Clubhouses, cores and campus models

In the PIEs 2.0 framework there are three elements in the 'Spaces of Opportunity' theme; and one of these three we call the use of 'surroundings and networks'.

By this we mean to refer to the way that any service works with the environment around and outside the service that it manages, when working with its service users. This is then distinguished, in principle, from the built environment of the service itself - the spaces that the service itself manages.

Similarly it is distinct from the pathways that are created and available, to move into and exit from the service, and the systems that provide and adjust them, by others to meet the needs of the wider population. In principle, at least, these two distinguish the work done within the building from the way we work outside it.

But these distinctions can never be clear-cut; and there is one area that is on the borderline between being a unit, in that sense, and working closely with other services in the locality. This is what we have described as 'networked housing' - that is to say, housing stock that is managed by the same service, and has created structured and planned pathways between its component part services.

'Move on' accommodation is a common example. But there are also models of accommodation that aim to provide a more complex range of options, within the main service itself, to meet a range of needs  where simply moving on afterwards is not the only kind of flexibility in support that is needed. Here we aim to identify a few of these that are most common; and the commonalities between them.

Note that the descriptions here may not correspond precisely to the typologies of housing stock. This is because in an analysis of community housing models as PIEs, it is the focus on relationships that is of primary concern, rather than for example the legal status of tenancies, or ownership.


Cores and clusters

'Core and cluster' models - sometimes known as 'hub and spoke' - will create a network of individual or shared housing units, that work as one integrated service. There is a 'core' house that is usually more intensively staffed, and will be the base from which support staff to the other units go out to the 'cluster', to visit either regularly or as needed. The staff of the cluster units can be reached by the cluster residents outside of the scheduled visiting hours, providing a sense of safety for them too. The unit aims to create a sense of community in which all participate, and there may social events to which all are invited.

Often the individuals housed in the cluster accommodation will have passed through the core unit, en route to greater independence later; to that extent this works as a 'staircase' model, but with usually far fewer stages to pass through, from readiness to partial independence. More significant than 'readiness' is the quality of relationships and the sense of belonging that is created. This arrangement can provide very flexible support to individuals with long-term high support needs.



Clubhouses - we have the word in inverted commas, as we use the term loosely - will also have a central or 'core' building, where staff - whether paid, peer or volunteer - are mainly based and social or practical activities take place that the members of the community all have access to and participate in. The clubhouse may often have accommodation that people may pass through, on their way to living on their own or in small groups, outside the base.

The principal difference between a clubhouse and a core and cluster models is the degree of permanence and the guarantee of support that comes with it. Where a core and cluster model may be designed for a population with high and on-going support needs, membership of a clubhouse community is more fluid, and individuals may gradually drift away to other pursuits and different social lives, as new opportunities arise.

This arrangement therefore can provide very flexible support to individuals who may only need a period of intensive help and 'belonging' before moving on. It is therefore found more in youth services, of for those recovering from addictions or other dependency, or abuse.


Campus models

A campus is a single (or 'congregated') site with multiple accommodation units all on the same premises. There will often be offices for staff and shared utilities such as reception staff, canteens and social areas, visiting welfare or healthcare, and sports or fitness facilities.  The individuals units are typically self-contained, but the terms of accommodation may be full or temporary ('probationary') tenancies, and the expectation will be that individuals move on to other accommodation and activities - including education and work - but at their own speed.

Campus models will typically house a few dozen at least, but quite frequently may be as large as several hundred individual units, in what are sometimes described as 'villages'. Campus models are best suited to individuals who have something in common, though the wish and need for individual or group support may vary widely, and although some will have pastoral care and a 'keyworker' system, or something comparable, acceptance of support and/ or participation community events is an option, not an expectation.




Further background reading/listening/viewing

Clubhouses, cores, and campus models

Renzo Cardozi, operational services manager for Right There in Scotland (formerly called Y People) is here interviewed by Robin Johnson on the charity's new approach to on-going working with young people - and others - making use of surrounding facilities such as a coffee bar to maintain contact and continue to provide support.


A growing selection of new and used material

NB: this collection of pages, and selection of examples, is incomplete. We are still gathering some of the material; but this will take some time; and these links and this material will be built up in stages. But the themes we propose to use are:

  • Introducing the PIE approach : HERE
  • The built environment and adaptations : HERE
  • Using the whole environment (1) : HERE
  • Using the whole environment (2) :  HERE
  • Outreach, pathways, environments without buildings : HERE
  • PIEs, communities and a sense of belonging : HERE
  • Clubhouses, cores, and campus models : HERE
  • PIEs in therapy settings : HERE
  • 'Psychologically informed business environments' : HERE
  • Whole system PIEs  : HERE
  • PIEs and ‘exclusion-informed research’ HERE