Chatting with friends over the weekend the topic turned to the works of Keanu Reeves (don’t ask) and his big break: the film Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989!). We all agreed that the central philosophy of ‘Be excellent to each other’ was a pretty sound one.
CFE Research, working in partnership with the University of Sheffield, have published their latest report on the evaluation of the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Fulfilling Lives: Supporting people with multiple needs’ programme.
Supporting those who are chronically excluded and disadvantaged – experiencing homelessness, mental ill health, substance misuse and reoffending – is a challenge that needs a different approach. The £112 million initiative is funding 12 projects across England to provide more person-centred and co-ordinated support.
Latest findings from the evaluation show that projects have made a good start in reaching those with greatest need. But continued effort is needed to reach ‘hidden’ and harder to reach groups such as women with multiple needs and people from Black and minority ethnic communities.
The initiative still has six years to run, and as such few beneficiaries have successfully moved on to date. But there are signs that those who remain on the programme are making progress, accepting help, engaging better with services and building trusting relationship. Frontline staff report that flexible, open-ended support that focuses on beneficiaries’ own priorities is key to making a difference.