Fulfilling Lives in Islington and Camden

Fulfilling Lives in Islington & Camden (FLIC) is an eight-year Lottery funded learning programme closing in May 2022, designed to support people experiencing multiple disadvantage and affect system change to improve the experience and outcomes for people accessing services.

Too often the voices of people experiencing multiple disadvantage aren't heard. Putting clients at the centre of everything we do is key to our work. Our support service is intensive, trauma-informed and led by the experiences and insights of our clients.

We work in partnership with statutory and voluntary agencies across both boroughs to improve services for people with multiple needs and drive systemic change, influencing how services are designed and delivered.

Endings are complicated. The FLIC team had been reflecting on this for some time in anticipation of October 2021 when we officially finished working directly with clients.  

Reflecting on relationships 

Our relationships with the people that we have worked with have always been at the very heart of FLIC, and finding a way to say goodbye is not easy.  

We have been feeling immense gratitude; gratitude to the people who have let us in to their lives even when it’s felt difficult and scary, gratitude for the joy and fun we have shared and gratitude for being empowered to work in a way which feels faithful to our integrity, compassion and humanity. 

A heartfelt thank you to all FLIC clients who have, along with the team, shaped the project and made it what it is. The tricky bits helped us grow and learn and the joyous nourished us.  

Creating trauma-informed endings 

We know that the people we work with have often experienced painful endings; incomplete stops or disappearances which can bring up old feelings of abandonment and rejection. We were also aware that most people’s journey with FLIC will not have been a smooth ride, there may be a mix of emotions making an end feel confusing.  

With this in mind, we wanted FLIC’s ending to be as trauma informed as possible. We tried our best to orientate the ending around principles of honesty, gratitude and reflection. We also felt that it was really important to make time to honour the very real and authentic relationships that had formed over the years.  

The FLIC & Forward Booklet 

Pulling together robust networks of local support around the people we work with has always been an important part of our work. It became apparent that some clients, especially those who were in transitional periods or were awaiting new accommodation, would need some continued case advocacy and coordination to ensure that people were closed to our project at a point that felt safe and responsible. In a very small number of cases we have also continued to do some absolutely essential face to face work.  

We wanted to create something lasting that clients could keep to remember their FLIC journey, so developed an endings booklet called FLIC & Forward. We consulted FLIC clients on the content and design and have incorporated quotes selected by them throughout. The booklet has space for practical information such as phone numbers and crisis plans, but also makes time to reflect on strengths and remember relationships and memories made along the way. You can check out the PDF of the booklet here. 

Our closing celebration 

And of course, we felt it wouldn’t be right to finish without a celebration. In October we held an End of Project Party at the London Irish Centre, inviting clients, peers and workers both past and present. There were queues for the Karaoke, Virgin cocktails, arts and crafts and a near unlimited supply of pizza. We had a great turn out and the atmosphere was one of celebration and community. Thank you to everyone that came, and we were thinking of those who couldn’t make it.  

We won’t have done a perfect job, but we have put a lot of thought in to making the ‘ending’ part of the full story of FLIC. The impact of the connections that we have made along this journey will be carried with us for life.  

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