the implementation of Proof of Concept for Mayday Trust’s Personal Transition Service in Oxford.

You can read our report from the Proof of Concept: Homelessness System under Deconstruction here.

The Good Help Award

Good help or bad help?

Nesta and Osca recently published a report that highlights the difference between ‘good help’ – help that supports people to feel hopeful, identify their own purpose and confidently take action, and ‘bad help’ – help that offers standardised ‘fix it’ style and that undermines people’s confidence, which makes activities such as parenting, finding a job and healthy living, much harder, and sometimes impossible.

Despite ample evidence for the benefits of ‘good help’ it is absent from many mainstream services and social programmes. The report highlights seven characteristics that services can use to explore whether the support that they offer is in line with ‘good help’ principles.

A ‘good help’ award is also currently open for applications with a first prize of £15,000. The award will recognise organisations or teams that demonstrate they are supporting people to transform their lives by helping them develop their sense of purpose and confidence to take action.

Mayday’s Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships, Lynn Mumford, is delighted to be taking a place on the judging Panel.

Mayday is delighted to be included in the Nesta’s Good and Bad Help Report, which can be downloaded in full on our Publications and Reports page

 

Homeless System Under Deconstruction

Homelessness System Under Deconstruction sheds light on Mayday’s transformation from a small housing support provider running an inquiry into how people felt about the quality of support, to an organisation championing systems-change to support asset-based and personalised approaches. The report follows a chronological order, beginning with the early days of the Wisdom from the Streets Inquiry and our response, organisational cultural
change, model development and refinement, learning and evaluation, and tells stories of individuals who have found their spark and successfully transitioned out of homelessness.

The report brings together both our experience on the ground, and the findings from the research and evaluation team at the Logical Thinking Consultancy.

We hope this report starts a wider debate about how we work together to create the paradigm shift needed to improve our responses to people experiencing homelessness.

You can catch up with the presentations from the launch of this report and Mayday’s Personal Transitions Service here

Download full report: Homelessness System Under Deconstruction

How does the PTS work?

Watch our PTS Front line video to find out how the PTS works and what it means to be an Asset Coach at Mayday.

The Mayday Poem

Our incredibly talented resident poet, Joe Cook, has produced a Mayday Poem for us based on his experience of spending time with our PTS team in Oxford and how he feels about the homelessness system.