Lottery grant to allow agencies to bid for £10 million to help vulnerable

AN EAST Sussex partnership has been granted £50,000 of Lottery funding to put together plans for better supporting society’s most vulnerable, in order to receive up to £10 million.

The partnership is led by Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) and comprises nine organisations across Hastings, Eastbourne and Brighton and Hove, including Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Council.

It is one of nine partnerships across the UK that are on the verge of receiving a share of £100 million over eight years from The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), it was announced last week.

Those targeted for help will people with multiple problems such as homelessness, mental ill health, addiction and re-offending, and the aim is for services to be more accessible and better co-ordinated.

Nikki Homewood,director of BHT, said: “Using the wealth of knowledge and expertise within our local Core Group, we will develop a programme that will truly bring about change for the clients the programme work with, and local communities.

“Our vision is to bring about long-term systemic change by putting service users at the heart of services, fully understanding what they need in order to move forward with their lives: thorough monitoring and evaluation will result in well-evidenced findings, which will then be used to influence future commissioning.”

Experienced, specialist workers will provide trusted support to specific groups of individuals such as sex workers and rough sleepers, and a project team will identify barriers facing individuals who try to access services, and also consider where there are gaps in provision or missing links between services.

This information, alongside a review of current services, will be used to make the services better co-ordinated, with input from the service users themselves.

Alison Rowe, Big Lottery Fund England head of communications, said: “There are countless statistics demonstrating a need to help people with multiple and complex needs.

“Our ultimate goal is to use the learning gleaned from this investment to shift policy thinking so that individuals become assets rather than just a drain on society.”