Forthcoming Special Issue - Supporting people experiencing multiple disadvantage: Evidence from the Fulfilling Lives programme

Housing, Care and Support

Fulfilling Lives is a National Lottery Community Fund programme worth £112 million over 8 years. The programme aims to better support people experiencing multiple disadvantage, including homelessness, substance misuse, reoffending and mental ill-health. To date, the programme has supported over 4,000 beneficiaries. In terms of its duration, reach and ambition, the programme provides a unique and valuable opportunity to understand more about multiple disadvantage and how best to support people affected.

Voluntary sector-led partnerships in 12 areas of England have been trialling new ideas and initiatives to help people affected by multiple disadvantage access more joined-up services tailored to their needs. The programme has had a strong focus on systems change so that these new ways of working can be sustained.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential, but the current system is not working for people facing multiple disadvantage. Many of their interactions with public services are negative and/or avoidable, and few receive the treatment they need. Whilst Fulfilling Lives has offered a different approach – involving persistent and ongoing support, free from restrictive timescales and focusing on beneficiaries’ priorities, dealing with multiple disadvantage takes time and requires long-term investment. Although the programme comes to an end in 2022, the demand for services to support people experiencing multiple disadvantage remains.

At the 2019 Spending Review, the government announced a new Shared Outcomes Fund to test innovative ways of bringing together the public sector to address cross-cutting issues and drive the modernisation of public services. £46m of this fund has been committed to the Changing Futures programme to improve the way that systems and services work to support individuals experiencing multiple disadvantage. The work of Fulfilling Lives is cited in the prospectus and members of the Fulfilling Lives National Expert Citizen Group have been involved in the planning of this programme. The Fund demonstrates a governmental investment in supporting people experiencing multiple disadvantage and highlights that there is increasing interest in this policy area.

This special issue will share learning and insight from the evaluation of the Fulfilling Lives programme and highlight how people experiencing multiple disadvantage can best be supported.


For more information, please contact the Guest Editors:

Beth Collinson, University of Sheffield ([email protected])

Jo Welford, CFE Research (j[email protected])

Rachel Moreton, CFE Research (r[email protected])

Kate Green, The National Lottery Community Fund (k[email protected] )