Sefton’s leading adult social care provider reported a successful year despite challenging financial conditions at its annual review evening this week.
The New Directions event was held at The Atkinson in Southport and hosted by popular Granada TV journalist and broadcaster, Rob McLoughlin, who was brought up in Maghull.
Guests heard that, despite budget constraints over the last 12 months, the company’s team of around 400 staff had continued to provide a wide range of services across Sefton and beyond for people with disabilities or mental health support needs.
In total more than 150,000 hours of high-quality care was provided by the organisation, the first local authority social care trading company in the country when it was established by Sefton Council in 2007.
Chief Operating Officer Penny Fell told the audience that New Directions also established its groundbreaking Care Quality Forum in 2015/16, giving clients and their carers the opportunity to have their say on the future of the services they use.
And for the second year running, a show garden developed by staff and service users from the company’s creative workshops won a silver medal at the prestigious Southport Flower Show.
Elsewhere in the year the organisation completed a full overhaul of its staff communications and IT systems, as well as a full rebrand of its corporate identity and marketing strategy.
Meanwhile, looking to the future, New Directions successfully tendered to become a Liverpool City Council approved provider during the year.
The company was also selected as one of only six organisations to take part in a national pilot scheme linked to its Shared Lives service that provides an alternative option to traditional supported accommodation services for vulnerable adults.
Other speakers at the review evening included New Directions Board Member and Sefton Council Chief Executive, Margaret Carney, who praised New Directions for its achievements, and looked forward to the organisation’s tenth anniversary year in 2017.
Meanwhile, guests also heard from Emma Anderson, Director of The Atkinson, who spoke about the importance of inclusion and diversity in the arts.
Penny Fell commented: “2015/16 was a year in which we continued to provide much-needed, high-quality care services to our clients throughout the borough.
“At the same time, we laid firm foundations for further development of the company’s activities in 2017 and beyond.
“As well as thanking our funders and partners for their ongoing support over the last 12 months, I would like to pay tribute to the hard work and commitment of our staff.
“They have continued to make such a positive difference to the quality of the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of the Sefton community.”