Developing Initiatives Supporting Communities (DISC)

Research, advice and support

Developing Initiatives Supporting Communities (DISC)

Bringing together local service delivery expertise

Developing Initiatives for Support in the Community (DISC) aims to alleviate deprivation and strives for an inclusive society. It runs programmes to enable people whose lives are in crisis due to poor housing, substance misuse, family breakdown, low skills and criminal records, to fulfil their potential.

DISC recognised that in today’s contracting culture there is a trend for large organisations to sweep away local charities in competitive tendering bids for public sector contracts. This is not always in the best interests of service users, as many local charities have the roots, knowledge, networks and commitment needed to deliver effective services.

DISC says it attempted to buck this trend by pioneering a model to enable small local charities to collaborate, build partnerships, involve service users, develop new services, retain local knowledge and networks, and win bids for public sector social inclusion contracts. It has created two successful consortia in northern England. The first of these, Lancashire Floating Support Partnership (LFSP), launched in October 2007 and has brought together disparate housing-related support in Lancashire into one easily accessible service, including a central gateway contact system for service users and referrals.

During its first year, LFSP provided services to 1,301 service users and outperformed its initial delivery targets. The judges were impressed with DISC’s innovation, strong leadership and focus, which resulted in a number of impressive performance figures in key outcome areas. Some 83 per cent of service users who needed support to maintain their accommodation and avoid eviction did so, compared with a national average of almost 70 per cent, while 100 per cent of service users who required support to better minimise self-harm achieved this, compared with 75 per cent nationally.

Mark Weeding Disc
DISC executive director
Merrington House
Merrington Lane Industrial Estate
Co Durham
DL16 7UT
01388 424450
Reg no. 515755


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