What is normal?

What is normal?

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 […]

A system of missed opportunities

A system of missed opportunities

“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 […]

Society’s expectations of you shape you

Society’s expectations of you shape you

Over the next 12 weeks, the participants of Hard Edges: Lives Behind the Numbers will share with you their life journeys. This is the first in a series of blogs that follows each story. Today, we examine the role of stigma in the lives of people who are experiencing multiple disadvantage, and how the expectations your family, your friends, […]

LankellyChase Foundation: “It is critical to listen to and be led by people with real lived experience.”

LankellyChase Foundation: “It is critical to listen to and be led by people with real lived experience.”

In her guest blog, Rebecca Fordham, Interim Communications Manager for LankellyChase Foundation tells us why they’ve teamed up with Innovation Unit and User Voice on Hard Edges: Lives Behind the Numbers. People experiencing severe social harms such as homelessness, offending or drug misuse mostly face a much wider and complex set of problems. This shouldn’t be news […]

The Empathy Question

The Empathy Question

On 7th September Hard Edges: Lives Behind the Numbers will be hosting a storytelling workshop bringing together service providers, frontline workers, commissioners and people with lived experience to share insights about how services can be designed in a way that better supports people facing severe and multiple disadvantage. Prior to this, Lou Thomas shares her thoughts around empathy […]

“It’s a wonderful life being in charge of your own destiny” – July update

“It’s a wonderful life being in charge of your own destiny” – July update

Over the course of July, the Hard Edges: Lives Behind the Numbers team have been visiting people in the North East and North West of England to hear stories of people who live with severe and multiple disadvantage. It has been a whirlwind of sadness, hardship and tough identity but also laughter, inspiration and aspiration. Meet… […]

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou

In January 2015, Darren Murinas, Vice Chair of Stoke Expert Citizens and a man who has lived experience of severe and multiple disadvantage welcomed the launch of ‘Hard Edges’, saying: “I recognise the lives described in this report. I’ve lived it myself. I was lucky. I got the help I needed to become a clean, sober […]