Agenda item

Quarter 2 Performance Report (Pac.30.11.2023/5)


The Area Council manager provided members with an overview of performance for Quarter 2 covering July to September 2023 and all contracted Services. 


Members attention was drawn to the statistics and in particular the volunteering numbers.  It was reported that this figure would significantly drop due to the Clean Green and Tidy Contract ending. 


The Clean, Green and Tidy contract had provided its last report with focus mostly being on picking up proactive work.  The numbers of groups worked with had dropped due to no new Groups being taken on due to the contract coming to an end, however established Groups had remained to be supported.  A commemorative tree had been vandalised at Watermeadows park and replaced by a donated Acer from Twiggs Grounds Maintenance Ltd.  Members were provided with a highlight of the other areas that Twiggs had covered in their final months of their contract. 


The Supporting Vulnerable and Isolated Older People’s contract had continued to report good outcomes in the quarter.


The Age UK contract had some good outcomes in the quarter with 35 active volunteers, 5 of which were new and 101 community car journeys being undertaken.  The Penistone Men in Sheds was no longer supported by Age UK and was being established as an independent group.  The Millhouse Green and Thurlstone lunch club was also no longer supported by Age UK due to a lack of volunteers to run it, users were being signposted to the New Inn lunch club.  Members were provided with a list of numerous other groups that were operating in the area and trips and events that had taken place.


The Information and Advice Service provided by Citizens Advice Bureau had moved onto their face-to-face contact offer alongside the phone and online service.  This had commenced at the end of August on Wednesday mornings twice a month in Penistone Library.  Take up had been slow but it was recognised that it could take a while for word to get out about the return to a face-to-face service.  The majority of issues dealt with were in relation to Benefits and Tax Credits and Universal Credit.  66 clients had used the service in quarter 2 with 98 issues being dealt with as a result of some clients having more than one issue.   The DIAL information and advice offer for Penistone continues to provide weekly face to face appointments at Penistone Town Hall which are booked up well in advance.  There was added value through the DIAL contract via the central offer of calls and emails, 84 clients had accessed the service outside of what the Penistone Area Council were paying for.  DIAL were recruiting new Advisers through an apprenticeship system and 2 people with knowledge from different backgrounds had been recruited. 


The Working Together Grant Fund had supported Adult singing workshops until January 2024.  Whilst this had been well promoted and plenty of interest had initially been seen, the final number of regular adults in attendance was 8, this was due to many being too nervous or did not have the time to attend regularly.  Of the regular attendees, some had reported significant improvements in health and confidence.  Members were invited to a private performance from the Adults Workshop to be held in January.


Ad Astra had applied for funding to supply a third year of support to young people for support with emotional wellbeing targeting each year group in terms.  This had commenced after the October half term and an update would be provided within the Quarter 3 report at a future meeting.


Following the Penistone Grammar School Project which was funded through the Supporting Young People Grant Fund, a group of Post-16 students had proposed a ‘Student Mentor Programme’ which would be trialled within the Year 12 students and rolled out if successful.


Girlguiding Barnsley West had supported 250 young women and girls to complete a programme around activities to support with going away.  Of the 250, 192 completed the actual activity itself with some older children successfully staying overnight.  Due to the price increase of the course, the funding provided from the Grant Fund was not able to cover the full course costs and was apportioned to supporting the young people who would not have been able to afford the course. 


Angel Voices had provided their final report from the 2022/23 grant funded programme for singing workshops, qualifications and live performances for young people.  This grant funded project had provided a good outcome for young people with a final performance at the Penistone Paramount which included two different team shoes one of which focussed on climate change.  The latter had resulted in requests from a number of audience members for them to perform at their schools or events in their establishments.  An additional application had been received for future funding in order to provide advice and guidance to young people to educate them about the music industry.  


The Area Team had enabled two significant projects to support young people in the area. The first of these helped connect Cawthorne Primary to various services such as the local policing team to aid with road safety outside of schools.  The second was to establish summer activities for young people working in partnership with the Sports Van and Ramp Up Programme through BMBC. The Ramp up was very popular and attracted 394 young people and 115 attended the sports van sessions.


The team are also working to support with the cost of living crisis by helping to grow a Penistone Food network.  A consultation exercise had been held and feedback had shown most people thought it would be a good idea of having a food hub.  Work was being undertaken with various partners including Good Food Barnsley to establish a food hub model for Penistone.


The Penistone 10 Year celebration event, organised by the Area Team was a great success with attendees from volunteers, partners, parishes, local businesses and community groups to celebrate 10 years of working together for the Penistone Community.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.


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