Over £20,000 of one-off grants have been awarded to local voluntary organisations and community groups in Somerset to help the county meet obligations under the Care Act.
Somerset County Council created the fund in recognition that voluntary sector organisations and community groups are vital partners in providing information and advice on the Care Act and support to local people.
In autumn 2015 various organisations applied for up to £5,000 funding and so far five organisations have been awarded a grant, including:
• Age UK: awarded £5,000 to expand their information and advice service in GP practices. Advisors will meet with older people in GP practices to give them accurate information and support on a number of issues to improve their health and wellbeing.
• Alzheimer’s Society: awarded £3,564 to provide a series of information stands in libraries across the county to raise awareness of dementia and the support services available.
• Henhayes Community Centre: awarded £5,000 to fund mind stimulating activities for people with dementia such as the Monday Memory Group and Tuesday Welcome Group. And fitness sessions for older people in the community.
• Magna West Somerset Housing Association: awarded £5,000 to hold events, drop-in sessions and visits to people in their homes in west Somerset to provide advice and information on local services for adults.
• Heads Up: awarded £2,392 to provide support to carers of dementia sufferers including information and advice, one to one support, opportunities for alternative therapies and carer days to provide respite.
Cllr William Wallace, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “I am so pleased that local organisations are making the most of this funding. Voluntary and community organisations are key to providing information and advice on the Care Act and support in communities to local people when they need it. These five organisations are providing some really valuable and innovative services that will make a real difference to people.”
The Care Act brought together a number of existing laws and new duties for local councils from April 2015. Its main principles are to; provide fairer care and support; promote people’s wellbeing, enable people to prevent and delay the need for care and support and carers to maintain their caring role, and put people in control of their lives so they can pursue opportunities to realise their potential.
More information on the fund and how to apply can be found on the Somerset County Council website, here: http://www.somerset.gov.uk/get-involved/community/community-funding-sources/
The fund is due to end at the end of March 2016.
If people need to get advice on their care and support needs and find out what local services, support groups or equipment is available they can visit Somerset Choices at www.somersetchoices.org.uk