There are over 23,000 people over the age of 65 living alone in Sefton. We know that many of these people experience isolation and loneliness. Often these people have low level mental health needs. With limited social networks relatively minor situations can quickly escalate to crisis e.g. debts, illnesses and problems with neighbours. When in crisis many people are likely to contact public service agencies such as Adult Social Care (ASC) and the Police
This project builds upon work developed in 2 small pilot areas and also tested more widely in Bootle, by establishing a small team to use the learning and tools developed to expand the pilot throughout Sefton. These workers will establish linkages that will enable ASC staff to signpost people to the full range of VCF offers, relieving pressure on ASC frontline, whilst delivering better outcomes for service users
We believe that a large number of people could access more appropriate support in the community through the range of early intervention and prevention services that already exist, many in the voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sector such as luncheon clubs, debt awareness, social activities, befriending, foodbanks, as well as commissioned services such as the Sefton Integrated Wellness Service.
.Four principles underpin our model:
- Local by default
- Building self-reliance
- Focus on assets not deficits
- Prioritise value not cost
Contacts to ASC will be triaged at first point of access; triggers will identify the appropriate pathway for callers who would not be offered social care assessments. Asset workers will build on community assets to address practical issues for people. They will also help people to build individual resilience by facilitating opportunities to connect, be active, take notice, and keep learning and give. People’s self-esteem will be increased by encouraging them to be contributors through sharing their skills, knowledge, experience and interests.
The community connectors will identify local champions and stimulate community resources to support individuals with low level needs away from services, whilst growing greater personal connectivity and resilience.
For more information on the Community Connectors Project, click here.