From Fulfilling Lives to Changing Futures in Stoke-on-Trent
Photograph from StokeonTrentLive – Pictured: Jo Gideon (MP Stoke Central), John Mothersole (Chair of the National Lottery Community Fund), Cllr Abi Brown Leader of the Council, Andy Meakin (VOICES Project Director), Darren Murinas (CEO of Expert Citizens), and Eddie Hughes MP Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing.
Author: Andy Meakin, Director, VOICES
On Friday, 16th July we were delighted to host the Minister for Housing and Rough Sleeping, Eddie Hughes MP, to celebrate the award of £3.9m to Stoke-on-Trent through a programme called Changing Futures. VOICES partners and stakeholders were central to pulling together the successful bid which builds on local learning from the Fulfilling Lives project. Changing Futures will provide tailored support to people experiencing combinations of homelessness, mental ill-health, addiction, contact with the criminal justice system, and domestic abuse.
Key components of the model draw on learning from the VOICES partnership, which is led by Brighter Futures, including a multi-agency team of Case Coordinators, additional social care and psychological support, and improved access to primary care through a ‘health hub’ approach.
Mr Hughes told StokeonTrentLive: “We need to look at the individual and help them deal with all of the challenges that they face, rather than sending them to five different places to get each element addressed. This project will bring all of those things together. Being at Voices genuinely felt like I was sat with a family. It felt like a bunch of people who have helped each other through difficult times and you can feel that. They have put that positivity and experience into their bid and it’s helped them to build that design and develop it.”
Changing Futures will help 350 local people experiencing multiple disadvantages to work towards their aspirations through a coordinated suite of services. Stakeholders will be working at the same time to embed effective approaches as permanent features of the local system.