The Strategic Director, Social Care and Education, submits a report which provide the Commission with an update on the 12-month Social Value pilot, which is currently being delivered by the Leicester Ageing Together programme.
The Commission is recommended to note the report and provide feedback and comments to the Strategic Director, Social Care and Education and to the Executive.
The Strategic Director, Social Care and Education, submitted a report which provided the Commission with an update on the 12-month Social Value pilot, which was being delivered by the Leicester Ageing Together programme. Commission Members were recommended to note the report and provide feedback and comments to the Strategic Director for Social Care and Education.
Councillor Russell, Deputy City Mayor, Social Care and Anti-Poverty introduced the report and informed the meeting that the pilot was well underway. Kate Galoppi (Head of Commissioning) and Ruth Rigby (Leicester Ageing Together (LAT)) delivered a presentation (attached for information) and key headlines from the report:
· The pilot had been running in two wards in the city since July 2019 and was an opportunity to test out the Community Connector model to tackle social isolation and loneliness, which were significant factors in health and wellbeing.
· LAT had been running for several years across the city and had successful outcomes around isolation with 6,000 people supported and 1,444 active volunteers.
· Social Value was explained as ‘additional benefits generated by a service beyond its primary purpose’ (Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012).
· The new Social Value Charter and guidance was launched by the Council in November 2018. Tenderers for ASC contracts were now required to set out social value benefits and those were evaluated as part of wider tender evaluation. Examples of social value offered in current contracts included free use of venues and training for volunteers.
· The 12-month pilot focusses on North Evington and Thurncourt wards.
· The Community Connector element of work focussed on asset-based community development work, bringing together communities and individuals, identifying strengths, and improving opportunities and skills.
· Examples given included ‘Close Encounters’ – arranging tea parties to bring isolated people living near to each other together; ‘Listening Benches’. Some people who used listening benches were now volunteering.
· A small grant of £5k had been made available to enable LAT to make small grants (up to £200) to local groups to help them develop support for lonely and isolated people, for example to develop a yoga class, dominoes group and coffee mornings in mosques for women.
· It had been identified there was a clear link with the development of social prescribing which is now being implemented in GP Primary Care Networks.
In response to Members questions and observations, the following responses were given:
· The pilot was due to end on July 2020. The pilot would be evaluated and if the model worked recommendations would be made on how to extend it. It was noted the Community Connectors were funded by Lottery money to the end of the pilot, and it was the task of LAT to try and identify ongoing funding to extend. It was noted the Community Connectors were supporting Healthwatch with a series of workshops around the city.
· It was noted by Members that a lot of people under the age of 50 were isolated. It was explained that although the original city-wide LAT programme worked across the city with people over 55, the Social Value pilot in Thurncourt and North Evington is working with all adults over 18. Work in North Evington had started slightly later in September 2019. Groups were now being helped to get established.
· It was noted the £5k was a relatively new pot of money to be distributed and had an application process. LAT were keen to support groups that were not constituted and were just setting up, and Community Connectors would help groups find funding from a range of sources and help them become self-sustaining.
· The Community Connector model was small scale and was not about having large amounts of money but making local connections between isolated and lonely people.
· The Social Value pilot would be evaluated but was only just beginning to realise opportunities in the two wards as connections were being made.
· One of the main advantages of having support for the pilot from the City Council was being able to use the council’s links to reach vulnerable groups, including people new to the city.
The Chair noted that the money given to smaller groups had encouraged them to find novel ideas to become sustainable, and a lot of positive things were developing to reduce social isolation. He noted the Commission fully supported the Council’s commitment to creating additional social value initiatives through contracts and commissioning and wished to see more in the future.
1. That the report and comments made by Scrutiny Commission Members be noted.