Wiltshire Publications

Westbury chosen for new community support scheme

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2018 at 10:58 am.

WESTBURY has been chosen as one of three towns to host a new local area coordination network for Wiltshire, a scheme that will help empower people to make improvements in their lives and become more connected in the community.

The news was announced at last month’s Annual Town Meeting, by Kate Blackburn, health care services consultant for Wiltshire Council.

Westbury’s local area coordinators will support individuals of all ages  living with disabilities, mental health issues, those who are older and their families/carers. The aim will be to help them build and pursue their personal vision for a good life; stay strong, safe and connected as contributing citizens; and find practical solutions to problems wherever possible. It is hoped that this will help to build a more welcoming, inclusive and supportive community.

A similar scheme in Frome, called ‘Compassionate Frome’, has reduced emergency hospital admissions in the area by helping patients who are lonely and isolated connect with support in the community, having a positive impact on their health.

Mayor of Westbury, cllr Gordon King said, “People often ask me how they can improve their lives, whether that’s meeting new people, making friends, finding a club, a society, an activity; where they might go for information, get better connected to their community or simply improving the quality of their lives. Often I believe finding the right place to start is more than half the problem solved.

“Westbury has a significant retired and retiring population, many of whom are lonely or are becoming lonely because their natural support network diminishes in time or because of their social, economic or physical circumstances.

“Up to 16% of people in Westbury match the indices of deprivation and as a consequence hardly ever get involved in the wider community, settling for a comfy chair in front of the television, little realising that loneliness can equate to a poor diet, 20 cigarettes a day or the equivalent in drink or becoming a regular consumer of services and maybe, heading for an earlier than necessary grave.

“Local area coordinators will be responsible for finding and connecting with everyone in the community, providing that place where we can start finding solutions. Providing that information and advice and support that people require to solve problems for themselves; by helping people become productive citizens focusing on their own vision for that good life.

“Local coordinators are therefore the bridge in the community, helping people to continue to flourish, making the most of opportunities whilst at the same time transforming local services in the community by releasing those in the professional services such as doctors, therapists and social workers to concentrate on complex cases.

“I am really pleased that Westbury has been selected as one of the locations for the project. I spoke in favour of this at the adult care transformation board with the support of cllr Jerry Wickham for Ethandune. Westbury is an ideal location.”

One Response to Westbury chosen for new community support scheme

  1. Margaret Cavanna

    May 11, 2018 at 9:47 am

    This is excellent news for Westbury. Well done to those who have achieved it. I also thought departing Mayor Gordon King’s piece in the WHN was very good.

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