People with experience of overcoming multiple disadvantages met with Gordon in parliament this week, to talk about the challenges they have faced and how supportive services should be shaped in the future.
Gordon and other MPs spent time talking to Ian Treasure (Head of Blackpool Fulfilling Lives) and people with lived experience of facing multiple and complex needs at a parliamentary event (on Tuesday 4 June) organised by Fulfilling Lives – a £112 million programme set up by The National Lottery Community Fund in 2014.
MPs signed a pledge to ‘see the full picture’ in an effort to help reduce stigma around multiple disadvantage, before talking in-depth with staff and expert citizens from Blackpool Fulfilling Lives, one of the programme’s delivery partnerships.
Gordon said: “It’s been great to talk to people from the Fulfilling Lives partnership in Blackpool at today’s event. I’m familiar with the work of the project and we’ve been talking about new ways in which it can reach more people in the community. It is a really important project for us in Blackpool, where we desperately need to bring social cohesion to more marginalised people.”
The event took place on the same day as the launch of #SeeTheFullPicture – a campaign to raise awareness of multiple disadvantage, which is defined by Fulfilling Lives as two or more of the following: homelessness, substance use, mental ill health and offending. The campaign will build up to Multiple Disadvantage Day on the 3 July, an awareness day to improve understanding of the issue among policy makers and the general public.
Speaking after the drop in event, Gordon added: “It was great to chat with Ian and the Blackpool Fulfilling Lives team again, after meeting them at Winstons House last summer. They were also nominated at my Local Hero Awards last year at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. It’s good to hear that Fulfilling Lives is being highlighted by the National Lottery as one of their main projects, and Blackpool and other areas are getting their support and attention.”
The Fulfilling Lives initiative is delivered via 12 partnerships across England over an eight year period, with the aim of making services and support for people with multiple disadvantage better connected, easier to access and tailored to the needs of individuals.
Laura Furness, Head of Funding at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “People experiencing multiple disadvantage are in the best position to tell us how systems of services need to change. We’re delighted that MPs made it a priority to come and listen to what our experts by experience have to say.”