Disability: Paralympian backs campaign

Big investment for people with multiple needs

Comedian Russell Brand and newsreader Jon Snow are backing a £100 million investment to support people with multiple needs.

The Big Lottery Fund (Big) has announced 10 areas in England will receive a share of £100 million to help people with problems like homelessness, mental ill health, addiction and re-offending.

Big's investment has brought together organisations that tackle these issues to improve the stability, confidence and capability of people with multiple and complex needs to lead better lives so they spend less time in prison, reduce drug abuse, are in stable accommodation and have better mental health.

It is awarding £50,000 to each partnership to help submit business plans on how they will improve and better co-ordinate services to tackle the needs of people living chaotic lives in order to receive up to £10 million each.

Over the eight-year investment, Big will track the success of the partnerships and gather evidence that will shed light on more effective and efficient ways of organising and delivering services including tracking the savings and benefits to the wider community as well as to the individuals who are supported.

Big will use this learning to improve practice amongst the projects it funds, to influence future policy and practice and encourage the continuation of successful interventions.

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow, who is also chairman of the New Horizon Youth Centre, said: 'I have worked for some four decades in a project that works with vulnerable and homeless young people and I have rarely ever come across funding targeted directly at supporting people of any age with multiple and complex needs.'

'That's why I am so excited by the Big Lottery Fund's radically new approach to put £100 million behind bringing the assorted services together behind this needy but difficult group of people.'

'I believe this initiative is going to make life changing differences to the lives of very many people previously regarded as on the margins of society. I'm particularly attracted to the way the Big Lottery Fund has engaged the client groups themselves in designing services.

"In austere and difficult times, the Big Lottery Fund is laying the foundations toward making a profound difference. I'm honoured to support their endeavour.'

Russell Brand added: 'The Big Lottery Fund is investing £100 million in people with complex needs - this means alcoholics, homeless folk, mentally ill people and drug addicts. They will be devising a strategy in collaboration with the beneficiaries - this is a unique and outstanding initiative that will significantly advance our society. The Big Lottery Fund has a simple solution to complex needs.'

For more information about Big's work visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

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