New services support independent living

This story was published 17 July 2018

North Yorkshire County Council has commissioned a new range of community services to help people stay well and live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.

The North Yorkshire County Council logo

The County Council has worked with residents and partners to develop a range of contracts which will help to build upon the approaches already developed through the County Council’s Stronger Communities, Living Well and Public Health programmes.

Stronger Communities provides start-up funding and advice for community projects across North Yorkshire to help people to support each other, while Living Well helps to strengthen people’s social networks to tackle loneliness and isolation and help prevent problems developing to avoid people needing to use formal health and social care services.

The County Council’s Public Health programme seeks to improve and protect the health of everyone in North Yorkshire and enable people to lead healthier, happier lives.

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Supported Housing, said: “Helping people to stay well and independent in North Yorkshire is a priority for the County Council, and our investment in these new contracts is a key element of what we, and our partners, are doing to support that ambition.

“We already have strong support services in many parts of the county, and the new contracts will build on the work done so far. They will have an even greater focus on supporting the growth of community strengths and resources, and achieving better health and wellbeing outcomes for local people.

“They will play an important part in our overall investment to support people to help them avoid either the development of health problems or the escalation of existing problems which result in a need for long-term support from health and social care services.

“They will also provide great volunteering opportunities for anyone who wants to get involved in their local community by helping to deliver local help and support”.

The new contracts will start in the autumn and are being funded by the County Council with financial contributions from the North Yorkshire’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). They will provide:

  • Information, advice and signposting on a range of different issues to meet people’s needs and requirements. This will include signposting to more specialist and targeted services and support – for example NYCC’s Living Well service - community-based groups, and wellbeing and prevention support services provided by the NHS;
  • Social activities that help people make new friends, reducing social isolation and loneliness; and
  • Practical support, such as help with shopping, gardening or basic household tasks.

The new contracts have been awarded to a mix of existing and new service providers who will be encouraged to work collaboratively with other voluntary groups in their areas. The County Council will be offering support through its Stronger Communities and Living Well programmes and its management teams to ensure that, where any groups are affected by the change in contract holders, there is support available to manage any changes that are needed.