Who we are and what we do
SIFA Fireside was formed in 2007 through the merger of well established Birmingham charities: SIFA (Supporting Independence from Alcohol) set up in 1982, and the Fireside Charity set up in 1983. Collectively we have been delivering services for over 30 years.
Today, SIFA Fireside works seven days a week with some of the most vulnerable adults in our society: those experiencing homelessness or who are vulnerably-housed. Many of the people we work with – our clients – have complex mental and physical health problems, some have addictions, and all are socially excluded. We run a daily Drop-In service where we provide on average 3,404 meals, over 100 people given clothes and 429 showers each month for our clients.
Our Drop-In sessions are the frontline service of SIFA Fireside’s operations, acting as a gateway for our clients to access our other longer-term support services such as services such as crisis support, welfare rights advice, money and debt advice, housing advice, tenancy support, health and wellbeing clinics, employment and training, and help reducing offending.
All our services are free and confidential. We are funded from a range of sources: Birmingham City Council, Big Lottery, charitable trusts, corporate sponsors, individual donations, fund raising and income generation activities. We employ 30 full and part-time staff, with over 60 active volunteers working with us on a regular basis to make the day-to-day running of our services possible.
SIFA Fireside also provides specialist training programmes through SIFA Fireside Insights, offering access to the expertise we have gained from over 30 years of service delivery.
How we do it
Our staff are divided into specialist teams.
The Senior Management Team is led by Cath Gilliver, who has been Chief Executive since 2007.
In addition there are four Managers; a Services Manager who oversees our daily ‘drop in’ sessions, psychological support and key working, a Resettlement & Move On Manager responsible for accommodation advice as well as our Big Lottery and employment programmes, an Enterprise Manager who oversees ‘Out of the Woodwork’ and our corporate partnerships, and a Facilities Manager dealing with building, IT and admin matters. We have a well-defined organisational structure with clear lines of accountability and responsibility.
Our volunteers (aged 18-80) bring a huge diversity of background and experience, adding value to our services and making a huge difference to our clients. Find out more about our volunteers and how you can make a difference by volunteering.
SIFA Fireside has a Board of ten Trustees, which meets bi-monthly and holds a public Annual General Meeting as required by the Charity Commission. We also publish annual audited Accounts, available on request, and an annual Impact Report. Our most recent report is available here.
The Chair of Trustees is Ewen Kinnear, who, along with other Trustees, contributes to a wide range of skills and experience from the legal, business and voluntary sectors.
SIFA Fireside obtained the ISO 9001 international Quality Mark in 2009 and the Matrix, an Advice, Information & Guidance kitemark, in 2014, and keeps these updated through monthly reporting and an annual external audit. We also were winners of the King’s Fund/GSK Health Impact Award in 2013 and an Adult Learners’ award in 2014.