Get a life, not a service

Published: 12 January 2021

Derby ram

Derby RAM

The Local Area Coordination (LAC) team, set up in 2012, reached a significant milestone last month with the recruitment of a 17th officer, meaning that every ward now has a named co-ordinator.

Since 2012, the service has built up from supporting residents in just two wards and have proven their worth time and again. A 2016 study, when the service had ten officers, found that for every £1 invested in LAC’s produced £3.68 in social value.

In 2018, the Department for Education (DfE), funded a 2 years programme for the team to work with young people with experience of the care system enabling the appointment of an additional four co-ordinators. Due to the success of the project, the DfE has now extended funding for a further 12 months to embed and sustain the programme.

Local Area Coordinators work across Derby to support residents in the local community to ‘get a life, not a service’, helping people make sense of things, connecting them to what is going on in their local area to find community based solutions and encouraging them to be less reliant on traditional services through the development of personal resilience.

The team don’t provide a formal social care or healthcare service, instead, they ask ‘What would make a good life for you?’ and help people find a way to lead that life.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the team has also played a key role in developing and supporting the city’s  community response, helping drive community solutions, linking the cities Good Neighbour’s to other residents seeking support and working people on a one to one basis to resolve more complex issues.

Currently, at any point in time, Local Area Coordinators are supporting approximately 600 people in their own homes and communities, bringing real value to people with physical health problems, people with mental health problems, elderly people and their families and carers.

Councillor Roy Webb, Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Housing said:

It’s been one of my priorities since I took office to get a named Local Area Co-ordinator in every ward and I’m delighted that we have now achieved that. The stories and comments from those who have benefited from the team really make it all worthwhile.

The additional funding from the Department for Education has been a tremendous help and that project has been so successful they have asked us to extend it for a further year. This lets us help more young people who have left care, as well as continuing their fantastic day to day work with adults.

The Local Area Coordination approach, of helping people to help themselves, has really been transformative and has shaped our response throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to do so long after it is over.

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