We are a team from Empowerment working with services and commissioners to create positive change in Blackpool.

The team have lived experience of two or more of the following issues; Homelessness, Mental Health, Offending & Substance Misuse and we are committed to listening to your views surrounding services in Blackpool, finding out what works and what needs to change.

Working together we can create a positive change for those going through similar situations that you have experienced. If you would like to get involved please speak with the team here or call 0300 32 32 100

1:1 Support from the Lived Experience Team

Project Adder – Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery

The Lived Experience Team support the Project Adder Team building relationships and gaining trust with people who are not engaged with services. This usually means supporting people in Blackpool who are high end crack and heroin users at risk of drug related death.

The team, who are already trusted within the community due to their own lived experience, do this by making a visible presence on the streets of Blackpool offering person centered approach. This could be things such as having a friendly brew and chat to find out what their specific needs are to get them the support they need. 

Currently the team are working towards gaining access to Police Custody Cells to be able to support in diverting people from the Criminal Justice System. 

The LET Team refer people into Project Adder Enhanced Key Workers to enable them to get whatever treatment suits their needs.

Peer 4 U

PEER 4 U, is a ground breaking initiative to tackle head on the loneliness and social isolation experienced by people in Blackpool by with a history of homelessness, mental illness, offending and substance misuse.

Each person referred into Project Adder is buddied up with a mentor from Peer 4U to walk along side them on their journey. This engagement can be anything from having a brew to supporting them into meaningful activities. 

Nicola Plumb

Lived Experience
Team Manager

About Nicola

I started working with Empowerment in July 2014 as an Apprentice Navigator for the Fulfilling Lives Programme after a period of volunteering within Blackpool substance misuse services. During this time I started my Bachelors degree in Health and Social Care and to develop new skills I also went to work for a partner agency as Life Skills Coordinator. Due to my passion for Empowerment and the Fulfilling Lives programme I returned 12 months later as Volunteer Coordinator. From this I progressed within my role and took on more responsibility as the Lived Experience Team Manager.

My passion has always been to get the voices of people who use services heard and to create an easier pathway to accessing services in Blackpool for people with Multiple and Complex Needs, which this role allows me to do with the support of Empowerment and the Lived Experience Team.

Sophie Leatham
Lived Experience Team
Senior Practitioner

About Sophie

I started working for Empowerment Charity in Blackpool in March 2019 as a Peer 4 U Mentor. As I come from Blackpool myself, I am passionate about helping our Blackpool residents have a voice and access relevant support.

I began my journey by attending college, gaining relevant qualifications and securing a voluntary position within a busy organisation which supports local women. I went on to obtain a work placement with the criminal justice team for a further year.

My position with Empowerment is ideal as I am able to work within a recovery model that I am both passionate and proud to be a part of whilst working towards obtaining my Bsc (hons) Psychology Degree.

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