WY-FI Project

West Yorkshire – Finding Independence | Supporting people with multiple needs


Re-energising the WY-FI Network

The WY-FI Network hosted a re-launch day on 31st July. The aim of the day was to re-energise the Network and show existing, new and potential members all the amazing opportunities that the Network has to offer.

In total , 24 network members came to the event, which was held at the British Legion in the centre of Leeds.

There were a number of speakers and activities, and highlights from the day included:

Donna talking about what the Network and WY-FI has been like for her. She said that before WY-FI she felt like she hadn’t been supported by a community.

Mez Marsden, Sarah Horrocks and Joe Alderdice talked about the well-being groups in Bradford, including how they wrote the bid and planned the sessions. Sarah also demonstrated the well-being Jenga that was created for the group.

Geoff Doyle, MIS & Evaluation Officer talked about peer mentoring and the research that’s been done over the course of the project. Geoff asked Network members to suggest other research ideas for each of the localities. He also asked them to complete the WY-FI Insight questionnaires to get their feedback on the questions and how they’re worded.

Sarah Stead, Media & Communications Officer came in to talk about Multiple Disadvantage day. Sarah also asked Network members what they thought of the current name and what the name could become in the future. Sarah B then spoke about her experience as a Network member and a volunteer in the Media & Communications Team at WY-FI.

John Whetton and Yan Jarret visited from the Education, Training and Employment (ETE) Team to talk about the different ETE opportunities available to network members, including Northern College in Barnsley.

Jessie Jacobs from the Northern Inclusion Consortium did an interesting activity with the group called ‘If I were you I would…’ This involved Jessie giving us different situations and asking Network members what they would do. For example if they were talking to an MP writing a drugs policy.

Gareth from RIPFA (Research in Practice for Adults) spoke to the group about opportunities to get involved in University research, talking to researchers about their own experiences and being involved in the writing and wording of these pieces of research.

In all, the day gave a focus to Network members, sparked interest for new members that joined us and reminded those who had been with the Network what work we have on offer.

We now have mini Network meetings planned in each of the localities, to follow up on the opportunities and activities covered at the re-launch and keep the momentum going.


#seethefullpicture campaign a “staggering” success!

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The first ever Multiple Disadvantage Day took place on 3rd July, with an incredible 1.3 million people joining the #seethefullpicture conversation online. Events were held up and down the country including a Pop-Up Photography Exhibition showing artwork by beneficiaries of Humankind’s pioneering WY-FI Project. The exhibition was said to be a very “moving” collection of perspectives from people recovering from homelessness, addiction, prison life and mental ill health.

A WY-FI beneficiary, Stephanie, shared her True Story of recovery from drinking 6 litres of cider a day as she battled to cope with the death of her Mum.

In Leeds, members of the WY-FI team spoke at Leeds Co-Production Conference showcasing the many ways co-production is at the heart of the Project and inviting the audience to join in the #seethefullpicture campaign.

International footballer, Neville Southall, supported the campaign with a Twitter Takeover – letting Fulfilling Lives colleagues communicate directly with his 149,000 followers.

Twelve MPs also pledged their support of the campaign following a drop-in information session held at the Houses of Parliament.

The Multiple Disadvantage Day website received 5 times its usual number of daily views and the Awareness Day was featured in radio interviews in Nottingham and Bristol.

Sarah Stead, Media and Communications Officer for the WY-FI Project and campaign lead in West Yorkshire said “I’m thrilled at the success of this campaign. It has far exceeded our expectations. It shows that by working together – both within the WY-FI Project and with external partners – we can have a much, much bigger impact. I’m looking forward to reflecting on this campaign and working out where we go next. This is just the first step in raising awareness of the work that we do and the issues faced by our beneficiaries.”

A short video is being created to showcase the campaign highlights, and we’ll share this as soon as it’s available. In the meantime, the Multiple Disadvantage Day website is still live and being kept up to date so why not take a moment to visit?


Pop-up photography “moving” and “amazing”

To mark the first ever Multiple Disadvantage Awareness Day, a group of beneficiaries and support workers hosted a pop-up photography exhibition in Dewsbury. Visitors described the exhibition as “moving” and “amazing”.

The exhibition pieces were created by people in recovery from multiple needs, inviting guests to see the full picture of multiple disadvantage in unique and creative ways.

Exhibit pieces included photography and poetry, all chosen by beneficiaries to reflect their own personal journeys into recovery.

The group are hoping to be able to take the pop-up exhibition out on the road – so keep an eye out for new dates and locations!

pop up balloons