The Changing Futures programme is a £64 million joint initiative by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. The fund is for local organisations to work in partnership to better support those who experience multiple disadvantage, including homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues, domestic abuse, and contact with the criminal justice system.
The Changing Futures grant awarded to Nottingham, will build on the positive work already being delivered in the City to support those facing multiple disadvantage. The successful bid follows an application led by the Nottingham City Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), in partnership with many organisations including Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Opportunity Nottingham; an organisation that closes in June 2022, but will see key aspects of its work in supporting those facing multiple disadvantage in Nottingham City continue under the new funding. People experiencing multiple disadvantage within the City were also involved in the bid, providing their views on how services can be improved to ensure better outcomes for people facing very challenging circumstances in their lives.
Nottingham has the 8th highest prevalence of multiple disadvantage in England. A strategic priority of the Nottingham City Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) is to support people who face multiple disadvantage to live longer and healthier lives. The grant will fund a specialist team, with links to key services including housing, probation, mental health services, and Social Workers. A key focus will be on building a sustainable City Partnership; delivering integrated support for people facing multiple disadvantage in the City, via a cost effective, connected and person-centred system.
Councillor Adele Williams, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health at Nottingham City Council, said: “This is great news and I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to secure vital funding for people facing multiple disadvantage in Nottingham. It’s an example of the power of partnership working and means more people can access our services.
"The grant is specifically designed to support people facing homelessness, those suffering with mental health issues, people with a history of alcohol or substance abuse, victims of domestic abuse and individuals looking to rebuild their lives after a criminal conviction.
"We’ve done a lot of work during the pandemic to support homeless people but we understand the often-complex issues they face require wider considerations into their underlying disadvantage. This money will help the Council and its partners to work more effectively to find solutions.”
Hugh Porter, Clinical Director and Interim Lead of Nottingham City ICP added: “I am delighted we have been awarded this funding to help transform the services available to some of our most disadvantaged Citizens over the next three years. It will allow us to build on the great work of Opportunity Nottingham and other partners in the City. It’s a really exciting opportunity to deliver a more proactive service, providing wrap-around support for those facing SMD, creating long-term benefits for them and the City.”
Lee, an Expert Citizen from Opportunity Nottingham, was involved in the bid, and reflects on what the funding will mean for those who are currently, or may go on to face some of the difficult challenges he has faced: “With Opportunity Nottingham we have learnt so much, and really fought for support for people facing multiple disadvantage in Nottingham City. Winning the Changing Futures bid will mean that this support – which is massively needed – can continue. The future looks bright!”
The impact of the funding will be felt immediately within the City, with a core delivery team structure already developed, and transition into new roles to commence during the summer.