6 July 2020

Harvest Paying it Forward – Depaul

As part of our Social Corporate Responsibility programme and our desire to pay it forward, we are delighted to partner with Depaul since 2019 to provide a variety of programmes.

Please read below a short article about their work and their relationship with Harvest.

About Depaul

Since 2002, Depaul has grown from a small Dublin-based charity to become a significant leader in the homeless sector addressing homelessness in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Depaul supports some of the most marginalised individuals, couples and families experiencing homelessness.

Depaul’s Vision

Our Vision is of a society in which everyone has a place to call home and a stake in their community.

Depaul’s Mission

We aim to end homelessness and change the lives of those affected by it.

Depaul’s Values

  • We celebrate the potential of people.
  • We put our words into action.
  • We aim to take a wider role in civil society.
  • We believe in rights and responsibilities.

Depaul believes homelessness has no place.

We exist to serve homeless individuals and families, caught in the spiral of homelessness, deprived of all control of their lives, when every door is closed to them. Depaul is there because they deserve support to rebuild their lives and progress to a positive future.

Depaul currently:

  • Manage 29 specialised accommodation and outreach services for people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness
  • Provide over 600 bed spaces per night for homeless people;
  • Support over 4,800 people each year to make changes in their lives that will help them to move forward;
  • Employ over 450 staff and engage with over 500 volunteers;
  • Focus services to aid those most in need in the homeless community.

Our services can be categorised into 5 main service areas:

Relationship with Harvest

Against this backdrop, we place a strong emphasis on learning and development so we can create the environment for staff to fulfil their potential and have the ability to respond to the complex needs of our service users.

We have been partnering with Harvest since early 2019 to implement our programmes of learning. We delivered a Leading Now programme for new Deputy Managers and we worked with Harvest to create this 3-day residential programme. We also worked together to create an Empowering Leaders programme for our more experienced managers. We are improving the quality of management through these programmes and feedback from both programmes has been overwhelmingly positive. Service audits carried out in 2019 have revealed that managers have a better understanding of how to carry out their management roles, which in turn is delivering improvements to service delivery. Furthermore, our annual employee engagement survey revealed that our questions on L&D improved by 6% from 2018 to 2019.

We have also sought ways to make improvements and efficiencies in how learning is conducted. We develop our own online custom content and we have also engaged with Flexlabs to support some of our work.

We recently conducted Virtual Classrooms in May and June to refresh our Leadership Development programme from 2019 and bring this in line with the new normal. This course was well received by our managers and we are looking forward to designing more Virtual Classrooms to aid employee development.

We recently attended the Irish HR Champion 2020 Awards virtually. We were shortlisted for a Champion Learning and Development Award. We didn’t win our category but were delighted to be nominated for an award with some very known corporate enterprises.