The national Changing Futures programme

The national Changing Futures programme

In 2020, the government’s Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) invited expressions of interest from areas who wanted to take a new approach to tackling multiple disadvantage.

What is multiple disadvantage?

People are said to be muliply disadvantaged when they experience at least three of the following five situations:

  • Homelessness
  • Substance misuse
  • Mental health issues
  • Domestic abuse
  • Criminal Justice

In our area we felt well placed to apply, as we already work with Making Every Adult Matter to run our Counting Every adult teams, one covering Cambridgeshire and one covering Peterborough. You can find out a little more about Counting Every Adult here. And you can follow this link to see a short video about the Making Every Adult Matter approach.

Our expression of interest

Partners from across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough submitted an expression of interest in January 2021 and in March MHCLG announced that we were one of the 21 areas to be shortlisted from 97 areas that applied. Here is our expression of interest.

In essence, our bid was about extending and enhancing the approach taken by Counting Every Adult across more organisations in our area, so we can all work together more effectively to help people make their way out of multiple disadvantage – but at a pace and in ways which suit them, not imposing on them plans which each organisation might require. Plans which quite often conflict, don’t take about of the effect of the person having more than one “issue”, and are not adequately trauma informed.

In other words, each organisation (covering health and mental health, housing, care, support, substance misuse etc) tries to help people with one issue but by taking things “one issue at a time” often end up not tailoring the actions to that individual person. Like fitting a square peg into a round hole.

It is not surprising that some people fall through the gaps, or give up, and end up encountering more disadvantages than they started with.

Our bid also allows us to use the learning we have gained over the last ten years and in future years to evolve our systems that impact those people who face multiple disadvantage to improve their outcomes and to reduce the number of people who fall in to multiple disadvantage.

A key feature of this work will be to co-produce systems at all levels involving those who have lived experience.

Our bid

We engaged consultants at Social Finance to help us prepare the bid by the deadline and within the framework MHCLG had provided. We held workshops to gather input from organisations, individuals and people with lived experience to help us shape and focus the bid, as well as a lot of individual conversations and specialist input from the organisations involved, and who are bidding for funding for other projects which could link to Changing Futures.

We submitted a number of documents forming our bid:

Outcome of bid

The outcome of bidding was announced on Saturday 17th July. Unfortunately our bid was not successful. You can read the announcement here.

Here is a set of slides (in powerpoint format) to help talk through the Changing Futures information above, including a list of the successful bidders.

However partners agreed locally to progress this work, you can find out about Changing Futures Cambridgeshire & Peterborough here.