Changing Futures is a Government funded programme working with some of the most disadvantaged people in 15 cities across the country. It has now launched in Bristol and aims to help empower its clients to lead independent lives and to improve service provision. The team of 28 are focusing their work on three key groups of people:
- Women experiencing domestic abuse
- Young people from black African, black Caribbean and dual heritage communities
- People with complex needs facing homelessness
“The programme is aimed at people on the margins of society, so often forgotten and ignored by the wider world,” explained Programme Director Anna Smith.
Everything Changing Futures does is seen through an equality, diversity and inclusion, lived experience and trauma-informed lens. “We’re determined to find new and innovative ways to help people and to deliver lasting system change,” added Anna.
In addition to building an online learning hub, Changing Futures is focussing on trialling and implementing the My Team Around Me approach. “If you’d like to have a chat with any us or would just like to pop in and say hello, we’d love to see you,” Anna added.
“Changing Futures will accelerate our ‘One City’ ambitions, reducing inequality and disadvantage by empowering people to make changes and thrive”Marvin Rees, City Mayor
How lived experience creates system change
Alex Collins is Lived Experience Lead at Changing Futures. His first-hand experience of using services for mental-health, addiction and housing has enabled him to help organisations and professionals make positive changes to services and coproduction practices. He has been involved with Changing Futures since its inception, contributing to its coproduction strategy. He explains, “Coproduction is an important part of Changing Futures. Our lived experience staff bring the clients voice; they understand the block and barriers that our clients face and help us put across what needs to be highlighted and tackled to create system change.”
While not client-facing, Alex’s role sees him finding areas where coproduction and lived experience voices can help organisations offer clients a better and more positive experience. “I love the challenge of looking at our services, seeing what is no longer relevant and figuring out how we can change things for the better.”