The Area Council Manager introduced the report, which provided an update on performance for quarter 3.
Members noted that the report now included initiatives funded through the latest round of Working Together Fund and also those successful as part of the Supporting Vulnerable and Isolated Older People Fund.
It was noted that performance against all contracts was satisfactory. The number of businesses involved had increased, as had the percentage of local expenditure.
Members heard how the number of young people volunteering was relatively low, however this did not include the numbers of young people engaged through schools in school time.
The numbers achieving accreditation and qualifications was down in quarter 3, but it was noted that the ‘Your Town, Your Community’ project had now ceased. However, this would again increase due to the ‘Young Voices’ project.
Members noted the significant number of people having received advice, and noted that this would further increase once the contract CAB commenced in April, 2019.
The performance of DIAL delivering the advice drop in was considered, with 47 residents receiving advice within the quarter. Overall the project had brought £34 into the area for every £1 the Area Council had invested. Those present heard of the significant number of volunteer hours pledged and the impact this had on the support given to those in need by reducing waiting times. Also noted was the improvement in wellbeing of users of the service. Members considered the case studies provided and praised the work of the service.
The Clean, Green and Tidy Team contract was then considered, with all areas of performance considered satisfactory. It was noted a number of outcomes required reconsideration, such as those relating to work with the probation service, due to lack of interest from the service. Members noted that the emphasis would be to generate new volunteers moving forward, and the figures for the quarter showed a number of residents now taking responsibility for the upkeep of green areas.
Work with Tesco continued with the ‘Marketeers’ making a positive impact in the market barn. Members heard of the plans to erect signs highlighting that ‘the area is maintained by volunteers’ in order to help reduce littering. The work of Twiggs Grounds Maintenance to support Incredible Edible was also acknowledged, with the Penistone area being highlighted as a good example.
The performance of the final quarter of the contract with Age UK was positive, with the focus on being warm over the winter period. The Winter Warmth event was well attended, although it was noted that more people had attended previously, perhaps due to the big knit event being held on the same day previously. The commission had worked with Penistone Grammar School in order to provide Christmas lunches. Age UK had also provided information and advice, primarily in relation to benefits in retirement or self-funding of care.
Members noted the support to establish community groups, and the Health Mind group at Tankersley was highlighted as a good example, which was now self-supporting. This model which was set to be replicated elsewhere in the area.
The continued increase in use of the Community Car Scheme was acknowledged, and Members hoped that this would continue to be publicised in order to grow.
Noted was the impact that Age UK had on the improvement of wellbeing of users, however it was noted that the majority of users were female, an issue which was looking to be address by delivery through the Supporting Vulnerable and Isolated Older People Fund.
Members noted the performance report for the final quarter of funding for Sporting Penistone. The Volunteer Coordinator role had provided much needed support to the organisation, with a much improved volunteer offer and increased engagement of young volunteers being evidenced. The Area Council Manager made Members aware of the discussions taking place to connect Sporting Penistone with Age UK. Members commented on arrangements in Stocksbridge where GPs referred patients to the sports centre for exercise, and suggested this could be explored for the area.
The Penistone FM Young Voices project had recently commenced, with excellent links made with Penistone Grammar School and the 6th Form to provide young people with experience, accredited training, and access to professionals working in broadcasting.
The meeting went on to consider the performance of the South Pennine Community Bus Service. The service had been very well used, and had been featured on Look North. There had recently been a more focused volunteer offer, and greater links made with the community with such as social prescribing and Age UK. The service had created a community in itself, reducing social isolation for many people, and was well valued.
The Area Council Manager made Members aware of arrangements being made to discuss the future of this service with SYPTE, and it was suggested that relevant officers from Transportation in BMBC be invited. It was thought that smaller services such as this and the community car scheme offered solutions to some of the problems found in rural areas.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.