Improving futures project launched

Foundation of Light spearheading new initiative.

The Foundation of Light, in association with the Sunderland Partnership, hosted an event this week to officially launch the Improving Futures project in the City of Sunderland.

Held at the Stadium of Light, the event also introduced the Sunderland Family Focus (Troubled Families) project to more than 60 partners from the statutory and voluntary and community sector (VCS).

Delivered through a series of presentations and workshops, the event provided an opportunity for organisations to learn how they can become engaged in both projects through innovative new ways of working together to identify and support hundreds of families with multiple and complex needs across the city.

Lee Crosby, Improving Futures Project Manager at the Foundation of Light, said: “The aim of the event was to inform statutory and the voluntary and community sector about how the projects will look to engage families, the importance of partnership working and the potential of commissioning of services.

“It was fantastic to see so many representatives from organisations who are committed to improving the quality of life of hundreds of people across the City of Sunderland, especially those families who are most at risk.

Earlier this year, the Foundation of Light was awarded £890,000 from the Big Lottery Funded Improving Futures programme to support 160 families in disadvantaged neighbourhoods who may be experiencing multiple and complex needs such as domestic violence, poverty, lack of education and financial difficulties.

Using the Foundation of Light brand and the power of football, the programme will identify young children and families through local primary schools with information being shared between public services and voluntary and community sector organisations, leading to more effective, tailored and joined up support to solving family issues.

Over a four year period the project will support families whose eldest children are aged five to ten years old in five predefined neighbourhoods within Sunderland following a successful trial period in Southwick and expanding to Concord, Hendon, Peat Carr and Moorsley and Pennywell.

It aims to target those families with children that are most at need and put interventions in place to support their child’s learning and also improve the home environment.