InterAct: a VCS/ NHS partnership supporting children of parents experiencing mental illness

Mandy Bell, Development Lead, Gloucestershire Young Carers

When your steering group comprises of senior managers from the NHS and a VCS organisation alongside a parent and two unrelated teenagers, you know that you are on the right track to understanding need and how to respond to that need from pretty well all angles. Building a partnership between a small independent charity, a large bureaucratic NHS Trust and adult and young service users takes time and a great deal of determination from all involved but when it works, the combined wealth of knowledge, experience and skills can move mountains. Continue reading

Building long term and holistic outcomes into statutory systems

By Paul Streets OBE, Chief Executive, Lloyds Bank Foundation

At Lloyds Bank Foundation, we support charities working with people facing multiple disadvantage. For these people, holistic interventions are central to long term success and we regularly see what this looks like through the charities we support. Room to Heal in London, providing holistic support to refugees and survivors of torture, is one such example whose success has been recognised through our Charity Achievement Awards this year.  As their application said: “It didn’t take us long to realise that it is futile offering counselling to someone who has no bed for the night, no lawyer to fight their case, or no money to buy food. Our therapeutic and casework teams work hand in hand to support each individual through the unique, myriad challenges they face.”  Treating people as individuals, rather than statistics means they do not easily fit into a box. Service providers need to be able to adapt to emerging needs and tailor their support for the individual. As a funder, this is something we look for in the charities we support, but in statutory systems this has proved much harder to achieve. Continue reading