Bristol awarded £3.3 million to support vulnerable citizens: City Hall

22 Jul 2021

Bristol awarded £3.3 million to support vulnerable citizens

'Changing Futures' funding from government will boost adult support

Bristol has secured a £3.3 million grant to help adults in the city facing disadvantages such as homelessness, mental health problems, substance issues, domestic abuse and in the criminal justice system, after a successful bid to government.

Working with community partnership Golden Key Bristol, the partnership landed the funding through the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) new three-year ‘Changing Futures’ scheme.

The funding will build on the existing ‘Change For Good’ programme, which was set up last year by Golden Key Bristol, Bristol City Council and the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.

The grant will develop the partnership’s ‘My Team Around Me’ multi-agency team concept. This will provide long-term wrap-around support to a person with multiple needs to ensure consistent relationships and better, sustainable outcomes.

It will also support the evolution of Golden Key’s Independent Futures group, an advisory group of people with lived experience, to develop a Learning Academy offer, so that people can have a life beyond services, building on people’s strengths and assets.

They are one of only 15 successful bids to receive a share of £64 million, out of 97 applicants since the scheme opened last year.

Councillor Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We are thrilled to have successfully secured the ‘Changing Futures’ grant. This substantial funding will enable us to further support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, building on lessons learned in recent times.

“Bristol has a high, and growing, proportion of people who are affected by mental ill-health, substance misuse, homelessness and domestic abuse, and we know that some people do not fare well in traditional services due to their multiple disadvantages, and sometimes their previous experiences. This extra funding will support our collective commitment and ambition to tackle citywide problems and reduce inequalities together.”

Bristol City Council’s Executive Director for People, Hugh Evans, said: “Thanks to the National Lottery and MHCLG, we received the funding that will further enable us to meet our vision – to ensure people with multiple disadvantage are valued and empowered, and that they inspire and are inspired to have a life beyond service.

“Working directly with people with lived experience has been, and will continue to be, at the heart of Bristol’s approach. The bid has been co-designed with lived experience groups and includes deep listening exercises to fully understand the system change needed. 

“We have selected three main groups to work with in Bristol with the view that learning from these will be applied to wider populations with multiple disadvantage. The cohorts include: young people from minority ethnic communities experiencing multiple disadvantage compounded by discrimination, women experiencing domestic abuse and people experiencing complex/compound trauma, behavioural challenges and chronic homelessness.

“Our delivery plan sets out what we aim to achieve over the next three years, and we will work rigorously, in partnership with Golden Key Bristol and the MHCLG, to advance our systems and services, putting the wellbeing of our city’s vulnerable citizens at the heart of our work.”

John Simpson, Independent Chair of the Golden Key Partnership Board, said: “Over the past seven years, Golden Key has worked collaboratively with statutory services, the voluntary sector and people with lived experience to improve services for adults in Bristol facing multiple disadvantage. We have worked with our external evaluators to develop a strong evidenced based view of what works at individual, service and system levels.

“We are delighted to pass these insights to the 'Changing Futures' project. Our established partnership has given us the advantage in securing this funding and I’m really committed to building on, and developing, existing relationships. We know that for our clients to lead fulfilling lives, we need to reach across organisational boundaries and work together.”

Julia Ross, CEO of the NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are delighted that Bristol has been selected to receive the ‘Changing Futures’ funding. Many people in our communities face multiple disadvantage. Equally, every individual has strengths they can build on, and that is what our partnership does so well - works with people to understand their unique context and aspirations for the future.

 “As well as supporting individuals to change their own futures, the learning will go on to shape wider health and care services; improving the way we support people with the most complex needs in all our settings. Reducing health inequalities is a key priority for our health and care system. Working with Bristol City Council, Golden Key and all our partners, we are determined to ensure services are proactive, personalised and designed in partnership with our population.”

Of the £3.3 million grant, £523,000 will be invested in Lived Experience assets, working with the Independent Futures group to conduct listening exercises with people experiencing multiple disadvantage, and the development of a Lived Experience Learning Academy. 

£861,000 will be invested in ‘My Team Around Me’, piloting and scaling the partnership’s new multi-agency team concept, while £460k will be invested in system change leadership development and action across the partnership.

A further £392,000 will be invested in data systems, to improve the availability and use of data, and £342,000 will be used to develop specialist approaches including mental health support and a community engagement approach with young people from minority ethnic communities. The remaining money will fund programme management and governance. 

The MHCLG launched the £64 million Changing Futures programme in December 2020 to help improve the way that systems and services work to support individuals experiencing multiple disadvantage, with local organisations were invited to form partnerships and bid for a share of the funding.

The programme is a joint initiative by the MHCLG and The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

The programme seeks to test new ways of bringing together the public sector and community sector to address cross-cutting issues and to drive the modernisation of public services for people experiencing multiple disadvantage, with local organisations were invited to form partnerships and bid for a share of the funding.