My colleague Mark Jepson, Service User Involvement Co-ordinator and I are delighted to have the opportunity to speak at the Shelter Scotland conference about the progress our programme has been making with involving people who are ‘experts by experience’ of multiple needs with the setting up, design and delivery of a new project, along with giving a platform to their voices in calling for better services.

Inspiring Change Manchester is a Shelter led Big Lottery Fulfilling Lives Fund programme aimed at changing the way services are delivered for people with multiple and complex needs. It is testing innovative ways of delivering more joined up support where people are dealing with several problems at the same time, i.e. housing issues, mental health, substance misuse or offending. It also sets outs to empower people as they work towards positive change, concentrating on their potential.

Co-production is at the heart of the Inspiring Change Manchester model. This involves breaking down barriers between those accessing and delivering services, agreeing common purpose, drawing assets together and ensuring that our programme becomes a coalition and agent of change rather than just concentrating on service delivery. People with lived experience of multiple needs and receiving services helped strengthen the bid to run this project in Manchester, designed the service model, recruited the staff, continue to participate in all governance bodies and also now as volunteer peer mentors or paid traineeships, are involved in delivering the service.

We are proud to say that recently Inspiring Change Manchester won a Spirit of Manchester award for best service user involving organisation.

Find out more about Shelter Scotland’s Homelessness Conference 2015: People not process.