Agenda item

Connecting Communities Grant Provider DIAL - Sharon Brown (Nac.11.13.2023/3)


Members received a presentation from S Brown from DIAL, which provided an update on the Connect Together initiative which was funded by the North Area Council, with a strategic aim to reduce social isolation of disabled people, their families and carers.  The objectives of the service were to extend the provision of support to reduce social isolation, facilitate activities that bring people together to share and learn, and to explore and develop other models of bringing people together.


The following key points were noted:-


·                A total of 117 sessions had been ran, including 32 themed events which were introduced in autumn/winter 2022.

·                A total of 113 people had attended Connect Together events.

·                Bingo and a social club ran weekly sessions which included special workshops in poetry writing and quilling.

·                240 hours of volunteering time had been provided by 8 volunteers.

·                A total of 1070 hours of contact time had been made with members.

·                The first annual jumble sale had raised a total of £400.

·                In 2022, a total of 60 people had attended the events, 33 slow cookers had been given away at four Crisis Support Sessions, 20 Christmas goodie bags had been given away at four Christmas Giveaway events and 27 people had attended the Grab a Gift gift swap events.

·                In 2023, over 100 people had attended the events, 44 gardening kits had been given away as part of the Green Fingers events, 30 fitness DVDs had been given away at three Get Fit events, 32 people had attended the Great Spring Clean events where they had received free cleaning essentials, and 27 people had attended the Picnic Hamper events where they had received filled picnic hampers.

·                The outcomes achieved from the initiative had shown that 100% of people who attended Connect Together meet ups felt less isolated, more connected to their community, had made new friendships from regular attendance, and felt more confident since joining.

·                Members were referred to a case study within the presentation slides.


Councillor Tattersall queried whether any future delivery plans had been identified from the current attendees, and whether these would be put into action in the upcoming year.


In response, S Brown commented that delivery was based upon the needs and requirements of individuals.  Delivery plans were in place until Christmas 2023.  From January 2024, intelligence would be utilised to plan initiatives on a quarterly basis.


Councillor Hunt queried how Connect Together could increase the number of people it interacted with and to identify isolated individuals.


S Brown referred to the challenges to identify isolated individuals.  Organised events were key to attracting new members together with word of mouth.  Members noted that a good way to continuously increase the membership could be achieved by further developing Connect Together and by establishing the interests of individuals locally.


Councillor Howard referred to the Darby and Joan Club at Darton WMC, which was specifically established to reach socially isolated individuals.  She suggested that it could be a venue for Connect Together to reach other socially isolated individuals.


Councillor Leech expressed his thanks for an informative presentation.


RESOLVED that Members noted the update.