New partnership in Blackpool supports people with multiple complex needs

Photograph of the top of the Blackpool Tower - a red metal structure - against a blue sky. In the foreground is a seagull sat on a lamp post

The lives of Blackpool residents who have multiple complex needs are being significantly improved, thanks to an innovative new partnership.

Blackpool Fulfilling Lives — a pioneering collaborative programme for people who are coping with homelessness, mental health problems, re-offending and substance misuse — has begun to reduce pressure on local services by working together with partners across the town.

As detailed in a new report released today, Blackpool Fulfilling Lives (BFL) has helped people to access health services, and has arranged better housing.  

Other findings included in the Blackpool Fulfilling Lives: Evaluation Report:

  •  Clients have reduced their drug and/or alcohol use
  •  People feel healthier and safer
  •  They have more confidence and are coping better with day-to-day life

BFL, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and delivered by mental health and substance misuse charity Addaction, helps people who have chaotic lives by offering one-to-one, joined-up support. 

Blackpool Fulfilling Lives: Evaluation Report has been independently produced by local evaluators Cordis Bright alongside a team of peer researchers, all of whom have lived experienced of the issues BFL was set up to address. 

Blackpool is one of 12 areas across England that has been funded by the Big Lottery to improve the lives of people with multiple needs. Staff deliver tailored, flexible and intensive support to hard-to-reach individuals, some of whom have never fully engaged with traditional services, improving their confidence and capabilities. 

The programme is based on the premise that services are currently struggling to work with people who have multiple complex needs on an individual basis — and that change is needed. Crucially, the BFL partnership has been designed with input from service users and people with real-life experience of homelessness, mental health problems, re-offending and substance misuse. 

Glyn Smithson, partnership manager for BFL, said: “We’re delighted that this independently produced report reveals the extent to which individuals with complex needs are being supported to change their lives. Thanks to a collaborative approach, linking up with partners across Blackpool, we’re able to deliver an innovative service that has a significant impact. With so many organisations facing budget cuts, we’re also pleased to demonstrate the success of Blackpool Fulfilling Lives in saving local services thousands of pounds.”

The Blackpool Fulfilling Lives: Evaluation Report (pdf) can be downloaded here.