New social care scheme offers ‘warm and welcoming’ place of support

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A new way of providing adult social care is launching in Calderdale to help boost the health and wellbeing of local residents.

Calderdale Council is piloting the new service, known as ‘Better Lives at No. 42’, at 42 Market Street, Halifax.

The shop, which will be run by social workers, will open its doors to the public on Wednesday.

It will be a place where people can go for information and advice on the services available in Calderdale and will also be an opportunity to meet other people.

The new service aims to provide support in the community at an earlier stage, to prevent or delay health issues in the future. It’s hoped this approach will help people stay independent for longer and avoid stays in hospital or care homes.

Councillor Bob Metcalfe, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for adults, health and social care, said: “We want local people to get the right care at the right time and I’m really excited by this new approach to social care in Calderdale.

“Better Lives at No. 42 will provide a more informal, warm and welcoming place for us to support people, rather than the more traditional ways that our services have been delivered in the past. It’s about helping people to stay healthy and in control of their lives for as long as possible.”

After researching a similar scheme in Shropshire, the council piloted a smaller version of the proposed new practice in Calderdale last year.

In the first six months the team accepted over 1,300 referrals and 96 per cent of these were resolved without needing long-term involvement from social services.

Team manager Liz Thorpe said: “It’s about giving people the respect they deserve as members of the public. There isn’t anything different about people who come to social care from you and I, so we start from that perspective and we work alongside people.

“The team have been working in this preventative way for a couple of years, albeit based in the social services offices.

“The way that we work, getting alongside people and understanding what their life is about, has already reduced the number of people who are being referred into formal services.

“So we’ve seen a lot of reduction in care act assessments and packages of care for people at home.

“People are, with our assistance, finding their own solutions. The staff are so passionate about making this work.

“Once we get going, what we will be doing is outreach work to all the localities in Halifax.”

The council is being supported in the initiative by the National Development Team for Inclusion, a not-for-profit social change organisation which works with local authorities and community organisations around the country to facilitate the development of community-led social work.