To mark the first ever Multiple Disadvantage Day on Wednesday 3rd July, a ‘living library’ will take place in Brighton’s Jubilee Library. Members of the public can hear the stories of Fulfilling Lives staff and volunteers with experience of multiple disadvantage including mental ill health, addictions, domestic abuse, homelessness and prison.
Multiple Disadvantage Day has been developed by 12 national partnerships which deliver the Fulfilling Lives Programme – an eight-year programme with an investment of £112 million from The National Lottery Community Fund. The Fulfilling Lives South East partnership, which is led by Brighton Housing Trust (BHT), with partners Equinox and Oasis Project, is organising the Living Library event in Brighton.
The Fulfilling Lives programme provides intensive and tailored support to people with multiple and complex needs, helping the most vulnerable and hard to reach. It also works alongside people with lived experience of multiple disadvantage to make services better connected and easier to access.
Neil, a client of Fulfilling Lives South East who has experienced bereavement, addiction and street homelessness, said:
“What I liked about Fulfilling Lives, was that there are less clients, so you could spend more time with each person. Even when I messed about and wasn’t ready, we never cut each other out. They didn’t go away, and they helped a lot.”
Multiple Disadvantage Day aims to reduce the stigma experienced by some of the most disadvantaged and forgotten about people in our society. A series of coordinated events will be held across England on Wednesday 3rd July 2019 to mark the day and promote the #seethefullpicture campaign. With public support this campaign has the potential to instigate change.
The Project Lead for the Fulfilling Lives South East partnership, Jo Rogers, said:
“People facing complex needs frequently experience stigma and discrimination. The severity and complexity of a person’s problems means they are often turned away from the very services that are set up to help them because their behaviour is seen as too challenging.
“The reality is that without the right care and support, people facing Multiple Disadvantage may die, often prematurely. Whilst the disadvantages they are trying to address are often very visual; the reason for their circumstance is usually hidden. The true stories shared as part of the day show the impact of trauma, the challenges of accessing appropriate support, and we hope will increase understanding of the human stories behind the needs or problems.
“Through launching Multiple Disadvantage Day, the national Fulfilling Lives Programme is asking for change. Change in public perception. Change in the way systems and services work. And most importantly, positive change for people facing Multiple Disadvantage.”
To find out more about the campaign and events being held on Wednesday 3rd July, as well as to read true stories from clients who have been helped by the Fulfilling Lives programme, please visit www.multipledisadvantageday.org