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Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead Evidence Included in House of Lords Report

Evidence we submitted to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Complex Needs and Dual Diagnosis (APPG) in partnership with the National Expert Citizens Group (NECG) is being launched as part of the ‘People Powered Recovery’ report in the House of Lords.

Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead contributed to the submission of evidence to the APPG from the NECG in 2017, along with other Fulfilling Lives projects across the country.

In April 2017, the APPG, in partnership with the Office for Civil Society, put out a call for evidence asking how social action can “drive better services for people with complex needs by improving outcomes, preventing crisis, reducing stigma and developing more responsive and joined up services.” They used a broad definition of social action as “people coming together to help improve their lives and solve the problems that are important in their communities.”

The evidence submitted to the APPG informed the ‘People Powered Recovery’ report in the House of Lords, and a roundtable meeting, chaired by the Minister for Civil Society, Tracey Crouch, will bring together system leaders to consider the evidence and develop sustained action for change based on the recommendations from the report.

Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead shared evidence of how our Experts By Experience are involved at every level of the programme structure, and activities that have taken place throughout the year to increase Experts’ confidence and skills in social action.

One such activity was the production of film resources used to train multi-agency staff teams (from all four silos), and the co-delivery of our Complex Needs training in Newcastle and Gateshead. The impact of the training has since been evaluated and published on our website here.

Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead also contributed to an oral evidence session for the APPG, alongside MEAM, on 15th July 2017. Our Co-Production Lead, David McCormack, presented to the committee with Nicola Drinkwater, Senior Policy Officer at Clinks.

The APPG was established in 2007 in recognition of the fact that people seeking help often have a number of over-lapping needs including challenges around access to housing, employment opportunities, mental health services or substance misuse support.

Through its work the APPG seeks to ensure that the needs of this group remain on the political agenda and a priority for decision makers.

Secretariat for the APPG is provided by Turning Point, a large social enterprise which specialises in working with people with complex needs.

The APPG has a network of nearly 300 members including the VCSE, academia, local government, the NHS, regulatory bodies and individual service users/family members.

The work of the APPG is diverse and has covered issues such as mental health and the criminal justice system; looked after children and care leavers; sex workers; legal highs; veterans and joining up policy on multiple needs from the perspective of those on the frontline.

Other contributors to the NECG submission included Opportunity Nottingham, Wy-Fi, Fulfilling Lives South East, Inspire Change Manchester, and Birmingham Changing Futures Together.

The Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Fulfilling Lives: Supporting people with multiple needs’ programme is an £112 million investment to improve the stability, confidence and capability of people with multiple and complex needs to lead better lives as a result of timely, supportive and coordinated services so that they spend less time in prison, reduce their drug abuse, are in stable accommodation and have better mental health.

The programme operates in 12 areas around England: Blackpool, Liverpool, Manchester, West Yorkshire, Newcastle & Gateshead, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, Stoke-on-Trent, Camden & Islington, Lambeth, Southwark & Lewisham and the South East (Brighton & Hove, Eastbourne and Hastings). The programme works with individuals who have experience of two or more of the following: homelessness, substance misuse, mental ill health and offending behaviour.

Read the report here.