By Stephen Bell OBE, Chief Executive of Changing Lives
Last week I was proud to see the launch of a project that captures the very ethos of what we do at Changing Lives.
The Big Lottery’s Fulfilling Lives programme provides us with a unique opportunity to bring positive and long lasting changes to the way in which we support some of the most vulnerable people in Newcastle and Gateshead.
Two things stand out for me as to why this programme is different. The first is the length of time – 8 years of funding gives us a real chance to make lasting changes to the way services work. The second is giving help in a joined up way rather than leaving someone with a combination of issues trying to link up a number of different services on their own.
Delivering this in partnership with Aquila Way and Mental Health Concern demonstrates that ethos in action, as we bring our complementary skills together to improve support for the 500 or so people furthest away from services. The programme will also build on the excellent work of the commissioners in Newcastle and Gateshead which has continued to be delivered in a difficult economic environment. Working with clients, our core partners, and existing strategic commissioning teams, this eight year investment will allow us the time and resources needed to make the sustainable changes in ways of working.
What’s most important to me is that clients have been at the heart of shaping this project from the beginning. Ultimately they have told us they need the system of support to be as simple as possible. Through their continued involvement, the partnership will ensure that Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead acts as a catalyst for positive, long-term change which helps people get a home, a job and look forward to a positive future.