People facing multiple disadvantage may experience several overlapping problems at the same time, such as mental ill health, homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, offending and family breakdown.

People with these needs tend to fall through the gaps between services because no one takes overall responsibility for helping them to break the cycle they are in.  Mainstream support services have proven ineffective in responding to people facing multiple disadvantage, who find themselves struggling to navigate a 'maze' of services that are overly complex, inflexible and insufficiently coordinated to meet their needs.

As a result, they can find themselves living vulnerable and often chaotic lives, experiencing poverty, stigma and discrimination. Stuck in a ‘revolving door’ of care, their problems can become more entrenched, at an escalating cost to themselves, local communities and the public purse. 

Nationally, according to a report by Lankelly Chase, there are an estimated 58,000 people living in crisis due to the lack of effective support services. 

In July 2012, the Big Lottery Fund announced an eight year investment of up to £112 million in the initiative, Fulfilling Lives: Supporting people with multiple needs, which aims to improve the stability, confidence and capability of people facing multiple disadvantage to lead better lives as a result of timely, supportive and coordinated services. Islington and Camden were chosen as one of twelve areas across England to receive funding to deliver a Fulfilling Lives project.

SHP was appointed the lead partner for the Islington and Camden project and we worked closely with our voluntary sector partners and strategic commissioners in both boroughs to shape the vision and strategy for this funding, as outlined in our business plan. In February 2014, the Big Lottery confirmed a grant of £7.8m for SHP to deliver the Fulfilling Lives Islington and Camden project over the next eight years.

Supported by three local delivery partners, Fulfilling Lives in Islington and Camden (FLIC) works intensively with people with multiple disadvantage, building trust, advocating on their behalf and supporting them to build a better future.