We have had some very good news this week which is attracting some media interest. A consortium, being led by BHT, is in the running for funding from the Big Lottery of up to £10 million over 8 years. The initiative is designed to improve services for men and women with complex needs (a combination of mental ill health, homelessness, offending behaviour and substance misuse problems) in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings. Between now and September, a full bid and business plan needs to be prepared. A decision will then be made by the Big Lottery and the new services will begin from April 2014.
The purpose of this funding is to bring about lasting change in how services work with people with multiple and complex needs; this funding is a vehicle to help bring about that change. The legacy of the 8 year programme will be that systems and services in all 3 geographical areas will better meet the needs of this group.
At this stage we have been awarded funding to develop the bid on behalf of our partnership which includes partners in local government and in the third / charity sectors. Should the partnership be successful, it won’t just be BHT staff (contrary to what the Argus reported this morning) who will provide services.
My colleagues, Nikki Homewood and Jo Berry, are leading on this initiative for BHT. Nikki said: “As the lead partner for the Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne and Hastings area, BHT is thrilled to receive funding to develop our partnership bid to ensure better service provision for people with the most complex needs.
“Using the wealth of knowledge and expertise within our local Core Group, comprising seven voluntary sector organisations and five statutory partners including commissioners, along with the 60+ organisations in our Partnership 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.”
BHT’s partners in this initiative, and who are represented on the local Core Group, include: Brighton and Hove City Council, Brighton Women’s Centre, CRI, East Sussex County Council, Eastbourne Borough Council, Hastings Borough Council, Homeless Link, Sanctuary Supported Living, Southdown Housing Association, Sussex Oakleaf, Sussex Probation Service