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Boost to community based support for vulnerable Islanders

Published on 15 March 2022 10:56 AM

Aspire Ryde has been named as the Isle of Wight Council's new partner for its community based Living Well and Early Help service.

The new arrangements, jointly funded by the council and its health partners, will ensure vulnerable Islanders receive high-quality support to live well and independently at home, in their chosen communities.

The award of the new contract followed a successful tender process and a full consultation to ensure Islanders' views were taken into account when the service was redesigned to provide tailored support at a more local level.

That support will include: 

  • services based within the heart of the community at already well established community hubs, including The West Wight Sports and Community Centre, Ventnor Town Council and Pan Together;
  • greater access to advice, guidance and support for people and their families to live well, maximise their well-being, and maintain positive mental health;
  • a volunteer-led community support for residents, to not only support people to ‘survive’ but to ‘thrive’ in their own communities;
  • easy and timely access to support to help prevent people reaching crisis, and where people are in crisis they will be able to find support, information and advice to get through it.

Laura Gaudion, interim director for adult social care and housing needs said: "Congratulations to Aspire Ryde on being awarded this important contract. I am excited by the new opportunity that the further development of our brilliant Living Well Service will bring, working closely with Aspire.

It gives us a chance to support people in their own communities and increase community based support. I am grateful to our previous Living Well partner Age UK Isle of Wight who have done such a fabulous job of establishing the service and of delivering outcome for local people since 2017.

I extremely proud of what we have achieved as a team over the past five years and look forward to continuing to work with Age UK Isle of Wight, as valued partner, on a number of other projects moving forward."

Trevor Nicholas, of Aspire Ryde, said: "We are thrilled to have been awarded this contract which recognises the huge benefits of local community based services.

In developing services through this contract we are building on the excellent relationships formed across the public and voluntary sectors during the COVID pandemic and will be using that in-depth reach into individual communities to support people, and to encourage them in their own confidence, resilience and value."

Rachel Mckernan, chief executive of Age UK Isle of Wight said: "Although we will no longer be managing the Living Well Support and Care Navigation service we are delighted that it will be continuing and will no doubt continue to evolve.

We know first-hand the difference this service makes to the lives of many people in the local area, so we want to reassure everyone that Age UK Isle of Wight will work closely with the Aspire Ryde appointed to take it over, to ensure a smooth transition.

Age UK Isle of Wight will now be focusing on our core purpose of supporting older people in the community. Our services include our befriending scheme, our Information and Advice offering, and our Welfare Benefit Checks service, which last year secured £1.5 million in additional income for Isle of Wight residents. To find out more, please contact us on (019983) 525282 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk/isleofwight."

Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet member for adult social care, added: "I am delighted to announce the award of this important Living Well and Early Help service to Aspire.

I and our council teams looked closely at the many complex issues, trying to ensure that our Island people and community needs are placed at the centre of all that we do. We must stretch further than yesterday if we want to create a better tomorrow and make a real difference to our Island people.

I believe that this service will reach out across our Island in a progressive, responsive dynamic manner increasing access to support for local people in their own communities. We wanted to do more with the funding available and extend our strong partnerships with the voluntary sector and community groups. We are being creative and inventive in moving forwards listening and delivering services in a whole system approach of progressive ideas.

We must push the boundaries of our efforts and resources to create a better, healthier, happier and safer place for us to all live. Our aspirations are for people to live independent lives in there own homes and to have the support and help they require.

We are creating and investing in our own futures, setting new horizons by awarding Aspire this service. We are taking a different path from previous administrations and we will continue to work hard alongside our partners.

There may be some stumbles but we are motivated to do our very best becoming stronger in our determination to be inclusive, fair and caring for Island people. We have consulted widely in our preparations and I wanted to thank those who have made a contribution for their inspiration and thoughts."