Independent Futures

Transforming service delivery through lived experience

At Independent Futures we believe the best way to improve service delivery is to ask the users. We are a diverse group with direct lived experience of homelessness, addiction, mental health and offending who are committed to bring about lasting positive change to the way adult social services are delivered in Bristol.

“The launch of the Golden Key means hope to me. All I have known is being stuck in cycles of destruction, bouncing from one service to another, labels, locked wards, restrictions, contradictions, countless attempts and more failures. I had almost given up all hope not so long ago. I thought that I had crossed a line which I may never return from. I certainly never expected to now be part of a strong dynamic advisory group who are helping bring this project to life. The IF group’s vision is to continue to pool together all our years of front line experience, and in turn continue to grow in strength individually.”

Working With Golden Key

Golden Key, a £10 million citywide partnership, aims to open doors to hundreds of people in Bristol who are locked into never-ending cycles of deprivation and dependency due to support services failing to meet their full needs. Big Lottery has granted 12 areas around the UK for this Fulfilling lives initiative – Bristol is one of those areas with our lead provider Second Step heading the partnership.

The Client Led Approach

Over its eight years lifespan, Golden Key will work with 300 clients in Bristol, with 150 receiving support at any one time. We aim to improve the lives of some 1,500 other people, who will benefit indirectly from the programme’s work. Clients will be provided with the support of a lead co-ordinator to help them access the support services they need. They also receive the support of a peer mentor to provide guidance and hope. Clients of the Golden Key project will be empowered and given the chance to take control of their lives by deciding what key services they need, whether it be training to get a job or counseling to overcome a trauma.