The Changing Futures programme is a £64 million joint initiative by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities and The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. The fund is for local organisations to work in partnership to better support those who experience multiple disadvantage, including homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues, domestic abuse, and contact with the criminal justice system.

Our Coproduction and Peer Support service will be delivered in partnership with Crisis and will support the Changing Futures programme in Sheffield.

We’ve created the service to deliver for individuals, for professionals and organisations, and for the wider system. This is because we recognise that we need to achieve widespread impact to genuinely increase voice and influence for people with lived experience.

The principles that guide our Coproduction and Peer Support service include:

  • A strong model of coproduction
  • Being strengths-based and working with people’s goals and aspirations
  • Creating opportunities for progression – people will be able to develop, grow and thrive by being involved in our service
  • Making it simple and easy to engage with the service, and ensuring that people won’t have to retell their stories time and time again
  • We’ll collaborate with partners and others working in the city, and won’t work in isolation
  • We’ll test and learn, and openly share our learning.

We have opportunities for people to volunteer with us as a Peer Mentors and as Co-production Volunteers. We’d also like to collaborate with local with partners to test things like our coproduction training and our co-evaluation tools. Find out more about our volunteer opportunities below.

For more information, or if you’re interested in any of our opportunities, contact Kate Walsh, programme manager at We’ve also created a summary of the Changing Futures project, and you can download it here.

Download the summary

“For me, the best thing would be to have one-to-one support from someone who knows what it’s like, someone who’s been through similar and doesn’t judge.”

Co-design participant, September 2021

Our volunteer opportunities

Peer Mentor volunteer

As a Changing Futures Peer Mentor, you’ll be a beacon of hope to others, provide proof that recovery is possible and help people to thrive.

You’ll work with people both in groups and individually, to:

  • Identify and achieve their aspirations and goals
  • Provide motivation, support, and act as a role model
  • Try new things and offer practical support to attend appointments
  • Provide advocacy and empower people to ‘have their say’
  • Build a safe and supportive community where people can thrive

Find out more and apply here. 

“I’ve never heard the term co-production or worked in this way before, but it’s been so rewarding. I feel like my voice has been heard and that I’ve made a difference.”

Co-design participant, June 2021

Co-production volunteer

We want our employees, customers and volunteers to work collaboratively to co-create our Changing Futures programme. As a co-production volunteer you will:

  • Work with people in a strengths-based way
  • Be passionate about working with people, and improving their lives
  • Co-design sessions, activities and documents to support people
  • Capture customer voice, to help develop our service
  • Co-deliver training with our staff

Find out more and apply here. 

Other opportunities to get involved

We’ll have plenty of other volunteering opportunities to get involved in. So, if you’re not sure you can commit to the above roles, you can still express an interest and we’ll be in touch to talk about options for using your lived experience to help us in other ways.

The benefits of volunteering with us

You’ll be able to make the role your own, use your valuable experiences to help others, and experience many benefits yourself.

We’re sure that our volunteers will:

  • Gain a sense of purpose and achievement
  • Develop self confidence
  • Meet new people and have fun
  • Learn new skills and develop both personally and professionally
  • Be part of a growing community of people with common goals
  • Make a huge difference to people who need it

Training and support

We want to understand your goals and help you to achieve them – our team will be with you every step of the way to provide support, and help you to develop within your role.

You’ll receive a thorough induction, regular one to one supervision, a personal development plan, and access to lots of relevant training – including the fantastic Peer Support and Mentoring Accredited Level 2 qualification, which will be delivered by our partners at Crisis.

We’ll also provide access to a co-designed ‘skills accelerator’ fund to support additional training or qualifications.

About you, and how to get involved

We’re looking for enthusiastic and passionate people with experience of dealing with overlapping problems at the same time, such as homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues, domestic abuse, and contact with the criminal justice system.

Ideally, you’ll have been in recovery for at least 1 year, be at the right point in your journey and will have embedded positive change that can inspire others.

If you think you can share your experiences to make a difference, please complete our expression of interest form and we’ll be in touch for an informal chat, or give us a call on: 0114 2900200 and ask for a member of the Changing Futures Team.