Good Council Practice - Partnership

23 April 2021 13:57:00

During the COVID-19 pandemic Bridgend County Borough Council worked alongside Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) to expand the Community Companions befriending scheme recognising, the need to adapt approaches in relation to the pandemic and restrictions. BAVO and the Council wanted to provide support to individuals in different ways including telephone befriending to support social distancing particularly targeting older more isolated adults over the winter period. During 2020 there were 229 referrals received for befriending support. A total of 145 individuals were supported with befriending opportunities, with 102 volunteers involved in telephone befriending and 50 individuals involved in the pilot of the intergenerational pen pal scheme. This scheme has continued to grow despite the disruptions of schools closing and BAVO have made links with a local primary school during lockdown to write letters/drawings which were developed into postcards to send out to Community Companions beneficiaries and volunteers.

23 April 2021 13:53:00

Bridgend County Borough Council’s Connecting Communities programme has escalated the support provided to people and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) working with the Community Navigators are supporting a variety of community needs. The key levels of support include: prescription delivery, shopping services, food bank support including providing foodbank vouchers and delivering food parcels to those most in need, along with educating people on other affordable food provisions like the Food Pantries, welfare checks and telephone befriending. BAVO and the Connecting Communities programme work with external organisations and support services ensuring those most vulnerable access the support they need. There is a partners list of 77 organisations that have supported the Connecting Communities and also in a series of impact checks regarding the Connected Community support 214 individuals, 99% were happy with the support, signposting and information and advice the navigators had provided.

03 March 2021 15:24:00

Monmouthshire County Council and third sector organisations worked together during the initial lockdown in March 2020 to build a support structure for community groups. The support structure involved training and screening volunteers for safeguarding, sharing information, building neighbourhood networks and providing a single point of contact in the council who could assist the groups with any challenges they were facing. Asset-based principles and belief and trust in communities were the foundations of the council’s strategy to manage lockdown. The strength of the council’s relationships with the existing community groups and new mutual aid groups meant that the council was able to benefit from the support of the communities in much more than shopping and collecting prescriptions. This type of approach led by the community and driven by personal relationships has inspired the creation of the county’s new Town Ambassador Programme. Organised by town councils, with support from the county council and GAVO, the programme sees local volunteers meet with those who feel uncertain about leaving their homes and walk with them around the town centre. The volunteers are given training so they can advise about the COVID-19 measures in place around the town centre and shops, chat about general wellbeing and signpost to local services.

 

Further details are captured in New Local study (Jan 2021): Shifting the Balance: Local adaptation, innovation and collaboration during the pandemic and beyond 

03 March 2021 14:25:00

Within the first two weeks at the start of lockdown in March 2020, over 600 people had registered to volunteer with Mantell Gwynedd’s Volunteer Bank. Gwynedd Council and third sector bodies held formal weekly online meetings and worked together in a more joined-up manner to serve the needs of communities by identifying gaps, sharing resources and stepping up to the demand. Although the nature of volunteering has changed since the initial lockdown with many people returning to work or education, the volunteering spirit has remained. Many of the people who originally registered to volunteer with Mantell Gwynedd at the beginning of the initial lockdown reached out to volunteer again during the Autumn Firebreak.

 

Further details are captured in New Local study (Jan 2021): Shifting the Balance: Local adaptation, innovation and collaboration during the pandemic and beyond

11 December 2020 12:58:00

<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink">Wrexham<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">, <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink">Denbighshire<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"> and <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink">Flintshire<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"> councils <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">have worked in partnership <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">to deliver a Regional Community Cohesion Service (RCC) for North East Wales. The service supports around 40 community groups and third sector organisations that in turn actively support minority communities. 

<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">Since March 2020, RCC has continued to support communities although as with most services, the focus has adapted to address the challenges posed by COVID19. In total around £20,000 has been awarded in grants to support specific schemes such as: 

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    <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">provision of food parcels, personal protective equipment and online <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">support; 

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    <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">translated information <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">packs; 

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    <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">summer holiday socially distanced <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">activities;  

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    <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">support in relation to domestic violence and substance misuse during Covid-<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">19; 

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    <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">post Covid-19 volunteering and community engagement opportunities; and 

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    <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">supporting the local Traveller Community during Covid-19 with remote education support. 

<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">The RCC is not sitting back on its laurels. It has a seat on the <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink">Wales Council for Voluntary Action<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"> Emergency Covid-19 funds panel and is working with <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink">AVOW<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"> and key partners to identify and secure larger and <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">more sustainable funds to support minority communities and individuals with projected characteristics. 

11 December 2020 12:31:00

<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">A <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">Carer Card has been launched<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"> by <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink">Ceredigion County Council<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">,<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"> for unpaid carers who look after family members or friends who would <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">n<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">o<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">t be able to manage on their own without the support and care of an unpaid carer. 

<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">The Carer Card is a photo ID card issued by Ceredigion County Council’s Carers Unit to carers aged 18 and over who have registered with <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">the councils <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink">C<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink">arers <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink">Information <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink">Service<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">. 

<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">Th<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">e card<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"> has been developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. During the early months of the pandemic, many carers contacted <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">the council <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">to ask for something they could use to prove that they are caring for someone <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">if<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"> they were challenged when collecting and deliv<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">e<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">ring essenti<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">a<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">l supplies for that <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB">person. 

<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Normal (Web)">Cardholders will have access to priority shopping opportunities with retailers who are participating in the scheme. A list of retailers and other benefits is available on <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Normal (Web)">the councils <span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink">Carer Card page<span data-contrast="none" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span data-ccp-parastyle="Normal (Web)">. 

06 October 2020 08:46:00

Conwy County Borough Council established the Community Support Service(CSS) helpline in March 2020, the purpose of which was to provide assistance to anyone within the community who wasn’t able to call on friends, family or neighbours to ask for help with picking up shopping, delivering medication etc. Assistance was initially provided through volunteer matching and we then moved on to using temporarily redeployed staff from other services within the council. Volunteers were encouraged to register with Community & Voluntary Support Conwy(CVSC) to be matched with local organisations. Conwy CBC have an agreement with a number of local shops and both Tesco stores in the county to take payment over the phone from individuals using the CSS for shopping requests. When the Conwy Staff are at the till, the shop ring the customer who then pay for their shopping over the phone. There is also a process in place to assist if individuals have no means to pay by card over the phone. The CSS service has been scaled back in line with easing lockdown rules and the number of requests we receive reduce. All surgeries and pharmacies have been informed and have been encouraged to register with the RedCross if they need assistance with prescription deliveries.

05 October 2020 15:18:00

At the beginning of the pandemic Swansea Council and its partners in the Health and Voluntary Sectors came together to form a coordinated response. One element of which was the establishment a working group consisting of redeployed officers from Cultural Services, Poverty and Prevention, Local Area Coordination and Swansea Council for Voluntary Service (SCVS). The Council and SCVS began to map food provision across the county to ensure that any individuals in need had access to information on where to source appropriate food. The information was provided on the Council’s website, and also via the SCVS direct signposting service, which gathered information by GP Cluster area. The Council has supported the community foodbanks throughout the pandemic, via the donations and purchased product, managed at the Food Distribution Centres, and SCVS have successfully secured FareShare deliveries for several independent food banks in the County. If there is an urgent need for food and other essentials, all individuals are linked into this network and a ‘crisis pack’ will be delivered either by the local authority or SCVS. Swansea Together, a public-third-private sector partnership between SCVS, the Local Authority, Matthew’s House, Crisis, The Wallich, Zac’s Place and Mecca Bingo has provided thousands of meals to very vulnerable people during the crisis. The partnership has been supported with advice, promotion, food supplies, volunteers and transport by both SCVS and the Local Authority.

05 October 2020 15:16:00

During the third week of March Caerphilly CBC wrote to all 70,000 plus households in the county borough offering support for people concerned about the UK Government advice to self-isolate if over 70, or with an underlying health condition, if they felt they would be unable to cope with daily shopping or picking up prescriptions. 1560 older and vulnerable adults rang the dedicated helpline asking for support. At the same time a call to action was issued to staff able to help as volunteers to provide an immediate response. Over 590 staff eventually ended up acting as Buddies being matched with up to 10 older and vulnerable adults/families each. As accessing cash was a difficulty, and no WCVA cash handling guidance existed at that time, corporate credit cards and petty cash access was set up at short notice to prevent allegations of financial abuse and fraud. Residents were invoiced at a later date for shopping bought on their behalf. At the same time the Council provided enhanced DBS checked drivers to local pharmacies to help with deliveries of medication as normal driver services were not operational. As the lockdown eased and shielding ended many staff have continued to maintain a befriending role with the people they have been supporting. The scheme is now working with the voluntary sector and local community groups to support the lesser number of people still requiring support through the Community Regeneration Team working with the local CVC. A jointly appointed Volunteer Coordinator is helping to manage the Buddy Scheme with a view to developing a more formal corporate volunteering scheme as a legacy. The Community Regeneration Team are working closely with local community COVID volunteer groups particularly in helping isolated people registered on the Buddy Scheme become more connected to their communities.

05 October 2020 15:15:00

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council pulled together a Locality Response Service staffed by redeployed staff to support the increased demand for non-statutory support related to COVID-19 restrictions during the height of the pandemic and to protect front line social care. This service worked closely with the Third sector to provide ongoing support through this time for residents. Residents have been supported with grant applications, food banks, ongoing referrals for specialist support such as mental health, Gwent Drug and Alcohol Support, supporting people services and social services if required. At the beginning of lockdown and through the summer the council dealt with over 1000 requests for help with shopping, collecting prescriptions and other befriending activities. As restrictions eased and shielding paused, the council looked at options to scale back the service. The team directly contacted all open cases to ensure they could transition into a more sustainable support arrangement. 

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