The Big Lottery Fund is awarding £112 million across England to end ‘the revolving door of care’ faced by thousands of people with multiple problems including homelessness, mental ill health, addiction and reoffending.
Grants of up to £10 million to 12 regions will help to improve and create better coordinated services to prevent people living chaotic lives being passed between charities and services, which often cannot individually deal with their range of needs.
The money will be used to bring together organisations and bodies in each of the 12 areas to coordinate and join up service, increasing the stability, confidence and capability of people with multiple and complex needs to lead better lives, spend less time in prison, reduce their drug abuse, and get the support they need for their mental health problems.
Over the course of eight-year investment, the Big Lottery Fund will gather evidence by tracking the success of the partnerships to help shed light on more effective and efficient ways of organising and delivering services for people with multiple needs, the significant savings in health and criminal justice costs as well as the benefits to the individuals themselves and their communities.
The learning will be used to improve practice amongst the projects it funds, influence future policy and practice and encourage the continuation of successful interventions.
This move has been welcomed by charity coalition Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM), which represents Clinks, DrugScope, Homeless Link and Mind. Oliver Hilbery, MEAM project director, said the charities were "delighted" about the launch of the Fulfilling Lives: supporting people with multiple needs initiative.
"From our own work and research we know the serious impact that multiple needs can have on individuals, that traditional service approaches have historically failed this group, and that coordinated interventions can have a significant positive impact on individual’s wellbeing and service use," he said.
"The long-term scope of the Big Lottery Fund’s investment will help local areas not only to design new services, but to take forward the systemic changes that will make this new way of working sustainable in the future.
“We are excited to be playing our part in this programme and look forward to working with the partnerships over the eight years of the programme."
Nat Sloane, Big Lottery Fund England chair, concluded: “We’ve worked with a range of charities who tell us that currently the system is flawed. This £112 million investment will end the revolving door of care for these vulnerable people and rather than being drains on society will allow them to become assets that benefit their communities and society as a whole.”