Advising the National Lottery HeadStart Programme
Redesigning whole-systems interventions for children and young people’s services contributed directly to the design and delivery of the UK-wide National Lottery HeadStart Programme, with £75,000,000 invested into six new partnerships. This is the largest funder of community activity in the UK and one of five long-term strategic investments in England to tackle some of society’s most entrenched social problems. Research from the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice has ensured recognition of the need for a shared language of resilience, and a whole system approach, with Angie Hart playing a key role in developing the strategy that initiated this national programme.
Blackpool’s Resilience Revolution
In Blackpool the £11,000,000, town-wide pilot of the Resilience Revolution led by Blackpool Council, is a first in testing advanced Resilient Therapy, embedding social-justice on a whole-system scale through a focus on shared resilience language, integrated training and workforce development, and opportunities for young people to engage in practice development and strategic decision making.
Blackpool’s pilot of the Resilience Revolution published a manifesto for community development with 18 organisations quickly signing up and confirming their commitment to work with Advanced Resilient Therapy principles in their practice. For instance, Blackpool Grand Theatre engaged in a 2-year project on Story-Led Resilient Therapy co-producing with Blackpool C/YP and the Grand Junior Artists, Blackpool’s Young Shakespeare Council changed their approach and are now co-producing their practice with children and young people.
Across Blackpool, a shared resilience language has been developed through Resilient Therapy workshops for young people, parents and community members alongside workforce training across health, social care and early intervention services. This approach has led to systemic change in wider service design with Blackpool Council establishing new committees at the heart of Children’s Services and Education Departments. All 43 Blackpool schools have implemented the Academic Resilience Approach, with 390 pupils actively engaged in decision-making and initiatives as members of Pupil Resilient Committees in their schools. In one school for example, the Pupil Resilient Committee identified bullying as the top priority, leading to a re-launch of the anti-bullying programme, with pupils driving the work.
Resilient Therapy has been applied in different settings, revealing that the Communities of Practice approaches helped bring changes, not only in children and young people themselves, but also in the wider support systems including families, schools and public sector services. By 2021, over 70,000 education, NHS, Social Care and Voluntary and Community Sector practitioners across a range of disciplines had received training in the Resilient Therapy (RT). It has been translated into multiple complex interventions including Blackpool’s whole town approach and the whole school approach provided by the Academic Resilience Approach. These implementations have led to significant health, public policy, service, societal and culture shift impact with long-lasting benefits locally, nationally and internationally.