How can you help us? This key question is more and more important as we face up to losing tens of millions of pounds of government funding.
Somerset has a fantastic record of volunteer and community support and we will prioritise this area in our own spending reviews – we will support more wherever we can.
If more people could help themselves, if our communities could help those needing support in their own local area, it would achieve two significant targets – better for the individuals concerned, better for us allowing us to focus our spending where it would make the most difference.
This already happens with friends, family, and community groups providing help and support – without this informal care, we just couldn’t cope.
We want to build on this amazing support and make it work throughout our care provision. This means working with partners and community groups to understand who is vulnerable, and what help can be provided to keep them independent and living at home for as long as appropriate.
Just one example – look at the national issue of loneliness and isolation. It is an ever-growing problem and it is evident in Somerset too. Lonely people “go downhill” fast and end up needing more and more care. If we could address this early, help communities to support those living on their own, give them the information and support they need to support their local residents in need, it will make a dramatic difference to those people’s lives…and help us target our spending where it is most needed.
Not every community can do this – but we need to help those that can and build up those others so they can make a big difference locally too.
We want local communities to feel they can report issues and problems to us and know they will be listened to. They will be able to improve their own locality, help their own local residents, and know they have made a real difference to their own, and their neighbours’ everyday lives.
Our flexible and inclusive approach, alongside our other public sector partners, such as the NHS, will help develop this over the coming years.
Building up our communities