21 12, 2022

Goodbye, but not the end – our final blog

By |2022-12-21T12:54:58+00:00December 21st, 2022|Categories: Blog|

A final blog on behalf of the Fulfilling Lives evaluation team from Rachel Moreton, Associate Director at CFE Research.

As I said at the final Fulfilling Lives conference earlier this year, when we first started working on the programme evaluation back in 2013, it was difficult to imagine what it would feel like to reach the end of this huge undertaking.

Well, we’ve finally reached that point. And what an experience it has been.

We always knew the context for the programme would change and influence outcomes. At the very start of the programme our then Managing Director illustrated in an early blog how things can change over nine years – the previous eight years (2005-2013) had seen the credit crunch and double-dip recession, the Arab […]

16 12, 2022

New publication out now – Evaluating Fulfilling Lives: Learning from a programme evaluation

By |2022-12-16T13:01:45+00:00December 16th, 2022|Categories: News|

Today we publish our new report, Evaluating Fulfilling Lives: Learning from a programme evaluation, summarising key learning from conducting national and local evaluations of the Fulfilling Lives programme.

Fulfilling Lives was a hugely complex programme operating in, and aiming to influence, complex systems. The programme therefore required similarly complex and unique approaches to evaluation. We and the local evaluation teams learned much over the eight years Fulfilling Lives spanned. This report details where and how the evaluation succeeded and where we didn’t get it right, so that others may learn from both.

Guided by our own insight, and that of The National Lottery Community Fund and the funded partnerships, we have reflected on some of the key approaches and learning from evaluating a large, multi-site, complex […]

13 12, 2022

Learning published in academic journal special edition

By |2022-12-13T13:51:33+00:00December 13th, 2022|Categories: News|

We are very excited to share that learning from the Fulfilling Lives evaluation locally and nationally has recently been published in a special issue of an academic journal.

Housing, Care and Support – a journal on policy, research and practice, published by Emerald Insight – is hosting a double-issue special edition based around Fulfilling Lives. Supporting people experiencing multiple disadvantage: evidence from the Fulfilling Lives programme is Volume 25, Issue 3-4 of the long-running journal and includes articles from the national evaluation as well as eight of the local partnerships. Jo Welford and Rachel Moreton from CFE, along with Kate Green from the National Lottery Community Fund and Beth Collinson, previous Learning Associate based at the University of Sheffield, were guest editors of the special […]

18 11, 2022

New publication: Programme achievements, evaluation findings, learning and resources

By |2022-11-18T10:25:32+00:00November 18th, 2022|Categories: News|

Today we publish our new summative report, celebrating the achievements of the Fulfilling Lives programme and exploring key evaluation findings, learning and resources.

Drawing on a plethora of local and national evaluation reports, updated data analysis and advice from stakeholders across the programme, this report summarises what we have learned and what Fulfilling Lives has achieved. It is also a signpost to various resources offering insight to specific areas of the programme in greater depth.

As the Fulfilling Lives programme ends, it is important to capture what worked, what didn’t and why.

Fulfilling Lives has shown that it is possible to engage and support those with the most complex and entrenched needs. Partnerships demonstrated the benefits of a holistic and strengths-based approach to supporting people. Attitudes towards multiple […]

20 09, 2022

New publication – Creating systems change: Evaluating the contribution of the Fulfilling Lives programme

By |2022-09-20T10:31:46+00:00September 20th, 2022|Categories: News|

Our latest publication, Creating systems change: Evaluating the contribution of the Fulfilling Lives programme, is released today. The report outlines key systems changes in Fulfilling Lives areas over the eight-year programme, and explores the mechanisms that facilitated change.

Systems change has been at the heart of Fulfilling Lives. When the programme started, local systems were described as inefficient, fragmented and inconsistent. There has since been real change.

  • Services now have greater means for collaboration and cross-sector working has improved, with workforces better equipped to support those affected by multiple disadvantage.
  • Attitudes towards, and understanding of, multiple disadvantage have improved – it is now on the national political agenda, with evidence from Fulfilling Lives contributing towards the design and delivery of the Changing Futures programme.
  • Lived […]
25 08, 2022

Reflections on the final Fulfilling Lives conference

By |2022-08-25T10:45:40+00:00August 25th, 2022|Categories: Blog|

Miranda joined the Fulfilling Lives evaluation team in January 2022 to support the final months of the learning programme, including organisation of the final conference.

My mission, should I choose to accept it: sum up an eight-year programme of work spanning 12 regions across the country, that has supported nearly 4,000 people facing multiple disadvantage, in a six-hour event to share learning, inspire and challenge attendees to think differently about current support systems, and celebrate the programme’s achievements.

Sure, I said.  I love a conference and I’ve worked with a huge number of fantastic people across my time working in the Fulfilling Lives programme.  What a great chance to get everyone together!

But also… what a difficult task! It quickly became clear that we were never going […]

23 05, 2022

See the full picture – Conference agenda confirmed

By |2022-05-23T14:10:45+00:00May 23rd, 2022|Categories: News|

We are pleased to announce the confirmed agenda for the forthcoming final conference of the Fulfilling Lives programme. Entitled “Seeing the full picture” the conference on 16th June will celebrate the achievements of the past eight years and share learning from across programme partners. In addition to hearing from the evaluation team, we are pleased to welcome the following keynote speakers:

  • Dominic Williamson is a consultant working with charities and local authorities to improve policy, services and systems for people facing multiple disadvantage. He has over thirty years’ experience working to tackle homelessness, substance use, trauma and reoffending.
  • David Knott was appointed CEO of The National Lottery Community Fund in October 2021. David has had a varied public service career, most recently as Director […]
16 05, 2022

New publication – Coproduction: Principles into Practice

By |2022-05-19T10:32:45+00:00May 16th, 2022|Categories: News|

Our latest publication, Coproduction: Principles into Practice, is released today. Drawing on experience of the Fulfilling Lives programme, the report provides practical guidance and learning on how on how to do coproduction well. It explores the ways in which partnerships have worked towards embedding coproduction in the daily practices of organisations in their local area, contributing towards systemic change.

For coproduction to be effective, participants must be offered equality of access and power imbalances be broken down. This involves frank discussions about the challenges and honest reflections on where improvements need to be made. People with lived experience of multiple disadvantage need to be given the time, space and resource to contribute. They need to be supported and recognised on a level playing field, as […]

6 05, 2022

Learning from the process of co-production: Reflections, hints and tips

By |2022-05-06T14:00:31+00:00May 6th, 2022|Categories: Blog|

Emma Adams is a NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC) Mental Health Fellow and previous NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) Pre-Doctoral Fellow. She has been working with Experts by Experience from Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead & #HealthNow Newcastle on a NIHR SPHR funded study Exploring and understanding access to community-based mental health and addiction services in Newcastle and Gateshead.

What is co-production? This is a question I often find myself grappling with as a public health researcher working within homelessness and mental health. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) recognises that the definition is not always clear and there is “no one size fits all approach”. Their guidance on co-producing research suggests that we […]

7 04, 2022

Exempt Accommodation – how have we worked to improve standards for those facing multiple disadvantage?

By |2022-08-02T10:33:35+00:00April 7th, 2022|Categories: Blog|

The rapid growth in exempt accommodation is highlighted as a particular concern in our recent report “More than a Roof”. In this blog Alana Raybould outlines the work of one Fulfilling Lives partnership to address the issue. Alana is the Network and Quality Manager at BVSC, the lead organisation for Birmingham Changing Futures Together (BCFT). As part of her role she manages the No Wrong Door Network and Quality Standards.

As the lead organisation for BCFT, BVSC work to tackle social challenges that cannot be addressed by a single organisation. Where we encounter an issue that relates to one of the areas of multiple disadvantage, we engage in an in-depth piece of work to explore and improve the situation for service users. One […]

31 03, 2022

New publication – Learning from the Crisis: Reflections on the pandemic

By |2022-03-31T17:38:41+00:00March 31st, 2022|Categories: News|

Our latest publication, Learning from the Crisis: Reflections two years on from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, is released today. The report is a follow-up to our initial rapid assessment of the challenges and opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic that was published in July 2020.

The COVID-19 crisis led to some major changes in the way services and support were provided to people experiencing multiple disadvantage. The immediate and ongoing response to the global crisis demonstrated that different ways of working could be put in place to ensure a quicker, more flexible response to the needs of this group.

The report draws on evidence and experiences from the Fulfilling Lives programme. It explores changes in different services supporting those experiencing multiple disadvantage and […]

24 02, 2022

Finding my voice as an Expert by Experience – a blog fresh from the Toon

By |2022-02-24T16:44:17+00:00February 24th, 2022|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |

Desmond is an Expert by Experience (EBE) with Fulfilling Lives Newcastle and Gateshead. In this blog, he shares his story of how he came to find the EBE network and his involvement with the group.


After attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, a guy in the fellowship asked me if I’d heard of the EBE network – which I hadn’t. He told me that EBE stood for Experts by Experience: a network of people who met each week to discuss topics around mental health, substance misuse, homelessness and […]

8 02, 2022

More opportunity than ever – a chance for change

By |2022-02-10T09:24:37+00:00February 8th, 2022|Categories: Blog|Tags: |

Miranda Keast has joined the Fulfilling Lives evaluation team to oversee the final months of our learning programme. In this blog she reflects on what can be achieved as the programme draws to a close.

I’ve recently joined the national evaluation team at CFE Research for the last six months of the Fulfilling Lives programme. Whilst this could be seen as a time for winding down, wrapping up, and closing things off, in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth!

Grassroots communities have long seen, and sought to meet the needs arising from, gaps in systems; working in more established organisations, too, there can be frustration at rigid processes that leave people stuck, feeling stigmatised, and without anywhere to turn.

The introduction of Making Every Adult Matter […]

4 02, 2022

New publication: ‘More than a roof’ – addressing homelessness with people experiencing multiple disadvantage

By |2022-02-07T09:53:52+00:00February 4th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Our latest publication, ‘More than a roof’ – addressing homelessness with people experiencing multiple disadvantage, is published today. Written in collaboration with the National Expert Citizens Group (NECG), the report explores the experiences of homelessness and rough sleeping of people affected by multiple forms of disadvantage. It looks at the reasons why many continue to experience homelessness and the types of support that they find most useful.

More than half of people supported by Fulfilling Lives are homeless when they join the programme. As both a cause and consequence of multiple disadvantage, addressing homelessness is a crucial element in tackling multiple disadvantage.

Overall, there has been a reduction in homelessness and rough sleeping among people receiving help from the programme. However, the change from homelessness […]

9 12, 2021

Every day’s a learning day – honest reflections on personal development

By |2021-12-09T10:51:41+00:00December 9th, 2021|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |

In her third blog for us, Bev Hardman reflects on how far she has come since working on the Birmingham Changing Futures Together Programme. This is a follow on from her first and second blogs.

Recipe to aid achievement: three scoops of self-belief, two large handfuls of confidence and a generous helping of determination – no pinches, drizzles or dashes here, just good old-fashioned dollops of all the above! (More scoops can be added if desired).

Following on from my two previous blogs, I thought I’d talk about where I am today in terms of my development.

Looking back at my journey whilst working on the Birmingham Changing Futures Together Programme and the Inreach Outreach work stream, it’s sometimes hard for me to […]

6 09, 2021

Save the date: Fulfilling Lives conference 2022

By |2021-09-06T13:29:16+00:00September 6th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

We are excited to announce that we have set a date for the final Fulfilling Lives conference. This will be held on Thursday 16th June 2022 and there will be the option to join in person or online.

We will share further details in due course but for the time being, we ask that you save the date. To make sure you receive the booking details when they are available, we recommend one of two options:

We hope that you can join us and we look forward to seeing you in 2022.

2 09, 2021

Turning the tide in Blackpool

By |2021-09-02T12:45:05+00:00September 2nd, 2021|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , |

Ian Treasure is the Programme Lead at Blackpool Fulfilling Lives. In this blog he reflects on the work of the programme over the last 7 years and how the system has, and still is, changing.

Blackpool is famous for illusions. Similar to the visual and kinaesthetic feast of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, System Change relies on redesigning those first few seconds, the moment of truth, when a customer comes into contact with a service. ‘System Change’ is the latest Baader-Meinhof frequency illusion, seldom heard but now thankfully ubiquitous. In order for system change to occur, it’s a back office job. That customer shouldn’t be troubled by how it is a good experience, just be happy that they are being treated well, regardless of […]

4 08, 2021

Changing Futures programme announcement

By |2021-08-04T13:23:01+00:00August 4th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

At the 2019 Spending Review, the government announced a new Shared Outcomes Fund to test innovative ways of bringing together the public sector to address cross-cutting issues and drive the modernisation of public services. £46m of the fund was committed to the Changing Futures programme to improve the way that systems and services work to support individuals experiencing multiple disadvantage. In the context of the programme, this is defined as combination of homelessness, substance misuse, mental ill-health, domestic abuse, or contact with the criminal justice system.

The work of Fulfilling Lives and Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) were cited in the prospectus and members of the Fulfilling Lives National Expert Citizen Group were involved in the planning of the programme. The Fund demonstrates a […]

22 07, 2021

Learnings from Help through Crisis: Crisis support during COVID-19

By |2021-07-22T14:12:17+00:00July 22nd, 2021|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |

The Help through Crisis (HtC) Learning, Support and Evaluation (LSE) team have produced a series of reports exploring the HtC response to Covid-19. In this blog, the LSE team share key learning from their work.

HtC is a £33 million, five-year programme funded by The National Lottery Community Fund. Across England, 69 local partnerships have been supported by HtC. Each partnership helps people who are experiencing or at risk of crisis to overcome difficulties and plan for the future.  While the HtC and Fulfilling Lives programmes each have a distinct focus (HtC partnerships support people facing crisis for different reasons, whereas Fulfilling Lives focuses on those experiencing multiple disadvantage), some HtC beneficiaries do experience multiple disadvantage and supporting people to overcome difficulties is at […]

8 07, 2021

‘Planting a seed of hope’: Prison release webinar reflections

By |2021-07-08T12:58:35+00:00July 8th, 2021|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |

Dr Jo Welford, Research Manager at CFE Research, presented last month at our Improving service transitions for people experiencing multiple disadvantage: Prison release webinar. In this blog, she reflects on key messages from the session.

A large virtual audience from as far away as Australia tuned in to our recent national evaluation webinar on the experience of prison release for people affected by multiple disadvantage. The national evaluation team were joined by Fulfilling Lives partnership staff, including three with lived experience of multiple disadvantage, as well as the Ministry of Justice. Over 200 people attended on the day, with many from statutory and charity organisations who work with this client group, which made it our best attended webinar so far.

I opened the session with an overview […]

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