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  • Date: 13/02/2023

National recognition for Honeycomb Group's Head of Homelessness & Complex Needs, Bruno Ornelas 

Last month, Bruno, who leads our homelessness charity Concrete as Head of Homelessness & Complex Needs, co-delivered a national webinar alongside Kings College London colleagues.

The webinar was part of a three-year National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funded study. The study explores how self-neglect is experienced by people who are homeless and how this can be addressed and improved through strengthening local adult safeguarding responses. The ‘Safeguarding responses to homelessness and self-neglect’ webinar was co-delivered alongside colleagues Jess Harris and Stan Burridge.

Over 300 people from across the sector attended the session and listened to Bruno share his expert perspective on the study. So far it has found that adult safeguarding is often inaccessible for people experiencing multiple exclusion homelessness (MEH). This isn’t due to bad practice, but attitudes, service gaps and barriers across systems.

Alongside his Honeycomb Group role, Bruno is a safeguarding consultant who is passionate about supporting sector research and sharing his expertise nationally. Last year Bruno also contributed to ‘Adult Safeguarding and Homelessness: Understanding Good Practice’ as an author. The book is an accessible resource for professionals working within the sector, particularly with individuals experiencing multiple exclusion homelessness. Bruno shared his knowledge around safeguarding and wrote a chapter on ‘assessments and safeguarding.’

Speaking about safeguarding, Bruno says: “In a previous role I had the opportunity to specialise in adult safeguarding, so I’m really passionate about it. Through that I was able to engage with different local authorities and services.

Head of Homelessness & Complex Needs; Bruno 

“I was also asked to do a safeguarding adult review, which I’m really proud of. It was a difficult piece of work because it involved a set of tough circumstances, but it had a really positive impact as we were able to learn from a particular authority and see what they were going to change.”

Bruno started his career in homelessness as a volunteer, before taking on different roles in rough sleeping outreach and hostels. He joined us as Head of Homelessness & Complex Needs in 2021.

On his work in the homelessness sector, he explains: “There’s a lack of knowledge and a lack of understanding around homelessness.

“One of the biggest misconceptions is when we simplify people’s experience by saying it’s a personal choice. Homelessness is often a symptom of things like long term trauma, and just providing a house is absolutely part of the solution, but with that must come wraparound support.”

Honeycomb Group Chief Executive Julie Guildford Smith adds: 

“It is great to see Bruno’s expertise recognised across the national homelessness sector.

Here at Honeycomb Group, we strive for best practice and encourage our teams to chase curiosity and ambition.

Bruno is the perfect example of this and a huge asset to our leadership team.”

Honeycomb Group Chief Executive; Julie