Blog July 2019

New conversations about severe and multiple disadvantage

Following the launch of Hard Edges Scotland, Lankelly Chase Director, Cathy Stancer, has written a guest blog looking at the options for taking the conversation forward.

Hard Edges Scotland was published earlier this month. In it, the voices of frontline workers and people with direct experience of severe and multiple disadvantage are foregrounded. In setting them alongside each other, the report creates a chorus of voices all seemingly in concert – the harmony is striking. Everyone is saying the same thing – it’s poverty and trauma, it’s crisis services struggling to cope, it’s feeling safer and getting more help in prison than on the streets. 

When we’ve talked about the findings with people in the research advisory groups, in charities, foundations and in government, we’ve heard the same thing too – yes, we know, this is the truth, we understand. Given this remarkable alignment you’d think it would be fairly straightforward to sort out a situation that affects a relatively small number of people in its most acute form. Of course, it is not that easy. We are all trapped in a situation none of us would design. The policy, commissioning and practice landscape has come about for what seemed liked good reasons at the time, even if it serves us badly now. So, what are we all to do?

We think the answers can be found everywhere, from individual conversations between those using and delivering services right up to government policy. We’re making funds available for people to have conversations about what changes might be in your sphere of influence – in your locality, organisation, in the plans and policies that you have influence over. We think everyone can find a bit of flex from our respective positions in systems. Let’s see what happens….

If you are interested in applying for a small grant to hold a new conversation about severe and multiple disadvantage go here.

To read the full Hard Edges Scotland report go here.