The Big Lottery Fund has today launched a new £100m fund aimed at supporting people in England with multiple and complex needs.
The funding, which will be spread over eight years, will be focused on 15 geographical areas that have high numbers of people with multiple needs.
The BLF said its aim was to bring together services to prevent people who struggle with multiple problems – including homelessness, substance misuse, mental health problems and re-offending – from falling through the gaps in local provision.
The fund said it had already brought together a core group of key services and organisations in each area working in homelessness, mental health, offending and substance abuse.
Partnerships in each area, led by voluntary sector organisations, will be able to apply for between £4m and £10m for between five and eight years.
Nat Sloane, chair of BLF England, said: "We are aiming to identify applications led by VCS organisations that will lead to services that are more coordinated and integrated. We will look at how these partnerships demonstrate they are able to work together to provide a service that is focused on the user, rather than on delivery. It will require some imagination and innovation to find ways of working together in real partnerships."
Sloane said organisations would have time to work out how the partnerships will be structured and to develop a business plan and approach. "We want to see the quality of the partnership’s proposal and how it is intending to tackle a difficult problem," he said. "That is going to drive the thinking around which partnerships to back.
"What we would like to see accomplished at the end of the period is that these partnerships are operating integrated, joined-up services to support these people. Under the current system, good services are offered but are very disjointed, so it is hard for the people who need support and it is costly to deliver the support."
Applications for the programme, which does not have a name, must be submitted by December.
For more information visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/multipleneeds.
The 15 areas are:
Great Yarmouth (Norfolk)
Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark (London)
Camden & Islington (London)
Newcastle/Gateshead (Tyne & Wear)
Tees Valley (including Middlesbrough)
Brighton & Hove, Eastbourne and Hastings (East Sussex)