On Thursday 16th February 2017 we held our very first focus group at Oh My Coffee Shop and Other Nice Things, the night was well attended with a broad selection of local residents, community groups, faith leaders and local business owners coming together to discuss what was happening in and around Larkswood, Valley and surrounding wards. Table discussions and doodles mapped what was currently happening, what was felt to be missing, what we want to happen and what steps we need to make as a community to achieve them. There was just so much enthusiasm and energy, and a hugely committed group. Suggestions were made to hold community events at the Mount, and to make local improvements, a sub group to network local businesses and encourage further engagement was proposed. Full minutes of the event are available, and if you would like to attend the next meeting, that we agreed to hold in May, please contact me to be added to the mailing list …..
Local Area Coordinator – Larkswood Ward
What is Local Area Coordination
Local Area Coordination is a long term evidence based support approach to working alongside:
- People with mental health needs
- Older people
- Their families/carers
The model has been successfully used in 11 areas outside of London and Waltham Forest is the first London Borough to introduce Local Area Coordination to the following four wards, with a coordinator covering each one:
- Cathall – Sam Tallant Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Grove Green – Carolyn Sellick Email: email@example.com
- Wood Street – Leeana Williams Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Larkswood – Alison Gordon Email: Alison.email@example.com
What does a Local Area Coordinator do?
- Firstly, we spend time getting to know the person. Within these conversations, we begin to explore their gifts and talents and what a good life looks like for them. We look at non service solutions and try to build community capacity to help when support is identified. We can work alongside them to help them achieve this.
- Acts as a single point of contact This can be useful perhaps when a person has more than one team supporting them such as healthcare professionals, council department’s i.e. social services or housing. We can help them navigate through these systems and get the best from them.
- Be an advocate The individual may wish for us to help them prepare for a meeting, or attend alongside them so they can convey their needs. We work to build resilience, rather than dependency.
- Connect people and communities Rather than looking at services as solutions, a valuable part of our role is about connecting the community. There may be a reading club around the corner or an opportunity to connect with others in similar circumstances to find support from one another. Stronger communities equate to stronger, more resilient community members.
Here’s a great example of how Local Area Coordination has successfully supported people in Derby