£10m to support vulnerable people

A new project that will help people struggling with multiple problems including homelessness, reoffending, substance misuse and mental ill-health has been announced as one of 12 projects nationally to receive almost £10m from the Big Lottery Fund.

The partnership project, led by Neighbourhood investor, Plus Dane Group, secured funding from the Big Lottery Fund in March 2013 to bring together a number of service delivery and strategic partners to develop a business case for the project.

Today’s funding announcement will see the partnership embark upon the final planning stages of a five year, £10m project to deliver flexible, integrated services in Liverpool which will ensure that there are ‘no wrong doors’ for people with multiple and complex needs.

The project has been developed with service users and will lead to long term changes in the way that services are delivered to people with multiple problems. It will incorporate existing services and commission a new set of bespoke services, as well as addressing accommodation issues by enabling better access to supported housing and the rented sector.

Andy Lomas, Neighbourhoods Director at Plus Dane Group, said: “The £10 million investment by Big Lottery in Liverpool’s Project is fantastic news for Liverpool and for people with multiple and complex needs living across the city. The Liverpool Project has been developed in partnership with a range of agencies from across the public, voluntary and private sectors and most importantly, has been designed with service users at its heart.

“Through working closely with service users we will be delivering a new set of services that will be personalised to individual needs and we are confident that this will ensure that anyone needing support gets the right help.”

Nat Sloane, Big Lottery Fund England Chair, said: “We’ve worked with a range of charities who tell us that currently the system is flawed – people are passed from pillar to post and the result is them rebounding in and out of A&E departments and criminal courts rather than being helped in an effective way by integrated support services. 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.”

GP Dr Ed Gaynor, from Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body said: “Improving health outcomes across a whole population means tailoring the approach depending on the requirements of different groups. This is especially important when treating patients whose circumstances might be more challenging.

“This funding will allow us to develop some new approaches to helping people with complex needs. It’s a genuinely exciting opportunity to make a real, long-term impact on the health of particularly vulnerable individuals.”

After submitting its business plan to the Big Lottery Fund in September 2013, Plus Dane Group aims to start the programme in the spring after securing this further funding, with the first group of clients being supported from September 2014.

After experiencing homelessness, Tom, 46, has benefited from support services in Liverpool, which is where he says he found the help that he needed to get his life back on track.

This support has made him determined to help others in similar situations to ensure they get the help they need and got involved in the Service User Forum, which has played a key role in developing the Liverpool project. Tom commented:

“Service users provide such good insight into how services are run and the impact that they have. I’ve been involved from the beginning in the Liverpool project and I think it’s really good that service users are having a say and our experiences are helping to shape how things are run in the future.

“I think this approach will make a real difference. People have been falling in and out of services and falling through the cracks and with the help of this Big Lottery funding, this shouldn’t happen in the future as they’ll be more support.

“Once the services are up and running my hope is that people that are engaging with the services can become part of the service user forum themselves and play a role in helping others, getting involved has been such an invaluable learning experience.”

Liverpool Waterfront