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About Us

Fulfilling Lives is an eight-year learning programme looking to improve the lives of people with complex needs and build a trauma-informed approach within the services that support them across Newcastle and Gateshead.

It is one of twelve programmes linked together across England funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, looking to influence the system nationally. A Core Partnership of Changing Lives (lead partner), Mental Health Concern and Oasis Community Housing lead the programme’s activity.

Our Vision

Our vision is to build a culture of learning, hope and collaboration across Newcastle and Gateshead; helping the workforce create a community that understands and welcomes people experiencing homelessness, substance misuse, mental ill health and offending. Together we will develop ways their voices can be heard, their views valued and actively influence and shape the services, policies and practice that exist to support them.

We work with people who are often excluded from the support they need, and experience a combination of at least three of the following four issues:

  • Homelessness
  • Offending
  • Substance misuse
  • Mental ill health

This not only affects their lives but leads to significant social and economic costs associated with failing to effectively support them.

What is Multiple and Complex Needs?

People with multiple needs find it more difficult to engage with services, and are often referred to as ‘hard to reach’. They find that specific services may not fully understand the breadth of their issues, and therefore their holistic needs are not met. Additionally, they may become frustrated by a lack of services or the un-coordination of available services. This frustration, when vented, can lead to them being deemed as ‘difficult clients’, often leading to further exclusion and disengagement from support and society.

People with multiple complex needs often rotate through various services and systems which can actually make their problems worse rather than helping them, at a cost to both them and society. Our programme aims to ensure that their full needs are met, helping them to improve their lives for the better.

What we do

In April 2018 we changed our delivery model to increase our focus on system change and lead five strands of work:

Direct Client Work with people experiencing MCN – using the navigation approach and now piloting an innovative American model of support called Critical Time Intervention (CTI).

Experts by Experience (EBE) – building a network of people that values the voice of lived experience, uses peer research to understand how services can better support people with MCN

Workforce Development – building understanding of multiple and complex needs and the impact of trauma through 5 regular multi-agency training courses in Co-Production, MCN Awareness, Peer Research, Psychologically Informed Environments (PIEs) and Systems Thinking. The majority of these courses are both co-designed and co-delivered by our EBE network members.

System Change – creating a dedicated role to develop our priority areas of systemic change as outlined in the plan below.

Research and Evaluation – Embedding a peer research training programme across Newcastle and Gateshead to facilitate the voice of lived experience being heard and influencing, along with our programme findings positive changes to policy and practice both locally and nationally.

What we can offer you

  • Training – both free and bespoke skills development to build the capacity of your workforce across Newcastle and Gateshead
  • Help with commissioning services using our peer researchers and strategic group
  • Access to the latest research into system change and our help in understanding and implementing it
  • Act as a critical friend by supporting your organisation’s purposeful change, underpinned by a strong evidence base, a shared voice and collaborative approach.
  • Access to our network of people with lived experience, who can inform your thinking and service design

Contact us to find out more.