Fulfilling Lives Stoke On Trent
Local authority boundaries of Stoke-on-Trent.
- Lead Partner: Brighter Futures
- Expert Citizen C.I.C.
- Healthwatch Stoke
- Stoke-on-Trent City Council
- North Staffordshire YMCA
- Staffordshire Police
- North Staffordshire MIND
- Citizens Advice Staffordshire North and Stoke-on-Trent (SNSCAB)
- Stoke-on-Trent Citizens Advice Bureau
- Aspire Housing Association
WHAT THE PROJECT DOES
Listening, learning, and leading through the lived experience of local people with multiple needs; coordinating services with people experiencing homelessness, mental-ill health, addiction, and offending in combination.
VOICES seek to empower people experiencing multiple needs to change their lives and to influence services. The project is delivered by an operational team that coordinates a range of services and stakeholders supporting people with multiple needs. Part of the mission is to change systems through casework and assertive advocacy to ensure fair and equal access to services with sustainability. VOICES seek to identify and understand the drivers behind the challenges and barriers that people with multiple needs often experience – these may be skills-based, culturally constructed and process driven.
VOICES delivers a citywide learning programme to bust myths and increase empathy while enhancing the skills and confidence of frontline staff working with people experiencing multiple nedds. Delegates experience a shared learning environment in which services can come together and understand each other’s roles, responsibilities and constraints. Asset-based and solution focused approaches form the culture of the learning events.
Central to all the project activity are the voices of Expert Citizens. Expert Citizens coproduced the project plan for the VOICES partnership in Stoke on Trent. Expert Citizens have since established a Community Interest Company as a vehicle for promoting the value of lived experience. All Expert Citizens have lived experience of multiple needs.
Expert Citizens C.I.C. use their voice and insight to:
- raise awareness of multiple needs.
- reduce stigma.
- challenge stereotypes.
- encourage decision-makers to listen, learn, and then lead systems change in local services to make them even better.