Read, watch or listen to the stories of people experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage in their own words
Thank you for spending time exploring real stories. It takes courage to share your whole life with the world. If a story has moved you, or if you can relate because of your own experience, let our storytellers know how their story made you feel.
What we are learning about severe and multiple disadavantage
People whose lives combine severe and multiple disadvantages have often grown up in worlds where alcohol or drug use, violence or offending are normal. Chaotic behaviours can be a coping mechanism to trauma and isolation. But often, they also reflect the environment in which people live. To some extent, our actions are guided by […]
In this guest blog, Toby Lowe, Senior Research Associate at Newcastle University Business School talks about overcoming missed opportunities for vulnerable people, and about how to create lasting, sustainable change that helps them to thrive. “The stories of people who have taken part in Hard Edges are fascinating, inspiring and incredibly frustrating. For me, the […]
“I never used to trust the professionals. I hated them, They took my kids away. Every professional in my life was bad in my eyes. But now the roles have reversed. They’ve helped me sustain the life that I’m living now.” From the minute she was born until she ended up in prison, Natasha fell […]
Tex, Martin and Natasha are all in better places now, and part of their recovery journey has been to redirect their energy towards positive roles: as a musician for Tex, as a visual artist for Martin, as a mother and loving partner for Natasha. Another inspiring example of someone who has reinvented herself positively is […]
At the root of most of the stories shared on this site, there is a deep struggle with self-esteem. As highlighted in a previous post, this often comes from experiencing rejection during childhood. Karen, Martin, Tex, Natasha, Zeb… all reflected on how childhood experiences have led them to build a new identity for themselves. In […]
In this guest blog, Katie Brooksbank, Pathways Worker at Together for Mental Wellbeing talks us through her experiences as a listener attending one of our Hard Edges: Lives Behind the Numbers Workshop, and why she thinks stories are some of the most powerful tools we have when redesigning public services. “We are all aware […]
Turning your life around is a phrase we often hear when we talk about offending, addiction or homelessness. But what does it really mean? And does it really only depend on people hitting a lightbulb moment? What the people we have met have made clear through their stories is that recovery is a journey. What […]
Last week, we shared Colin’s story and reflected on the impact of stigma. Friends and family, services and society can at times be quick to judge someone who lives a “chaotic life.” However, chaos is rarely a lifestyle choice. Really often, it is a coping mechanism. After hearing the stories of others in similar situations, […]
At our last workshop we invited commissioners and service providers to listen to stories of 12 people experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage. At the event, we asked some of the Hard Edges Lives Behind the Numbers participants what it means to them to be able to tell their life stories. Here’s what they had to say.