Cabinet Call: Social isolation problems cannnot be ignored - by Christine Lawton

Councillor Christine Lawton.

Councillor Christine Lawton.

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With the approach of Christmas - only 10 weekends away as the shops keep reminding us – it is timely to remember that for some people the problems of debt, homelessness and social isolation cannot be ignored.

At South Holland we are working with a new organisation which will provide vital help and guidance to those facing difficulties.

There is help for people struggling with debts.

There is help for people struggling with debts.

Whether it is accessing benefits, dealing with debts, maintaining a tenancy or seeking employment or training, P3 (People, Potential & Possibilities) can assist.

P3 is a charity and social enterprise operating a variety of services across the UK and is a fantastic example of partnership working between the public and voluntary sectors.

They will work closely with our housing department to run a new floating support service.

I visited their office at Broadgate House in Spalding and was particularly impressed with the ‘Navigator Hub’, a drop-in centre where anyone over 18 can get a helping hand and positive encouragement.

This is the first time there has been such support and coordination available across the county for adults.

They help vulnerable adults set up new homes by supporting tenancy agreements, dealing with landlords, set up essential utilities, manage money and benefits, improve social contacts and will put you in touch with other local services.

This support is not merely a ‘one off’ for the help will depend on individual need, and may be weekly but as situations improve it may be needed less often.

However the help can be maintained for six months and there will still be advice on hand from the drop in centre.

This is the first time there has been such support and coordination available across the county for adults.

Prevention is better than cure and problems dealt with at an early stage can keep people connected to the community and benefit us all.

Finally I would like to reassure residents that we are still committed to maintaining the Rough Sleeper Outreach service that is vitally important with the onset of winter.

The excellent work done by our previous provider Framework will be undertaken by P3, who will have the same staff doing this challenging work and I cannot praise them highly enough.

If you know of or spot a street sleeper please call the Street Outreach team on 0808 281 0280.