Agenda item

Future Commissioning - Cost of Living Workshop Feedback (Nac.14.11.2022/4)


The Area Manager provided an update on the two workshops which were held at Barnsley Town Hall, particularly on the positive situation to have the room full of partners on a scale echoing that pre the Covid-19 pandemic. It was acknowledged that it was however disappointing that this conversation was on the Cost-of-Living crisis. Key discussion points at the workshops included, but weren’t limited to:


·         One-to-one casework

·         Working with children and families

·         Celebrating existing assets

·         Partnership working, including DIAL, Romero, and CAB

·         Social welfare support

·         Voluntary sector

·         Healthy Holidays

·         Health & wellbeing work


At the workshops there was an ask to look at gaps in provision and how to address these. It was stated it was clear that opportunities to bring people together for group working was highly prized and that there was a desire for partnership working with schools and local libraries. Suggestions at the workshops included:


·         Money saving hacks.

·         An exercise to get people into a problem-solving frame of mind.

·         Community champions and partnership working.

·         Maximising existing services and buildings, with low cost/no cost suggestions.

·         Community connector role, being a peer-led role on 18-month contracts delivering in the communities in which they live.

·         An empowering and signposting role looking at helping people with food and fuel poverty.

·         Working with young people with provision such a Healthy Holidays, Sunday breakfast clubs, free school meals, hygiene poverty and period poverty.

·         Reinstatement of the Mi Card.

·         A community bus, with acknowledgment ASDA were collaborating with Yorkshire Rose buses to get shoppers to their store.


The Area Manager looked to Members for their experience on how the cost-of-living workstream should progress.


Members praised the effectiveness of the workshops and their usefulness for information sharing and identifying problems and gaps. Presentations given from various groups were noted as powerful with a desire to take the energy from the room and conversation and turning it into something meaningful. The number of providers and partners in attendance was noted as striking. Opinion was stated that engagement work with those hard-to-reach that have an obvious need was essential. It was additionally acknowledged that it was clear that the Council was doing a lot already to help people with the cost-of-living crisis.


A consensus was reached that a further meeting should be held with members to progress the ideas presented at the workshops further. The Area Manager would strive to deliver solutions that made best use of existing resources with consideration for budget constraints. The focus would be on giving residents a hand up rather than a handout.



    (i)      that the detail extracted from stakeholder discussions at the two workshops held on the 6th and 13th October 2022 be noted;

   (ii)     that Members agreed to hold a further workshop to develop the North Area response.

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