26 10, 2020

The co-production cake: Want a slice?

By |2020-10-26T10:52:51+00:00October 26th, 2020|Categories: Blog|Tags: |

Last month the National Lottery Community Fund hosted a virtual breakfast to discuss all things co-production. Hosted by Laura Furness, Head of Funding at the National Lottery Community Fund, the panel consisted of Winston Allamby (Community Partner, Fulfilling Lives Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham), Helen Phoenix (Head of Customer Collaboration, South Yorkshire Housing Association) and myself (Learning and Impact Associate, Fulfilling Lives). This blog is intended to shed light on some of the key messages and discusses co-production using the analogy of baking a cake: a theme which came up during the session.

So what do we mean by co-production? In A Meeting of Minds, a report published by The National Lottery Community Fund last year, co-production is defined as “creating, delivering, […]

15 09, 2020

The role of lived experience in creating systems change

By |2020-09-15T10:12:09+00:00September 15th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Creating lasting systems change – at local and national levels – is a key objective of the Fulfilling Lives programme and experts by experience have become increasingly involved in systems change work in their local areas. Our latest publication draws together the experiences and perspectives of partnership staff, partner and stakeholder organisations and insights and reflections from experts by experience (people with lived experience of multiple disadvantage) involved in systems change activities.

By providing a powerful, authentic voice and unique insights, experts are able to challenge assumptions, motivate organisations to do things differently and pinpoint areas for change. The opportunity to be involved in system change activity can be empowering and satisfying as it enables experts to reframe negative past experiences as learning to drive positive […]

29 07, 2020

Closing down beneficiary support projects – new publication

By |2020-09-25T12:42:12+00:00July 29th, 2020|Categories: News|

Our latest publication, Closing down beneficiary support projects, draws together the experiences and perspectives of staff in various roles at four Fulfilling Lives partnerships whose direct work supporting beneficiaries has come to an end. Fulfilling Lives was always a time-limited programme, providing funding to test new approaches with the aim of informing lasting systems change. The report offers practical tips and recommendations from partnerships to aid the smooth closure of similar time-limited support.

The report highlights that starting planning and preparation for closing projects early is key. A joint strategy involving all partners helps ensure everyone is clear about their role in the process. Ongoing flexibility and adaptation is required, and close monitoring of caseloads is important to balance demand with available resource.

External preparation and systems change […]

27 07, 2020

A test and learn approach to Critical Time Intervention

By |2020-09-15T09:55:48+00:00July 27th, 2020|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , |

Iain Donnelly, Programme Manager, has recently joined Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead (FLNG). In this blog Iain reflects on their Critical Time Intervention pilot.

Between June 2018 and March 2020 we piloted a Critical Time Intervention (CTI) model as an alternative to the more traditional navigation approach that we had previously used in our work supporting people experiencing multiple disadvantage.

Developed in the US, CTI is an evidence-based practice of working with a person during a transition, such as leaving prison or moving into accommodation, for a maximum period of nine-months, focusing on person-centred goals and building support networks in preparation for the end of the time-limited period.  As a model, it’s relatively new in the UK and ours was one of the first full-scale pilots to […]

7 07, 2020

Challenges and opportunities: Evidence from Fulfilling Lives partnerships on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic

By |2020-09-15T09:51:21+00:00July 7th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , |

Our latest publication, Challenges and Opportunities, draws together key experiences from Fulfilling Lives areas on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated measures to control its transmission have created challenges and opportunities for partnerships supporting people facing multiple disadvantage. In particular, the pandemic has created movement on issues that partnerships have been working towards for some time, such as taking more collaborative and person-centred approaches. As we transition out of lockdown, it is important that the learning from the pandemic is captured and used to inform more positive models of working in the future.

The pandemic has engendered a sense of urgency and rapid responses to need. Service providers have shown greater flexibility and creative solutions have been developed to meet need. […]

29 06, 2020

COVID-19 and the national evaluation of Fulfilling Lives

By |2020-06-29T09:36:09+00:00June 29th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: |

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated measures to control its transmission have created challenges and opportunities for partnerships. In particular, there are examples of changes and flexibilities on issues that partnerships have been seeking to influence for some time. It is important as we transition out of the lockdown to capture information and evidence on the changes made, their impact and to identify those that are beneficial.

In response to this, the national evaluation team will be undertaking a two-stage piece of evaluative work. This includes:

  • A short-term, rapid piece to inform immediate planning for transition out of lockdown, to capture changes Fulfilling Lives partnerships have helped implement, and which of these have been effective in the short term and should continue. This work will complement and […]
27 05, 2020

From crisis to opportunity: Reflecting on how we influence change

By |2020-09-15T09:57:17+00:00May 27th, 2020|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , |

Lewis Edwards, Learning and Impact Manager, has recently joined the Fulfilling Lives South East (FLSE) programme. In this blog Lewis reflects on how those previously experiencing homelessness have been temporarily housed during COVID-19 and how the current pandemic can be used to encourage systemic change.

In response to COVID-19, the UK government allocated an additional £3.2m to local authorities in March to temporarily house rough sleepers during the crisis. Reports suggest that as many as 5400 rough sleepers have been given temporary accommodation in hotels. As the discussion has turned to what will happen after the ‘lockdown’, the fate of those who have been housed during the pandemic remains uncertain. The government has just announced that it is bringing forward funding to provide 3300 long-term […]

20 05, 2020

A recipe for good health: Kindness and connection

By |2020-05-20T09:33:56+00:00May 20th, 2020|Categories: Blog|Tags: |

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness week is currently underway. The theme this year is kindness. When browsing the website, I read the following two statements:

“We have chosen kindness because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity”.

“Kindness is defined by doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by genuine desire to make a positive difference.  We know from the research that kindness and our mental health are deeply connected. The research shows that kindness is an antidote to isolation and creates a sense of belonging”.

The statements made me reflect on the work of Fulfilling Lives. Over the last 12 months I have had the absolute privilege […]

30 04, 2020

The transition into full time employment – Part 2

By |2020-04-30T12:10:43+00:00April 30th, 2020|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |

Bev Hardman, Lead Engagement Worker for the Inreach/Outreach workstream with Birmingham Changing Futures Together reflects on the financial anxiety around moving from benefits to full-time employment following her own recovery journey. This is a follow-up piece to Bev’s blog published last year about how she gained experience as a volunteer as a step to the full-time role.

After recovering from the initial shock of successfully being appointed a role with Birmingham Changing Futures Together, my anxiety surfaced again as I began worrying about the transition into work. There were numerous things to consider, including contacting the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and signing off my benefits. This was a scary time for me as I had been in receipt of benefits for a […]

24 04, 2020

COVID-19 and Fulfilling Lives

By |2020-04-24T13:24:40+00:00April 24th, 2020|Categories: News|

In line with government guidance, the evaluation team are now working remotely and all planned face-to-face activities have been moved online for the foreseeable future. Our thoughts at this time are with our colleagues who are working hard to keep the most vulnerable in society safe. We will continue as best we can our work to develop the evidence base for longer term improvements in support for people affected by multiple disadvantage.

Following conversations with partnerships over the previous weeks, we are hearing about new creative ways of working developed by staff across Fulfilling Lives in response to the current pandemic. Those experiencing multiple disadvantage are at a heightened risk during this time and staff are continuing their work to ensure these individuals still get the […]

30 03, 2020

Have we forgotten about treatment for alcohol problems?

By |2020-03-30T12:31:41+00:00March 30th, 2020|Categories: Blog|Tags: |

Peter Keeling is campaigns officer at Collective Voice, the national alliance of drug and alcohol treatment and recovery charities.

Last month saw two important developments for the substance misuse treatment sector. Firstly, Dame Carol Black’s landmark review of drugs in the UK underlined what many in the sector have been saying for years – that significant cuts to funding for treatment have taken their toll on services’ ability to meet the needs of people using drugs harmfully and have coincided with the inexorable rise in drug-related deaths.

Secondly, summits in Glasgow convened by the Scottish and UK governments saw the current crisis around disinvestment and increasing deaths highlighted at a national level. We welcome the raising of many of these issues and look forward to working […]

13 03, 2020

2020 budget announcement

By |2020-03-13T10:07:08+00:00March 13th, 2020|Categories: News|

The 2020 budget announcement makes a commitment to provide £46 million from the Shared Outcomes Fund programme to support individuals experiencing multiple disadvantage such as homelessness, substance misuse and reoffending. At Fulfilling Lives, this comes as great news, as the national evidence for the programme highlights the need for those experiencing multiple disadvantages to be supported and for these disadvantages to be looked at holistically. Fulfilling Lives contributed learning from the national evaluation to the proposal to Her Majesty’s Treasury and the programme has been used as a source of supporting evidence as to why this investment should be made.

Fulfilling Lives, MEAM and Lankelly Chase were invited by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to contribute to the business case, with comments being […]

9 03, 2020

International Women’s Day: Gender-specific work within the Fulfilling Lives programme

By |2020-03-09T09:39:07+00:00March 9th, 2020|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |

In the past, statistics have suggested that multiple disadvantage is a predominantly male phenomenon. Following on from the Hard Edges report in 2015, Lankelly Chase began work to explore how multiple disadvantage may manifest differently in the lives of women. Their latest report, Gender Matters, redefines severe and multiple disadvantage to include homelessness, substance misuse, mental ill health and violence and abuse – a  different definition of multiple disadvantage to that used within the Fulfilling Lives programme (where violence and abuse is not included but offending is). The report starkly highlights that out of the 17,000 people who experience all four of these domains of severe and multiple disadvantage at any one time (violence and abuse […]

3 02, 2020

Creatures of habit: Workplace culture wars and memetic workforce development

By |2020-02-03T17:34:10+00:00February 3rd, 2020|Categories: Blog|

Organisations are simply collections of people who are working, to a lesser or greater extent, toward a common set of goals.  While organisational policies often clearly define the actions to take in common situations, sometimes the context is exceptional requiring staff and managers to apply their judgement.  The aim is to achieve something consistent with the spirit of the policies leading to defensible decision that achieves the outcomes understood to be consistent with the aims of the organisation.

We are, however, also creatures of habit.

Using precedent is a way we navigate though complexity to manage the personal and professional risks associated with using judgement.  These socially circumscribed understandings then often become unwritten additions to the system for exceptions handling. Part of the culture. A part of […]

31 01, 2020

Key findings from the Fulfilling Lives programme

By |2020-01-31T13:21:18+00:00January 31st, 2020|Categories: News|

The latest publication from the Fulfilling Lives evaluation summarises key findings to date. It draws together the main messages from the series of briefings we published throughout 2019 that reported data and insights from our evaluation.

The leaflet can be read here.

Since 2014, Fulfilling Lives projects in 12 areas across England have supported over 3,400 people affected by multiple disadvantage, including mental ill-health, substance misuse and homelessness. Key features of the programme that we know make a difference to beneficiaries include persistent and ongoing support, free of short-term time limits; small case-loads for workers, allowing the time to build personal relationships based on trust; and providing holistic support with a focus on beneficiaries’ priorities.

The summary leaflets covers:

17 01, 2020

Improving access to mental health support for people experiencing multiple disadvantage – latest evaluation report

By |2020-01-17T15:11:05+00:00January 17th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: |

Improving access to mental health support for people experiencing multiple disadvantage – latest evaluation report

Mental ill-health is both a cause and a consequence of multiple disadvantage. Getting help with mental health can be an essential part of the journey towards a fulfilling life. But for people affected by multiple disadvantage accessing appropriate mental health support can be challenging. Addressing this is a key strategic priority for the Fulfilling Lives programme.

The latest report from the national evaluation of Fulfilling Lives investigates the barriers to getting mental health support faced by people experiencing multiple disadvantage. The report examines the response of Fulfilling Lives partnerships and presents evidence and learning from five in-depth case studies. The Fulfilling […]

19 12, 2019

The transition into full time employment: Reflections from an Expert by Experience.

By |2019-12-19T12:47:16+00:00December 19th, 2019|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |

Bev Hardman, Lead Engagement Worker for the Inreach/ Outreach workstream with Birmingham Changing Futures Together reflects on her own recovery journey and the transition into full time employment.

I never thought that I would be able to gain and sustain full time employment. After many failed attempts including disastrous, traumatic and unsuccessful job interviews, my mind was firmly made up that this was the beginning of the end. Managing my anxiety was the barrier to me getting off benefits and into work. During this time, my anxiety was crippling and debilitating, virtually rendering me speechless.  I knew I had to put a positive spin on things and thought “what advice I would give to someone else in my position?”.

I began volunteering with Birmingham Changing Futures […]

29 11, 2019

What have we learned about delivery and transition?

By |2019-11-29T12:29:25+00:00November 29th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Gary Morris, programme manager of Waves of Hope reflects on what they have learned about delivery and transition as the programme comes to an end this December. 

It was a cold winter morning when the email from National Lottery Community Fund came through agreeing a six month continuation period for the Liverpool Fulfilling lives programme “Waves of Hope”. The agreement meant two things, firstly more time to plan for the transition of over 100 service users out of the programme and secondly to give more time to the Core Strategy Group to prepare to deliver the learning and legacy outcomes to the wider multiple disadvantage sector. During that time a lot has been achieved: the almost 100 per cent delivery of the transition plan which enables […]

21 10, 2019

Journal article co-authored by Fulfilling Lives partnership wins Outstanding Paper in the 2019 Emerald Literati Awards

By |2019-10-21T15:15:47+00:00October 21st, 2019|Categories: News|

Bruno Ornelas (Head of Services at VOICES) and Andy Meakin (Project Director of VOICES) were among authors who contributed to the article “Increasing access to Care Act 2014 assessment and personal budgets among people with experiences of homelessness and multiple exclusion: a theoretically informed case study.” The article, published in Housing, Care and Support has just been selected by the editorial team as an Outstanding Paper in the 2019 Emerald Literati Awards. It was noted by the editorial team as an exceptional piece of work. The full article can be found as open access here.

The paper discusses the progress that is being made in Stoke-on-Trent to increase access to Care Act 2014 assessments and personal budgets amongst those experiencing multiple disadvantage. […]

23 09, 2019

Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) – Our early learning points

By |2019-09-23T13:06:48+00:00September 23rd, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Dr Ray Middleton is the Workforce Development Lead for the National Lottery Community Fund’s Fulfilling Lives programme in Newcastle and Gateshead (FLNG). With a special interest in trauma-informed care, Ray is piloting a programme to develop Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) in frontline services combining an innovative ‘Open Dialogue’ approach to mental health with PIE using the ‘Ladder4Life’ framework he developed.

A Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) is a space which considers ‘the psychological make up – the thinking, emotions, personalities and past experience – of its participants in the way that it operates’ (Johnson et al., 2012).

As described in my last blog at FLNG we have long been enthusiastic promoters of PIE and have used our experience to develop and deliver a PIE training programme that supports other local […]

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