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Success of WY-FI Annual Learning Event

More than 200 guests attended the West Yorkshire Finding Independence (WY-FI) largest ever Annual Learning Event at the Civic Hall in Leeds.

The event focused on the learning and knowledge gathered over the last four years and aimed to help establish better services for people with multiple needs.

Sue Northcott, WY-FI Programme Manager said afterwards, “It was great to see so many people at the event – colleagues, partners, professionals, academics and network members.

“With less than two years of a six year project left to go, we’re really focused on learning and reflecting, to ensure that all the hard work that’s gone into WY-FI has a fitting and appropriate legacy. And ultimately to ensure that the original aim of the project continues – to help people with multiple and complex needs lead more fulfilling lives.”

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson opened the event, addressing partners, professionals, academics and network members, as well as Humankind staff, with a strong message that joint working was essential to address complex issues surrounding mental health and criminal justice.

As well as Mr Burns-Williamson, there were additional engaging speakers: Anna Headley, Executive Director for Humankind; Del Roy Fletcher, Professor of Labour Market Studies, at the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University; Craig Sibson, a WY-FI Navigator at Barca – Leeds; Laura Furness, Head of Funding at Big Lottery Fund; David Best, Professor and Head of Criminology at Sheffield Hallam University and Chris Brill, Policy Manager at Homeless Link.

Guests were also invited to choose from a selection of Information sessions including The Ripple Effect of WY-FI, Multi-Agency Working and Multi Agency Review Boards, Evaluating Talking Therapies with Complex Needs, Housing First – a case study, Embedding Co-Production and the Value of Lived Experience in the Workplace, The Value of Peer Mentoring, Developing the Workforce for Everyone, Cost Benefit Analysis.

Network of Experts Member Adam recited a poem he’d written just that day, reflecting on all the key messages from the event and the importance of sticking together to continue making a difference.

Sophie Fox, Assistant Director – Business Development, said: “I spoke to many partners and professionals who agreed that the event demonstrated the breadth of impact and ambition which WY-FI inspires every day and the focus on future legacy has given me a lot to think about. Thank you so much – it was a fantastic event.”

The West Yorkshire Finding Independence (WY-FI) Project is part of the National Lottery Fulfilling Lives programme. The Fulfilling Lives programme includes 12 projects across the country. WY-FI is the largest of the projects, covering five Local Authority areas and working with the highest number of beneficiaries. WY-FI supports some of the most severely disadvantaged people in the country and as part of our work we gather evidence to influence system change.