Liverpool project secures significant public sector savings

A new service established following a £10m grant from the Big Lottery Fund to support people in Liverpool struggling with multiple and complex needs including homelessness, reoffending, substance misuse and mental ill-health, is making significant progress in its first six months. 

Liverpool Waves of Hope, one of 12 projects nationally to receive the funding, is delivering a ground-breaking new approach to support services for people with multiple needs in the city that are already starting to realise significant savings to other public services.

In one case alone, a saving of £6,000 a month has been achieved through providing a service user with the intensive support needed to help them manage their alcohol dependency and mental health issues and bring together the right public sector partners to put a joined up care programme in place. This had led to a significantly reduced attendance at A&E. Previously there had been in excess of 200 A&E attendances per year.

The success of the programme so far has been through its service user led approach – it has been designed to work directly with service users to provide flexible, integrated services that ensure there are ‘no wrong doors’ for people needing to access support. It brings together four main areas of support – Intensive support, accommodation based service, peer mentoring and a recovering campus – and is aimed at adults with needs in at least three of the following areas: homelessness, reoffending, substance misuse and mental ill-health.

It is led by housing association Plus Dane and delivered through a partnership of local experienced service providers – Riverside, Liverpool YMCA and Whitechapel – who engage with service users to develop a package of support to meet their needs.

Gary Morris, Waves of Hope Project Manager at Plus Dane, said: “Waves of Hope is going from strength to strength and starting to demonstrate a real impact on the ground.

“What sets it apart from previous programmes is not just that it’s a genuinely client-led service, but in the level of training that staff receive and the intensive support they are able to provide. This means that we are better equipped than ever to understand the complex needs of people accessing the service and provide tailored, intensive support to meet their needs and help them get their lives back on track.”

Ellie McNeil, Chief Executive of Liverpool YMCA, added: “Liverpool YMCA provides nine beds of dedicated accommodation as part of Liverpool Waves of Hope. In the short space that the service has been running we have seen some of the hardest to engage people in the city connect with their community environment, access the intensive support on offer and begin to talk about the possibility of change. At the heart of the project is the service users and our role is to instil hope, build self-efficacy and support people to grow and develop and create positive, sustainable futures for themselves.”