Funding boost for Changing Futures programme – supporting borough’s most vulnerable

Published Monday 13 November 2023 at 11:14

Funding of almost £2million will be issued to Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to continue funding support for our most disadvantaged residents, and to co-ordinate similar work across the whole of Lancashire and Blackpool.

The Changing Futures programme is a joint initiative by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and The National Lottery Community Fund and is for local organisations to work in partnership to better support those who experience multiple disadvantage, including homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues, domestic abuse, and contact within the criminal justice system. People in this situation are among the most vulnerable who often have past experiences of trauma.

Denise Park, Chief Executive at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said:

We are delighted to receive more funding to help us continue to reduce health inequalities and improve wellbeing here in BwD and across Lancashire. It is a ground-breaking programme to support our residents who need the combined services and a programme to transform their lives.

Cllr Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Wellbeing at Blackburn with Darwen, said said: 

There’s a lot of work ongoing in relation to drug and alcohol rehabilitation in the borough, and we always welcome more funding as it’s a big challenge and the individuals dealing with these issues have got a lot of personal history that makes rehabilitation difficult, so the more support the better. What we would really like to see is more long term funding, so staff providing these services can have that job security.
It also takes around 10 years to see real results, due to relapse issues, and quite often there’s money being released but not over a long period of time. The funding is obviously very welcome but it can take many years to make a change in people’s lives but the overall message is we are grateful to receive the funds.

Ian Treasure, Programme Manager at Changing Futures Lancashire, said:

The Changing Futures Programme will continue to support those who have suffered multiple disadvantage. People in this situation are often the most vulnerable and for them, getting co-ordinated support from multiple services can be difficult. The programme seeks to test new ways of bringing together both public and community sector to address cross-cutting issues and to drive the modernisation of public services for people experiencing multiple disadvantages.

Changing Futures programme has already supported over 1,000 beneficiaries in BwD since January 2022 and the learning from Changing Futures Lancashire will be useful for future policy development on how to best support disadvantaged people.

Blackburn with Darwen Council will receive a drug strategy allocation of £1,795,698 and an inpatient detoxification allocation of £55,334. Blackpool will receive £2,762,343, and £64,524 respectively, with the remaining local authorities under Lancashire County Council’s helm receiving a share of £8,174,432 for drug strategy and £220,493 for inpatient detoxification.

Getting coordinated support from local services can be difficult, and this can lead to greater risk of homelessness, ill health, and increased contact with the criminal justice system. This in turn can result in greater pressures on services that respond to crises such as A&E, policing and homelessness services.

The whole Changing Futures Lancashire programme has been coproduced with people who have Lived Experience of multiple disadvantage here in Lancashire and the funding will be used to deliver further support, sustainability and mainstreaming through to 31 March 2025.

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