About Expert Link
Is to bring hope and change to those affected by severe and multiple disadvantage.
Is to amplify the voices and share the experiences of people marginalised by severe and multiple disadvantage, to influence national and local policy, and to provide smart solutions to make support services better.
We Believe in
Steve Neville: Advisory Panel Chair
Alex McCraw: Advisory Panel
Darren Murinas: Advisory Panel
Dorian Weatherman: Advisory Panel
Lindsay Suggitt: Advisory Panel
Mark McPherson: Advisory Panel
Robin Onions: Advisory Panel
David Ford: Founder
Lived Experience: All of those living with or who have direct experience of multiple disadvantages, including homelessness, substance or alcohol abuse, the criminal justice system, mental illness, domestic violence and abuse.
Hard Edges: Mapping Severe and Multiple Disadvantage in England draws together previously separate datasets from homelessness, offending and substance misuse treatment systems. It also takes into account available data around mental health and poverty. It delivers the latest and most comprehensive statistics on people facing severe and multiple disadvantage: where they live, what their lives are like, how effectively they are supported by services, and the economic implications of the disadvantages they face.
View document from Lankelly Chase
Report on the asks from the SMD community: Last year I went out to research what those suffering from severe and multiple disadvantages wanted Expert Link to do for them.
“It would be useful to have a joint voice from all peer support groups that was able to talk to politicians and influence policy through their experiences”
For the research I traveled around the country visiting groups and individuals, and then using social media, reached out to a wider audience. What became clear is that there isn’t a collective voice for those with multiple disadvantages and yet most people who have support needs have more than one.
“We would like the organisation to help join-up services in a more holistic approach. This would replace the disjointed way people access services at the moment.”
The research highlighted some really basic questions that seem to have been overlooked, questions around trust and communication. I say over looked because all though we talk about “client involvement” it often appears to be just trendy and tokenistic, and yet we all know how important client involvement is.
“Should educate Health Trusts and Local Authorities [National Government] on reality”
So what is the problem? Is it group dynamics, is it protectionism, is it the fear and anxiety of change, or is the pressure and constraints on time and resources?
“We would like it to play a role in helping people access good advice and services from one place”
Whatever the problem we need to find a way to communicate across the sector and learn to trust one another. Without trust and communication how can we meaningfully change the world of severe and multiple disadvantages?
As a community of lived experience we can start by coming together better to share and develop from our own experiences. The sector can start by recognising our humanity and potential and then join with us to celebrate our skills and triumphs.
“Promote assets of people with lived experience”
View our report