• I am over 50
  • I am struggling to make ends meet
  • I want a quality affordable home
  • I want help when I need it
  • I Want A Good Life

Dan Gray goes on a study tour

by Wintringham Communications

Dan Gray head shotDan Gray, our Recreation Manager is undertaking a study tour thanks to a Bryan and Dot Lipmann Scholarship. Dan will be visiting the UK, France, Italy, Netherlands, Finland, Ireland, Canada and the United States.

He departed on 18 September and will return on 6 December 2023. Here he shares with us what he’ll be learning over the next few months. “I'm researching best practices globally in recreation, mental health, client isolation, homelessness, innovative housing, support services, and engagement. I’m aiming to understand their funding structures, establishment, and execution. A significant focus of my tour will be on leadership traits and strategies for building cohesive teams. Moreover, I'll delve into client engagement, mental health enhancement, and methods to mitigate risks associated with homelessness,” said Dan.

“I'll be engaging with various organisations, from small to large scale, across sectors like homelessness, disability, support services, technology, research, regression therapy, non-profits, and volunteer groups. There are also a few fun ones on the list that should be a good story to share when I return too.

“Even in the preparation and research for the trip, I've already learned a lot. Of all the people I've contacted, most have been strangers. Yet, around 90% of those have responded and are happy to meet, share their experiences and knowledge and show me around their programs.

“It's really affirmed my belief in the inherent generosity of people. It has also built a new muscle of just reaching out and asking. This journey has not only been about collecting information but also about the invaluable experience of learning from others and realising the power of simply asking.”

Look out for his adventures on his Instagram account (@dangray_official). We will also share some updates under this post - stay tuned!

28 September

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Salut from France!

It's Dan here, embarking on an epic international research adventure, all thanks to Wintringham.

Overflowing with excitement and gratitude, I'm on a mission to unearth global innovations in aged care, social housing, sustainability, and mental health.

From the enchanting streets of France, I'll be venturing to the UK, Netherlands, Ireland, Canada, and the US.

Today's highlight? Connecting with the brilliant team at Espero France. They're doing remarkable work, offering beekeeping, permaculture and composting opportunities to vulnerable communities. Their goal? Empower people with employable skills, foster social integration, and nurture our planet simultaneously.

There's so much to learn and share, so stay tuned and jump aboard on this global adventure with me!

4 October

This week on my research tour, I had the incredible opportunity to delve into the world of Espero. From buzzing hives nestled in parks to those perched atop Parisian rooftops, and their remarkable efforts in permaculture and composting, the experience was genuinely enlightening.

Espero's passion extends beyond nurturing our environment. They're deeply committed to empowering vulnerable communities, seamlessly blending skill-building and social integration with eco-friendly initiatives.

And it's not just about the hives and greens, Espero is integrating its sustainable and community-focused approach into the world of high-end fashion. I was fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of this exciting venture - I can't wait to share more on this soon!

A massive shoutout and heartfelt thank you to the entire Espero team for their warm welcome and insights. I'm left feeling immensely grateful and inspired!

Swipe right for a snapshot of my Espero journey, and don’t forget to hit that follow button for more behind-the-scenes peeks from my global adventures. Stay tuned for the fashion side of Espero coming soon!

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 4 November

2023 - Dan Gray study tour Post 3What an illuminating day with Dr. Paolo Riva and Marco Marinucci from the University of Milano-Bicocca.

A privilege to delve deep into the intricacies of social isolation and ostracisation with Paolo, the brain behind the renowned ConnectLAB and a global authority on social exclusion and its impacts. His groundbreaking work – from the digital realm to real-world challenges faced by prisoners, the homeless, and migrants – is nothing short of revolutionary. ðŸ“–
And Marco Marinucci, whose unwavering commitment to understanding the plight of disadvantaged groups like the homeless, truly resonates with Wintringham's work back in Australia.
Their collaboration in a recent study in the British Journal of Social Psychology highlights the detrimental effects of perceived economic inequality on the psychological well-being of the homeless. It underscores the urgent need for societal efforts to diminish disparities and stigma. Along with the negative effects of ostracisation and ways to counteract it. 
Time flew as we exchanged insights and stories. Their passion for unveiling the mechanisms behind social exclusion and finding solutions is palpable and inspiring.

A key takeaway for me is that simply discussing socialisation or being around others is insufficient. The true solution to being ostracised and loneliness lies in actively engaging with the people you feel disconnected from. Paolo and Marco’s research into social isolation among migrants found that loneliness decreased when they integrated socially within the broader community. In contrast, those who limited their socialisation to a similar ostracised community experienced worsened effects.

Thank you so much to Paolo and Marco for taking the time to meet with me, and so generously share their research findings. I can't wait to share more about what I learned.
Here's to knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and working towards a more inclusive world.

6 November

From Milan to Padova: When Dr. Paolo Riva suggested I meet with Michela Lenzi at the University of Padova, I was intrigued. The journey proved invaluable!

At the stunning University of Padova, Michela and I delved into the vital intersection of homelessness services and the welfare of those who deliver them.

Michela’s research has unravelled a crucial thread: the well-being of staff in the homelessness sector is as pivotal as the care they provide. Her findings show that a workplace where staff believe in the quality of their training and feel empowered by their supervision is key to preventing burnout.

It's not just about the framework of support but how it's received and internalized by staff. Michela highlighted that those who feel their skills are fully utilized report lower levels of burnout — a powerful reminder of the significance of recognition and the right fit.

In our discussion, the phrase 'consumer choice' took on a new depth, underscoring its ripple effect on the satisfaction and autonomy of the staff dedicated to aiding others.

And perhaps the most resonating takeaway, encapsulated by Michela's words, was the profound importance of 'doing something where your job counts.' It’s a sentiment that strikes at the core of every profession, but it echoes even louder in sectors fueled by compassion and human service.

I'm left inspired and thankful for the opportunity to discuss such pivotal themes with a leading researcher. Together, we're not just sharing knowledge; we're fostering a movement where every role has a purpose, every effort is appreciated, and every individual has a place to call home.

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10 November

2023 - Dan Gray study tour Post 5After winding my way through the streets of London, I found myself at the grand red door of St. Martin's, a beacon in the heart of the city. Stepping inside, I could feel the vibrant atmosphere – the staff were hard at work, passionately working with those in need. The reason for my visit? A captivating conversation with Pam Orchard, the CEO of Connections at St Martin’s.
Pam has dedicated over a decade to addressing homelessness, and she's brought a fresh perspective to St. Martin's. Under her leadership, the organisation has a new focus. Their mission? Building connections. Before any progress can be made, trust and building relationships are key. With this foundation, they've developed a 'Theory of Change,' a roadmap from disconnection to security.
In Pam's words, it's about 'Working With, Not For.' Every step, from a simple conversation to finding a home, is based on collaborative decisions. The focus is on empowerment, instilling core values that help both staff and clients navigate complex situations. The results? Truly transformative.
Adapting to a post-pandemic world wasn't easy, but with a clear vision and guidance from experts, Pam has fostered a culture where every decision aligns with their true identity. Whether it's addressing concerns or making everyday operational choices, their core principles serve as a guide.
Reflecting on this visit, I'm deeply impressed – by the committed team, Pam's leadership, and the resilient individuals who are rebuilding their lives one step at a time. A heartfelt thank you to Pam and the entire team at St. Martin's: your generosity in sharing your time, wisdom, and insights has been invaluable.
Swipe to see moments from my time with Connections at St Martin's.

13 November

2023 - Dan Gray study tour Post 6What an inspiring day it's been at Perspectivity with the incredible Lisette Gast, right in the heart of The Hague - at the Nutshuis, a hub for social changemakers.

Diving deep into the worlds of leadership and business with Lisette, we explored how self-organisation can spark joy and productivity in the workplace. We’re talking about serious innovation in how teams function and flourish.

Over lunch, our conversation buzzed with ideas on how being seen and heard is not just nice-to-have, but a must-have in today's organisational landscape. My main takeaway? The complexity of life and business is like a game where the goal is to find simplicity, yet not be boxed in by it.

Lisette is all about rewriting the old rules, envisioning workspaces as dynamic networks of 'bubbles' - each a microcosm of focus, from people to finance, all interlinked yet fluid.

These bubbles are more than teams or departments; they’re commitments to collective goals and personal growth, where accountability is as empowering as it is essential.

I'm immensely thankful to Lisette for her generosity of spirit and insights. Here's to a day of redefining leadership, defying the conventional, and creating environments where every individual's potential is not just recognised, but nurtured and allowed to rise.

14 November

What a day of discovery and connection! I had the honour of meeting with the visionary team at Y-Säätiö - Saija, Tia, and Elisabetta - in their innovative office in Finland. This isn't just any workplace; it's a hub of happiness and engagement, where the mission to promote sustainable living and eradicate homelessness pulses through every interaction.

As Tia unfolded the blueprint for sustainable real estate, and Elisabetta brought behavioural economics and game theory to life, it was clear: Y-Säätiö isn't just dreaming of a carbon-neutral future by 2035, they're paving the way.

Their work redefines the concept of 'home', not just within Finland’s borders but as a beacon for nations worldwide, including back home in Australia. However, the challenges are familiar. The 'not in my backyard' attitude is universal, but Y-Säätiö's recipe for overcoming such barriers? Transforming isolated efforts into united frontiers. Their tool of choice? The playful yet profound power of green nudging, which turns sustainable choices into personal victories.

I'm heading back with more than insights; I'm carrying a blueprint for an inclusive society where a home isn't a luxury but a fundamental human right, where mental well-being walks hand in hand with environmental stewardship, and where each small 'nudge' propels us toward monumental shifts.

Y-Säätiö exemplifies how research and empathy can coalesce to not just provide shelter, but forge paths to a hopeful, sustainable future. I'm inspired and eager to infuse some of this transformative energy into our strides towards change in Australia. Here's to homes, hearts, and humanity's collective leap towards a better tomorrow.

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15 November

Just wrapped up an incredible visit to Helsinki

Wish I could've stayed longer in this incredible city!

The social initiatives here are absolutely mind-blowing. And the Helsinki Library? A marvel of resources with its stunning architecture, unique offerings like instruments, sewing machines, and chess!

Can't wait to come back and explore even more. Helsinki, you've left an impression!

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How Can We Help You?
If you are over 50, struggling to make ends meet, want a quality affordable home and help when you need it. If you want a good life then contact us on 03 9034 4824.
Who We Are

Wintringham is a not-for-profit welfare organisation created to address the scourge of elderly homelessness. Wintringham Housing is registered in the state of Victoria as a Housing Association.

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