The mission of Fulfilling Lives is to bring about system change for people experiencing complex trauma and multiple needs to be able to better manage their lives by ensuring services are tailored and better connected to each other.

The 8-year programme extending through to 2022 focuses on people who are often forced to spiral around social systems, are excluded from the support they need, and experience problems related to homelessness, repeated legal offenses, substance misuse, and mental health. Its goal is to improve and better coordinate services to support people across Newcastle and Gateshead within the UK living with multiple and complex needs, and to see people for the potential they have, rather than for their problems.

Fulfilling Lives also works directly with over 100 beneficiaries to bring about a system change in mainstream services such as mental health provision, housing, addiction and offending services.

Summary of relevant work: 

System Change

System Change is at the heart of the national Fulfilling Lives Programme, which has a number of principles underpinning its own programme development and approach to systems change including:

  • Meeting and understanding the needs of beneficiaries
  • Recognising and encouraging improvements to current models of provision and practice across organisations.
  • The continuous practice of reflection by programme members.
  • An ongoing dialogue with partners around influencing and evidencing potential change
  • Working with others to build movements and act as a platform for change.
  • Using action learning and evidence to improve and develop our approach
  • Organisations are made up of people, and in order to change behaviour we must influence organisation culture

Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) pilot

During the early stages of the delivery of the Fulfilling Lives program, a systemic problem was identified relating to clients with complex needs finding it difficult to access mainstream mental health services, with a number of reasons given such as alcohol and drug use as well as poor engagement with services. Despite many of these individuals having complex trauma histories and serious mental health problems they did not easily fit into the existing statutory mental health offer. However, it was observed that Fulfilling Lives clients were accessing accommodation based and homelessness services and building relationships, and engaging, with the staff in these services.

In response, a new approach called “Psychologically Informed Environments (PIEs)” was identified as part of a growing community of practice fighting these issues related to system failure. Supported by three services from within the Fulfilling Lives core partnership (Mental Health Concern and Oasis Aquila Housing) a pilot was delivered looking to introduce three different services to the PIE model.

Voices from the Frontline

This project brings the voices of people with multiple needs and those who support them to the heart of the policy debate. Through workshops, interviews and survey research, the project captures the experiences and views of people with multiple needs and those who support them, helping explore how policy could better address the issues they identify. Together, we’ll provide a mirror to government on its progress on these issues and raise the priority of multiple needs on the national agenda.

Experts by Experience (EBE) Network

The Experts By Experience (EBE) Network offers service users a voice, providing the opportunity to co-design the way the programme is delivered, and offering training in peer navigation.


Changing Lives, Unit D13 Marquis Court,
Tenth Avenue West, Team Valley,
Gateshead, NE11 0RU.

0191 273 88 91
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland