Wintercomfort

Help through Crisis

Wintercomfort

Help Through Crisis is a £33 million programme supporting 69 partnerships across England which help people who are experiencing or at risk of hardship crisis to overcome the difficulties they are facing to plan for their futures.

Area
England

Image credit: Wintercomfort, an example of a project funded for similar work under Awards for All England

Aims & approach Arrow pointing down

The partnerships receiving National Lottery funding through the Help through Crisis programme bring together small voluntary groups and established charities to work together locally.

Working together, they offer people advice, advocacy and support which matches their personal circumstances. The aim is to look at the issues people face, and the underlying causes, from their basic needs, to their physical and mental health, to skills and employment. People are supported to draw on their personal experiences to build on their skills and strengths so they are ready to seize the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Responsiveness to change is a key requirement of the programme. Projects will need to respond rapidly to changes in the external environment and changing needs of people.

Projects are currently in grant management. Grant funding will end in 2021.

People in the lead

The programme has four outcomes, all of which need to be met by the partnerships:

  • People who have experienced hardship crisis are better able to improve their circumstances and plan for the future
  • Organisations are better able to support people to effectively tackle hardship through sharing learning and evidence
  • Those experiencing, or who are at high risk of experiencing, hardship crisis, have a stronger, more collective, voice, to better shape a response to their issues.

In order for the programme to achieve its full potential and to put people in the lead in improving their lives and communities, local partnerships also need to adopt the following principles:

  • Ensure those that have experienced hardship crisis themselves are fully engaged in the design and delivery of services and are actively encouraged to help shape solutions in order to influence change
  • Commit to supporting those who have experienced, or risk experiencing, hardship crisis, to have a stronger, more collective voice to better shape a response to their issues
  • Be led by, or involve, smaller scale grassroots community organisations that reach out to those who may not easily engage with mainstream services
  • Demonstrate effective collaborative working to ensure holistic support including strong links with statutory and other support services
  • Commit to capturing learning about what works to tackle hardship crisis and the impact of the services to enable projects to share and respond to changing circumstances and environment.
Learning Arrow pointing down

The Help through Crisis learning, evaluation and support team is a consortium of organisations commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund to help build understanding and capture learning from the Help through Crisis programme. The team is made up of people from Ipsos MORI (Lead Contractor), NEF Consulting, Revolving Doors Agency and Hopkins Van Mill.

The role of the consortium is to help the 69 partnerships involved in the programme:

  • Empowering them to evaluate and measure their impact, and capture learning about what works in tackling hardship crisis.
  • Supporting their co-production activities, ensuring the people they support have a voice in shaping local services.
  • Identifying good practice and disseminating learning to build the evidence base and help partnerships to replicate or scale up approaches from elsewhere.

We do this through hosting national and regional events, developing learning resources including toolkits and case studies, and working with individual partnerships. If you’d like to hear more about our learning activities and the programme evaluation, feel free to get in touch with the team: HelpThroughCrisis@ipsos.com

Resources