Six additional Local Area Coordinators are about to start work in Swansea as the scheme is extended to even more communities in the city.
The new recruits will take up their posts in March so that even more areas will be covered by the network.
Local Area Coordinators have been at the forefront of Swansea Council’s response to the coronavirus pandemic by supporting people impacted by the virus and lockdowns and also facilitating neighbour to neighbour support when people came forward offering to help.
During the first wave the council redeployed staff to support the existing team of 16 and due to this success it is funding another six additional posts.
Dominic Nutt will cover Penlan; Donna Kendall will be in Cockett, Waunarlwydd and Gowerton; Sarah James in Dunvant and Killay; Rachael Cole in Gorseinon and Penllergaer; Ian Miller in Llansamlet and Bonymaen and Amy Beuse Evans in Dyfatty and Mount Pleasant.
Clive Lloyd, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Community Health Services, said: “In Swansea we first embraced Local Area Coordination six years ago when we ran a pilot scheme in three areas of the city.
“Their remit is to work with communities and individuals to support those who may, for example, be vulnerable or isolated so that their position does not escalate to the point where health or social service intervention is needed.
“Due to the initial success we had already expanded the service before the pandemic started and it meant we had a head start on many when it came to ensuring that support was in place for those who needed it.
“Our ambition is to have Local Area Coordinators covering all areas of Swansea and this latest expansion takes us another step closer to achieving that.”
During the pandemic the LACs have been instrumental in establishing or strengthening community networks.
More than 2,400 people came forward to offer neighbour to neighbour support and although many returned to work as the first lockdown was eased a lot of the networks remain in place today.
Cllr Clive Lloyd added: “The strength of Local Area Coordination is that it looks different in different communities as it identifies particular strengths and weaknesses and then in partnership with third sector organisations, local councillors, community councils and other community groups, seeks to build on what is in place making areas even greater places for everyone to live.”
The Local Area Coordinators are always keen to hear from people looking to help their communities or who have ideas to bring communities even closer together.
To find out about which Local Area Coordinator covers your area go to: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/localareacoordination
(Lead image: Swansea Council)