Sharon Brown, Chief Executive Officer of DIAL, was welcomed to the meeting and started the presentation by highlighting the mission and strategy of DIAL and how these complemented the aims of the contract.
An overview of the branding for the project ‘Warm Connections’ was provided, as were the service objectives.
The service will provide a single point of access, with two social inclusion workers employed to undertake assessments face to face in resident’s homes. The service will be supported by volunteers assisting people to switch energy providers and befrienders who will support those isolated to make connections in the community.
Energy awareness events will also be arranged and peer support networks established, where necessary.
An example of the pathway of a typical resident engaged in the project due to them being isolated was given. It was noted that support would be given from the social inclusion worker for up to 8 weeks, with review visits subsequently to check on progress.
In addition to interventions to assist with isolation, referrals could also be made to a wide range of other support services, for example to assist with issues due to fuel poverty, benefits, or fire safety. Referrals could also be made to the social care team for assessment, and also to the hOurbank for clients to exchange skills.
Members were reminded of the role of hOurbank, where individuals can use their skills to help other and be provided with an hour of the skills of others in the community.
It was noted that Individual Engagement Plans would be developed for each of those engaged, detailing the interventions aimed to reduced loneliness and isolation.
Members noted that a single point of access for referrals would be operational from the beginning of January, and those present were encouraged to make contact for anyone they had concerns about.
Questions were asked about referrals, and it was noted that people can self-refer. In addition it was also thought that referrals would come from those being discharged from hospital, and from the Warm Homes initiative. It was noted that 10 volunteers had already been engaged to support the project.
Members discussed the hOurbank project, with a Christmas party and swap/exchange day to be held on 5th December. It was suggested that snow wardens could link into hOurbank, and be able to bank time in response to them clearing snow.
RESOLVED that thanks be given for the presentation, and that Members look forward to future information on the performance of the project.