Complex commissioning for complex needs using partnerships, individuals assets and lived experience

The third instalment of this year’s Social Justice Commissioning seminar series will take place on the 6th of November at Manchester Metropolitan University.

According to research by the Lankelly Chase Foundation (2015), around 60,000 people in England experience multiple and complex needs, defined here as exhibiting at least two of: homelessness, current/historical offending, problematic substance or alcohol misuse, and mental ill-health. This not only affects their lives, but leads to significant social and economic costs associated with a failure to effectively support them. The Big Lottery Fund has invested £112m over 8 years to fund partnerships of local organisations to work together and improve services for people with such needs.

Complex commissioning for complex needs using partnerships, individuals assets and lived experience’ will look at what has been learned in the first four years of the programme around how this beneficiary group can best be supported and how that may inform commissioning. Here, we briefly introduce the speakers and their take on current support for those with complex needs:

Laura Furness is responsible for the national Fulfilling Lives programme at The Big Lottery Fund.

“I’ve been part of the programme for 3 years and find it a huge privilege to do the role. Previously, I have had brief stints in Central Government and EU funding however most of my career has been in substance misuse (predominantly criminal justice). I’ve seen various aspects of this work and remain frustrated that people don’t seem to be getting what they need, though we seem to know that we can do things better. I’ve seen too many people lose their lives to issues related to multiple needs and yet I’ve also seen many make amazing lives following their experiences. I hope to work to reduce the former and improve opportunities for people to have the lives they want.”

Tess Tainton is the co-chair of the Mental Health and Homelessness Action Group (MHAG), part of the Manchester Homelessness Charter, since November 2016. This led to her employment with Inspiring Change Manchester as their Involvement Coordinator.

“The reason I became part of the MHAG was my own experiences with poor mental health and homelessness and this is what I’ll be reflecting upon in the Complex Commissioning Workshop. My history of poor mental health spans over 16 years and in 2013 it was the reason I lost my employment and for my subsequent homelessness. During my recovery I witnessed many examples of good, and bad practices within services; changes of service tenders; and the use of service user involvement with differing levels of success.”

Paul Pandolfo has worked in delivery, leadership and commissioning roles across several sectors; health education, social work, drugs and alcohol, criminal justice and homelessness.

“I’ve worked for Shelter since 2014 as the Programme Manager for Inspiring Change, the Manchester Fulfilling Lives programme. Over the years I’ve seen success come when there’s been a clear mission around social change, and partnerships are built that empower and get innovation by including people and communities. I also feel privileged to be involved with the Fulfilling Lives programme, it has led to me rethinking lots of previously held assumptions about social policy and the way services should be designed and run.”

You can register here for the event.

Please note: You must be an Academy for Social Justice Commissioning member in order to attend this event. Membership and services are free – register to join the Academy here.

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