WY-FI Project

West Yorkshire – Finding Independence | Supporting people with multiple needs


PRESS RELEASE: Project has transformed hundreds of lives across West Yorkshire (July 2020)

A National Lottery funded project which aims to help people facing issues of homelessness, addiction, reoffending and mental health across the West Yorkshire area, has had a “transformational impact”, a final study on its work has found.

Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR), found that the West Yorkshire – Finding Independence project (WY-FI) “has played a vital role in helping people with complex needs access support”.

Assessing the impact on over 800 individuals, CRESR’s final evaluation of the main, six year project, stated: “The project has had a transformational impact on the lives of many men and women across West Yorkshire.”

It stated: “All interviewees reported that their lives had improved, sometimes significantly, since working with the project.

The process of positive change was largely ascribed to the relationship established with WY-FI’s Multiple Needs Navigators which was instrumental in facilitating improvements or stability in beneficiaries’ lives. Many described an improved sense of well-being derived from having somebody in their lives that they could access when they needed support, could rely on and who ‘cared’.

Sue Northcott, WY-FI Programme Manager, said: “Our work has been incredibly rewarding and we have learnt so much from our beneficiaries.

“Finding the right help when experiencing any one of these multiple needs can be difficult.  WY-FI is about making sure the right kind of help is available for people when they need it, so supporting them to live a more fulfilling life.”

The service, which is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund Fulfilling Lives programme, supported a total of 823 people in West Yorkshire between 2014 and 2020.

WY-FI Multiple Needs Navigators helped them engage and re-engage with local services related to their needs. These included drug and alcohol services such as Forward Leeds and Calderdale Recovery Steps.

The workers also liaised with local authority housing services and probation, GP surgeries and mental health services.

Sue said: “WY-FI, alongside all 12 of the Fulfilling Lives projects, has been committed to making sure the right kind of help is available for people when they need it, supporting them to live a more fulfilling life”.

The WY-FI project, now in its seventh and final year of activity, now has a renewed focus on system change across West Yorkshire to ensure effective, ongoing support for people with multiple needs.

Notes to Editors:

NotesSue Northcott is available for interviews.   For further information please contact Sarah Pearson, Marketing and Communications Officer at WY-FI, 07789 633723 sarah.pearson@humankindcharity.org.uk
About WY-FIWY-FI was established in May 2014 and is one of 12 Fulfilling Lives partnerships, made possible with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.    WY-FI has supported a total of 823 people in West Yorkshire between 2014 and 2020 with multiple and complex needs in the areas of homelessness, addiction, reoffending and mental health.   WY-FI is now in its 7th and final year of activity. It has wound down direct support for people and is focused on using the learning and insight gathered over the six years of direct delivery to influence system change across West Yorkshire to ensure effective support for people experiencing multiple needs.    WY-FI’s lead partner is Humankind Charity   WY-FI’s delivery partner for Education, Training and Employment (ETE) is Touchstone.   WY-FI’s former delivery partners, who provided direct support for beneficiaries between 2014 and 2020 are Barca-Leeds, The Bridge Project (Bradford), Spectrum CIC (Wakefield), Foundation (Calderdale) and Community Links (Kirklees). Note: Foundation and Community Links are now part of Inspire North.  
Useful Links  WY-FI website   CRESR’s Final Evaluation of WY-FI   Humankind Charity   National Lottery Community Fund Fulfilling Lives Programme Multiple Disadvantage Day 2020  

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.  

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

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WY-FI has had “transformational impact”

As WY-FI comes to the end of direct support for people experiencing multiple needs, an independent evaluation of the project concludes that WY-FI has had a “transformational impact” on the lives of many men and women across West Yorkshire.

The final evaluation, carried out by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR), also says that “WY-FI Navigator teams have played a vital role in helping people with complex needs access support” and that WY-FI has demonstrated that the key principles underpinning the National Lottery Community Funded Fulfilling Lives programme works.

The report is broken down into the following key areas:

  • Policy and practice context
  • The WY-FI Model
  • Outcomes, Impact and Influence
  • Impact and Value for Money
  • Legacy and Sustainability

Read the full report here.


WY-FI moves into final year of delivery

West Yorkshire – Finding Independence (WY-FI) has come to the end of its six years of direct support for people experiencing multiple needs.

We’re now in our final year of delivery, with a renewed focus on system change across West Yorkshire to ensure effective multiple needs support.

Since 2014, our Navigator teams have worked with a total of 823 people, helping them to have the opportunity of a settled home, positive health and wellbeing, access to education and employment, and a more fulfilling life.

We’ve also helped more than 80 people into Peer Mentoring and other volunteering placements, and in some case paid employment in WY-FI and beyond.

In our 7th and final year of activity, we’ll be using the learning we’ve gathered over the last six years to continue demonstrating that the Multiple Needs Navigator Model is the most effective way to engage and support people experiencing multiple needs to lead a fulfilling life

Our work will include:

  • Research activity, with a specific focus on women, offenders and young people
  • Embedding trauma-informed and psychological approaches to working with people experiencing multiple needs
  • Marketing and communications activity, in particular addressing the stigma surrounding multiple needs.  
  • Co-production activity- the WY-FI Network of people with lived experience will continue to be involved in local, regional and national networks, consultations and peer research
  • Promote the peer developed MNingful Life training resource
  • Facilitate and effective handover of multi-agency practice development groups

In addition, the ETE team, employed by our delivery partner Touchtone, will continue to provide accredited peer mentor training to increase the number of people with lived experience working in practical roles supporting people with multiple needs.