The Programme partners are:


ESURG is a voluntary, independent panel of individuals with lived experience of using services in the Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham areas. We work with the Big Lottery Fund, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Fulfilling Lives Programme (LSL FLP) and with other Fulfilling Lives Programmes across the country to ensure that people with multiple and complex needs get the support they need. The group play a key advisory role in the success of the programme, in both design and practice.

What We Do

ESURG use the experience of its members to inform the work of the LSL FLP. The LSL FLP aims to improve local support for people with multiple and complex needs. ESURG provide advice and make recommendations to the programme, provide casework advice to the You First team and are free to develop any projects that they think might inform the programme or help highlight the issues faced by people with multiple and complex needs.

What do we mean by lived experience?

Lived experience most obviously points to an individual’s literal experience of issues such as homelessness, substance misuse, mental health and the criminal justice system. For example, an individual may have previously been homeless and so will likely have insight into the stresses homelessness can place on someone, and the effectiveness or otherwise of services and support.


Similarly, someone who has spent time in the justice system will likely better understand the processes involved and the barriers someone could face. However, lived experience can also come from supporting someone with issues in one of the four areas. For example, a family member might support someone with mental health issues, building experience of the realities of living with, and supporting, someone with mental health issues and helping them to access services and support.

What are multiple and complex needs?

In relation to the Big Lottery Fund Fulfilling Lives Programme multiple and complex needs refer to individuals who experience a combination of homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues and issues around justice system. It is estimated that around 60,000 people in England experience multiple and complex needs (issues relating to at least two of homelessness, substance misuse, mental health and offending).


People with multiple and complex needs usually want help, but most public services are designed to deal with one problem at a time. This can mean that professionals can sometimes perceive these individuals as being difficult to deal with or consider them the responsibility of another service. What can happen is that no one service takes responsibility.


Dealing with multiple issues that can intensify one another, for example, homelessness could seriously impact on someone's mental health, and lacking effective support from services, individuals can quickly find their lives getting out of control. Lives can become more chaotic and it can become harder and harder to see a way out.


While relatively small in number people with multiple and complex needs can be hugely costly to both government and society.

National Expert Citizens’ Group (NECG)

The National Expert Citizens’ Group (NECG) brings together the twelve service user groups from Projects across the Big Lottery Fund’s Fulfilling Lives Programme. The group meets quarterly to discuss issues related to the service needs of people with multiple and complex needs. As both former and current service users, with a wealth of experience, they bring a valuable insight into what works with services and what works less well. As a group they are committed to ensuring positive system change for those most in need.

Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Fulfilling Lives (LSLFL) Programme

The Big Lottery Fund is investing £112 million in 13 areas of England to improve the lives of people with multiple needs (homelessness, offending history, substance or alcohol misuse, and mental ill health). Certitude are managing the Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Fulfilling Lives (LSLFL) Prorgamme which will run for eight years.


The programme focuses on some of the most chaotic people in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham, and who’s multiple and complex needs, currently incur high costs with very poor outcomes. The programme aims to demonstrate that user led choice is cost effective and delivers better outcomes for people with multiple needs. Our beneficiaries (clients) are supported by the You First team, a team of keyworkers who provide personalised support.


Over the course of the Programme the You First team are working to show that a different approach to supporting people with multiple and complex needs can lead to better outcomes for individuals and save money for local authorities and central government.



Certitude provides personal support for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs. The support they provide comes in a variety of ways and includes round-the-clock support, support for independent living, training and mentoring, apprenticeships, work placements and volunteering roles.

Thames Reach

Thames Reach is a London based charity helping homeless and vulnerable people to find decent homes, build supportive relationships and lead fulfilling lives. Its vision is to end street homelessness.

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM)

SLaM provides the widest range of NHS mental health services in the UK. SLaM also provides substance misuse services for people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. SLaM also run a Recovery College offering course and workshops co-designed and co-run by trainers with lived experience working alongside trainers from the mental health profession.


The You First Team

The You First team is the operational team of the Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Fulfilling Lives Project. It works with vulnerable people who have multiple needs. The team offer a flexible approach that is service user led. The team work with commissioners and service providers to identify people living chaotic lives in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham and then provide personalised support to help them start to live more stable lives and to support their journey towards independence. The service is designed to support them to make sustained, positive change.


London Borough of Lambeth

Lambeth is the 44th most deprived borough in England (out of 326, based on rank of average score of Index of multiple deprivation, 2013) with a mixed profile of affluence and deprivation. Lambeth has developed a Community Plan which sets out aspirations to deliver three overarching aims:


  • More jobs and sustainable growth;

  • Communities feeling safer and more resilient;

  • Cleaner, greener streets


London Borough of Lewisham

Lewisham is the 48th most deprived borough in England. It is home to 250,000 people with 130 different languages spoken by different communities across the borough.


London Borough of Southwark

Southwark is the 40th most deprived borough in England. It currently has 288,000 residents and expects this to grow by almost a quarter by 2026. Southwark is ethnically diverse with over 120 languages spoken across the borough and where, in 11% of households nobody has English as a first language.


To support these processes each person (beneficiary) the team works with are allotted an individual budget which they can spend on whatever they feel they need to improve their lives. This could be something as simple and immediate as food, travel or furnishings for the home or it could focus on supporting the longer-term journey to independence, for example, access to counselling.


The Big Lottery Fund

Big Lottery Fund is a non-departmental public body responsible for distributing funds raised by the National Lottery for "good causes".


Big Lottery Fund aims to support projects which help communities and the lives of people it considers most in need. Over 80 per cent of its funds go to voluntary and community organisations, but it also makes grants to statutory bodies, local authorities and social enterprises.


Big Lottery Fund makes grants to projects working in health, education and the environment and the charitable sector. It funds projects in line with objectives set by the government but does not fund services which other parts of government have a statutory responsibility to deliver.

Big Lottery Fund – Fulfilling Lives Programme

The Multiple and Complex Needs (MCN) Programme funds partnerships of local organisations to work together to improve services for people with multiple and complex needs. Around 60,000 people in England experience multiple and complex needs. The programme defines multiple and complex needs here as exhibiting at least two of:  homelessness, current/historical offending, problematic substance or alcohol misuse, and mental ill-health. This not only affects their lives, but leads to significant social and economic costs associated with a failure to effectively support them. Our ambition is that the Multiple Needs programme will be threefold:


  1. It will change lives. Individuals experiencing multiple needs will benefit through better established partnerships and networks which best support individuals.

  2. It will change systems. Evidence will be produced showing which elements of the programme are effective. Local and national decision-makers will be encouraged to review and adopt these elements where appropriate.

  3. It will involve beneficiaries. Both positive changes to individuals and system change will be underpinned by the collaborative, genuine and honest involvement of individuals with lived experience.

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