In order to provide convincing evidence that the Big Lottery Fund’s investment has made a difference the evaluation team are gathering data from six additional areas not receiving funding from the Fulfilling Lives: Supporting people with multiple needs initiative. These areas form the ‘counterfactual’ group. We picked these areas because they are broadly similar to the 12 funded areas. The counterfactual areas provide a comparison against which we can measure the impact the funding has had. The six areas are: Bolton, Bournemouth, Brent, Enfield, Sheffield, Southend-on-Sea.

The data collected from service users in these areas will allow the National Evaluation team to build an evidence base of what works for people with multiple needs that can be used to influence change. The focus is not on pointing out shortcomings in counterfactual organisation’s services, but in demonstrating the impact of investing in and reconfiguring services, and enabling effective practice to be spread.