Our Projects

Tackling multiple disadvantage across the West Midlands and nationally.

Funded as part of the National Fulfilling Lives programme (through the National Lottery Community Fund) Birmingham Changing Futures Together is part of a department at BVSC with the sole remit of TACKLING MULTIPLE DISADVANTAGE and of a wider movement to tackle multiple disadvantage across the West Midlands and nationally.

BCFT commission many partners to provide services to people facing multiple disadvantage with a key focus on using learning to drive systems change, on ensuring that people get the help that they are requesting when they request it and that partners work together to make navigating the system an easier task. The work is overseen by a Core Group made up of key partners who meet quarterly, some of these partners include Crisis, St Basils and Birmingham Mind amongst many others.

A message from our Head of Multiple Disadvantage

“Learning from BCFT has fed into numerous projects and programmes in the region, and details of these will be found here. Birmingham City Council haves commissioned BVSC to deliver on various key strategic programmes including the Exempt Accommodation Quality Standards which are going to make a huge difference to people living in Exempt Housing, as the ambition is to ensure that all of those operating in this market offer a quality service with support to enable people to live in safe, secure environments where they can thrive.

Rough Sleeper Initiative funding comes from the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government. The role played by BVSC is one of managing and co-ordinating the voluntary sector commissioned support projects, of which there are many. The task of the project manager has been to support delivery partners with the creation of clear individual plans for each rough sleeper to assist them to move off the streets and into supported accommodation that they can maintain.

Liaison and Diversion is funded by the NHS and offers support to people who are experiencing mental health as well as other complex needs such as an offending history. Through direct support work and signposting into the right services and remaining with the client over a period of time, assistance is given to move people out of crisis into engagement and greater stability.

Please read on for more detailed information on each area of work. We appreciate you taking the time to visit our website!”

Sharne Maher – Head of Multiple Disadvantage

Supported Exempt Accommodation Quality Standards

The Supported Exempt Accommodation Quality Standards are commissioned by Birmingham City Council to address some of the complex challenges around supported housing and highlight good practice within the city.

The Standards are focused on process and practices rather than sole polices around support. Solely holding the Standard does not guarantee that all support offered will be relevant to individuals. The expectation for holders of the Quality Standard is that they are aware of the environment in which they operate and develop their accommodation to meet the needs of their communities and target client groups. Given that the Covid 19 Crisis has created a much needed additional focus on the quality of accommodation there has never been a more important time to address the challenges within this sector.

The standards

The Quality Standards set out the key areas for quality improvement in support for Exempt Accommodation. There are three assessment areas with indicators for the Quality Standards; Leadership  and Management, Referral Assessment and Supervision, and Residents. Each quality area has; questions for consideration, which offers providers a prompt to reflect on their current practices and processes within the accommodation, a number of indicators and sources of evidence. Each standard provides:

  • A set of statements to help improve quality.
  • Examples on how to meet the standards.

To find out more about the quality standards and to see what providers have met the standards, please follow to our dedicated page https://www.bvsc.org/quality-standards

Liaison and Diversion

In partnership with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) Liaison and Diversion Service, we aim to target individuals facing multiple disadvantage within the Criminal Justice setting.

The Transition and Diversion worker will support adults to access various services available via No Wrong Door and help them to gain confidence in doing so. This role focuses on ‘refer and accompany’ principles as opposed to ‘refer and signpost’.

The Transition and Diversion worker offers short term (12 weeks) support for people facing multiple disadvantage to access local services by working in partnership with No Wrong Door members ensuring the smooth transition of client referrals between agencies.

More info

To find out more about the Liaison and Diversion service, click the link below to be taken to their dedicated website:

Find out more →


Birmingham Rough Sleeper Outreach Services

No one should have to sleep on the streets of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council is determined to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place; and supporting those who are homeless to build a more positive future in good health, with sustainable accommodation and long-standing employment.

All Birmingham citizens can access housing advice to prevent homelessness and get support at a time of housing crisis. It is always best to seek support as soon as possible to prevent a homelessness crisis. This table sets out the specialist services provided by, or commissioned by, Birmingham City Council, to prevent and relieve homelessness.

Unfortunately, some people will find themselves on the street, and Birmingham City Council is striving to meet the needs of rough sleepers through a wide range of commissioned outreach services, and by working in partnership with local organisations to ensure access to safe and secure accommodation.

Birmingham City Council’s Rough Sleeper Outreach Team (RSOT) provide a street-based 24-hour outreach service that helps people sleeping rough to access accommodation. The service is operated by Trident Reach and commissioned by Birmingham City Council.

If you are concerned about someone over the age of 18 that you have seen sleeping rough in England or Wales, you can send an alert via www.streetlink.org.uk

This will send an automatic alert to the RSOT who will respond by going out to the area identified and help support the individual. This leaflet provides further details of this service.

It is important to note that if you think the person you are concerned about is under 18, please do not contact StreetLink but instead call the police.

In addition to the Rough Sleeper Outreach Team (RSOT), BCC also commissions an integrated outreach team operating across the city targeting the most complex of clients facing multiple disadvantage. This service is funded by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) through their Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) scheme.

The primary objective of RSI services is to:

  • Help get people sleeping rough off the streets.
  • Help those who have moved off the streets to successfully progress away from rough sleeping.
  • Prevent those in crisis, and at imminent risk, from sleeping rough.

BVSC through a MHCLG funded RSI Project Manager are responsible for coordinating all RSI services and integrating them with Birmingham’s commissioned and non-commissioned rough sleeper and homeless services across public, private, community, voluntary and faith sectors.

Some of the RSI funded Outreach Rough Sleeper Services include:

Shelter who provide engagement outreach workers with lived experience who carry small caseload to help the most entrenched high need rough sleepers into services and accommodation. Workers focus on gradually and informally building relationships of trust with individuals who have been historically long disengaged from support services, with several pre-existing exclusions and refusals from support service users and accommodation providers.

St Basil’s/Aquarius who provide a bespoke outreach service for young people aged 16-24 rough sleeping or at risk of sleeping rough, engage and return home or access support services and accommodation. Working closely with RSOT, contact is initiated via street outreach as well as self-referral with the navigator aiming to contact the rough sleeper within 24 hours and carry out risk and needs assessment to support the young person to return home or secure alternative suitable accommodation and access relevant services.

Change Grow Live (CGL) who provide a mobile clinical prescriber and 2 health assistants to deliver a rapid prescribing service on the streets, in hostels and working closely with other services. They work with complex clients as part the multi-agency homeless team operating across the city. The clients being supported until settled in more stable move-on accommodation.

The Homeless Health Exchange (HEX) is a primary care service for homeless people in the Birmingham area provided by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust. They offer a full general practice service to those who are homeless or vulnerably housed aged 16 and over and not pregnant. A HEX nurse is funded by (and part of) the RSI outreach team, she supports rough sleepers to access appropriate health support with on-street support and linkage to primary care.

Lived Experience Befriending Service

Birmingham Changing Futures Together has created a Lived Experience Befriending Service to increase the likelihood long-standing rough sleepers, who are now in emergency accommodation, will transition into a home of their own. Lived experience is at the heart of Birmingham Changing Futures Together’s work to improve the lives of people with multiple and complex needs. Integrating the voice of lived experience into the design and delivery makes services more accessible. In particular, people with lived experience are able to build trust with service users, helping them overcome their anxieties and engage constructively.

You can read more about the Befriending Service in our case studies below.

Case Study 1
Case Study 2

Get in touch

To discuss any of the above further please contact:

Harpal Bath (RSI Project Manager)
[email protected]

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