Therapeutic support, community gardens, training opportunities, mental health support and healthcare for the homeless are just some of the initiatives made possible by a new £2.8m Changing Futures grant.
Changing Futures is a national programme that aims to improve outcomes for adults experiencing multiple disadvantage. This could include a range of multiple and complex needs like homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues, domestic abuse and contact with the criminal justice system.
Often, these individuals can be moved around between services and when crisis point is reached, present to emergency services. This cycle not only worsens their situation and impedes recovery further, it also puts extra demand on public services.
Therefore, as part of Changing Futures, the programme will test different approaches to transform the way services work together to better support those with multiple and complex needs.
A key allocation of the funding willl see an increased staff capacity within Phoenix Futures and Futures in Mind who currently support the County Council in supporting individuals with a range of multiple and complex needs. This includes providing intensive, therapeutic wrap around support.
In addition, the funding will see a programme of work to improve and increase support for these individuals. At a local level, partners across the 12 districts have been invited to apply for funding from the £2.8m to deliver projects in their own area to improve support for people with multiple and complex needs.
Successful bids include funding for rural training, a new community garden, funding for further outreach from the SOS Bus, a Nurse Practitioner to support homeless clients with physical and mental health needs and a Specialist Job Coach who will work with homeless individuals.
Although Changing Futures started in late 2021, an official launch event took place on Wednesday 4 May. The event brought together partners from across the county, including health, social care, and the voluntary sector, delegates were encouraged to challenge the way in which they can work more collaboratively using existing resources to better support those with multiple and complex needs.