Hard Edges is a statistical report published in January 2015 by LankellyChase. It delivers the most rigorous data to date about people whose lives combine disadvantages such as homelessness, substance misuse and offending. Data is a first step to understanding what people’s lives are like, and where systems go wrong. But the case for change is best made through people telling their story in their own words.
I led participatory research with a 12 individuals who are experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage, to honour their life journeys and share their aspirations.
We conducted in-depth ethnography and co-produced multimedia stories with the research participants. We also ran collaborative events bringing together service providers, commissioners, policy influencers, and various experts including people with lived experience.
The aim was to create a space to listen and learn from people’s stories, and inspire radical change in the way homeless services, the criminal justice system, and addiction services work together.
The project culminated in a discussion between MPs, service providers and the research participants about the future of support services for adults with complex needs in the UK Parliament.