Our Vision - A world where everyone enjoys later life
Our Mission -To help people make more of life
Our Values - Caring, Empowering, Inclusive, Influential, Optimistic, Responsive, Realistic, Respectful
Aim 1 (Financial) - to increase our financial sustainability and contribution to the local economy
This first aim is all about managing our finances well so that the organisation continues to exist 'to help people make more of life', our Mission. It follows that if as an organisation we are financially in good shape that we can continue to employ local people who will then spend their money in North Tyneside.
This aim does not mean that we always have to save money, it means expanding our services and investing to make ourselves more efficient too. We also try and support local initiatives, like North Tyneside Council's Climate Plans, to reduce carbon emissions. We can do this by using local suppliers or by walking, cycling, or under normal circumstances using public transport to get us to work.
As a key Aim, we have developed a Financial Strategy to ensure we keep a strong focus on our finances which includes the following:
Aim: We aim to increase our financial sustainability and contribution to the local economy
- By investing in technology to maximise efficiencies
- By improving the quality and timing of management information (by reducing human input to reduce errors and speed up processes)
- By protecting our core business and margins
- By managing demand for our services
- By delivering a financial contribution from non-core services
- By improving our estate and equipment to ensure it is fit for the future
- To increase the level of unrestricted income, income which is not restricted in how it can be used
- To increase turnover consistently over the five years
- To maintain sufficient reserves to manage the financial risk of the organisation
- To plan for all projects and service to achieve a contribution between 5% and 10% to core costs
- To plan for all projects and services to generate between 1% to 10% surplus above its contribution to core costs
This year runs from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, here are the key targets we have set ourselves:
- To increase turnover from £5.2million to £5.7million, a key task here is to expand the EveryDay Care and Support services into Newcastle and in Extra Care specifically. We currently deliver around 234k hours of care and support each year, we want to increase this to 260k hours this year.
- To ensure the organisation operates in line with its Budget, which means achieving a surplus of £2k by 31 March 2021. Included within this is to achieve our income generation target of £269k, efficiencies of £10k, and to reduce our business mileage from 105k to 94k. We also want to invest in a new Customer Relationship Management System at some point too as Charity Log is starting to creek and groan
- To increase the number of Charity customers who pay for their service privately from £20k to £25k, and in EveryDay from £130k to £135k, this would help us to reduce our reliance on charitable trust funders in the Charity.
- To protect a level of reserves to allow us to manage the financial risks we may encounter now and into future years, which means keeping at least £426k in the bank at all times.
- To relocate Head Office away from Saville Street and invest in new, more efficient premises.
Aim 2 (Our Customers) - to improve the lives of people in later life
This Aim is all about how we can support people to have a better life as they grow older, by providing the support and services they want and need.
To achieve this Aim we have identified the following strategic objectives, hopefully, you can see where you and your role fit into this aim more clearly than Aim One yesterday:
- To engage and consult with communities to provide people in later life with the right services they need to make more of life- This objective will be a key focus for Jo Linton our Community Engagement Officer. Our new Neighbourhood Network will also be key to ensure we are embedded and closer to communities and ultimately older people. Our ambition is to reach more older people, particularly those who we have no contact with.
- To engage and consult with customers to improve services- we must constantly engage with our customers to make sure we are providing the services they want and need. We must always remain open to how we can improve what we do by constantly allowing customers to have their say. Many of you will be familiar with the Guided Conversation Toolkit which is the key tool we use to find out what people’s needs and aspirations are. We want to add new services to our Customer Pathway or Menu of Services, not just the services we provide but those which other organisations offer too, remember our ambition to be a “one-stop-shop”? When we consulted with older people they told us they would like us to be THE organisation they contacted to find out more about services or any support they needed. Our Customer Service Team is extremely effective at doing this now, guiding and matching customers with services. I would always encourage you if you are in any doubt about which services are available to give them a shout, we all have a part to play in guiding older people to access the right services for them.
- To campaign on issues that affect people in later life- we will identify key issues that older people would like us to raise on their behalf to strengthen their voice and ultimately bring about change. A great example is the TV license campaign, another example of how we can do this is the current Cadburys adverts to raise awareness of social isolation and loneliness with their “No words campaign”.
- To improve how our services are accessed- we would like to provide more Age UK Information & Advice sessions in GP surgeries, a place a lot of older people visit regularly. There is also a key role for us to play in supporting older people to access and use technology so they do not become excluded and even more isolated. We all know technology can open so many doors from keeping in touch with loved ones or ordering shopping online. We have made a great start on this with over 40 customers in our care services accessing “tablets” with the support of our Digital Champions. We also have a couple of funding applications submitted to try and expand this service further
- To provide information, advice and guidance to people over 50- something we currently do very well and will continue to provide. We all play a part in providing information and advice just by talking to people. This is the one service older people value more than anything, they tell us about the impact it has on their lives just by knowing what to do and where to go for help and guidance. We will continue to invest in our specialist Information & Advice service too which supports older people with the more complex matters of housing, care etc.
- To support people to improve their financial independence- we want to build on the impact we made last year when we secured £1.7million in unclaimed benefits for older people in North Tyneside. Having enough money has a huge impact on someone's quality of life, which is why we encourage all customers, no matter what service they are receiving from us, to have a free benefits check, spread the word!
- To address social isolation and loneliness- whilst we will campaign to raise awareness of social isolation and loneliness we will also provide services like Befriending, Wellbeing Services, Social Groups (including specialist Dementia Friendly groups) etc to allow older people to connect and interact with others. We would like to encourage and support more people to access these services
- To safeguard people in their communities allowing them to feel safe in their own home- we want to support older people to have their voice heard and support them to feel safe at home
- To engage more people in activities to improve their physical wellbeing- we already have 16 different physical activity groups across North Tyneside (currently closed due to C19) which we hope to expand and encourage more people to attend. I was regularly taking part in the Walking Football, pre C19, which I miss terribly, it was and will be again a great opportunity to meet new people and keep fit
- To work within Integrated Care System to provide a holistic approach to supporting people to continue to live at home with long term conditions- we would like to play a bigger role in supporting older people to receive integrated care services by being recognised as the go-to place for advice and guidance, and the organisation that can support older people at home to live with a long term condition. We also want to be recognised as a 'partner of choice' by Health and Social Care and offer social interventions alongside medical interventions.
- To support more people to remain independent and to continue to live at Home- we aim to expand our domiciliary care services in the community and within Extra Care Housing Schemes beyond North Tyneside, initially into Newcastle. We have made great progress with this to date as we are now delivering, or are about to start delivering, care into the brand new Extra Care Housing schemes Hodgson House and Allerdale House in Newcastle
- To provide opportunities for generations to meet- we would like to provide a range of opportunities to bring older and younger people together, whether it is nursery age children and adopt a grandparent, or encouraging younger and older people to learn from each other.
- To provide carer support and carer relief- we do this now very well and will continue to provide this in many ways, through our Wellbeing Centres by providing respite for carers whilst their loved one is spending a day with us in one of our Centres. Our Dementia Connections Service, including our Admiral Nurses, play a key part in supporting carers of those living with dementia and other cognitive impairment.
We plan to build on our achievements to allow us to reach more older people, and hopefully, by 31 March 2025, we have achieved our ambition to be recognised as the one-stop-shop for older people.
Aim 3 (Internal Processes) - to be leaders in providing high quality services and achieve customer excellence
Aim Three is all about our internal processes, which support how we consistently provide our customers with high-quality services.
We want to maximise our operational effectiveness and inspire loyalty from our customers, if we do that then we should reach more people.
To achieve this aim we have identified the following strategic objectives:
- To regularly consult and engage with people in North Tyneside who are not customers.
If we want to provide high-quality services to people who are not, yet, our customers then we have to find out what they want which is why we need to get closer to people in their communities through our Neighbourhood Networks and provide regular events for people to talk to us. Our Communication & Engagement Strategy outlines a number of other ways in which we will engage and consult with our stakeholders.
- To regularly identify and review our customer's needs and aspirations.
If we want to provide high-quality services we have to regularly engage with our customers to see what is going well and not so well. We maintain our Quality Framework, which is rooted in the ISO9001-2018 standard (which we have consistently held since 2009). We have our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which were developed and are consistently reviewed, to guide us on how to carry out key tasks.
The outcome should be that we all consistently deliver the same standard of service regardless of which service(s) we are delivering. Our services are audited by several different external organisations from North Tyneside Council, the Care Quality Commission to Age UK to name but a few. These organisations feedback on how we can improve further which we always must embrace to be the provider of choice.
- To maintain a high level of customer satisfaction - we monitor customer satisfaction in many different ways.
The Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey, monitoring complaints and compliments as well as regular service evaluations. We are aiming to encourage more customers to have their say. We all like to be treated with respect and to be listened to especially when receiving, sometimes buying, a service. Our Customer Service Team asks customers for feedback in the first few weeks of taking up a new service from us. This is done independently from the service that delivers to the customer. I am pleased to say our customers consistently rate our customer service at 9/10, we will aim to continue to achieve high scores.
- To increase the number of people using our services- very simply we need to reach more people to allow them to make more of life. This objective is underpinned by or Marketing Strategy, which aims to promote what we do and the impact we make.
- To achieve external recognition as a quality provider of services - recognition by external sources is always rated higher than those from within an organisation, because it is viewed as an independent opinion. We want to raise our profile further by seeking more external recognition for what we do.
Aim 4 (Our Partnerships) - to be a partner of choice
Aim Four is all about “partnerships” and how by having, and being, a good partner allows people to make more of life because they are better connected and can access more services, and not just those provided by us.
The aim reads very simply as “we aim to be a partner of choice”. To be a partner of choice we must be the best we can and provide high-quality services (Aim Three). Our ambition to be a one-stop shop for people in later life means we need strong and robust partners that we can refer customers to, and who will refer their customers to us.
Under this Aim we have set the following strategic objectives:
- To identify and consolidate the number of organisations working on behalf of older people in North Tyneside, to strengthen the offer to our customers- the first task for us will be to identify all those organisations in North Tyneside who have an interest in older people, log what their service offer is, which means adding their service to our Customer Pathway and Menu of Services and working with them to improve and offer more services what people want and need.
- To work to alleviate the Climate Crisis in North Tyneside and Newcastle- we must take the issue of the climate crisis seriously in North Tyneside and Newcastle. We will work to ensure as an organisation we reduce our carbon footprint, for example when we refresh our vehicle fleet we will look to electric vehicles, we are already using less paper, and working to reduce our business mileage.
- To strengthen the relationship with partners- we need to ensure that our relationships with our partners are strong to allow a seamless service offer to older people. We will need to have regular communication and engagement with our partners to discuss and agree changes to ensure our services are fit for purpose and that we continuously improve.
- To work collaboratively to improve the lives of our customers- we will need to be proactive members of the various networks and groups with an interest in older people to allow us to be at the centre of new developments and initiatives.
Aim 5 (Our People) - to be an employer of choice
Under this aim we have identified the following strategic objectives:
- To recruit, induct and support new staff and volunteers to give them the best possible start- not much to add here other than to emphasise how we recruit people who naturally share our values and the importance of induction for all new staff and volunteers. Induction is important and is supported through an Induction Map which includes, Group Induction, Service and Role Induction.
- To invest in training and personal development of our staff and volunteers to help them achieve their full potential, including investing and supporting our future leaders - we have always been committed to investing in training for staff and volunteers and consistently achieve our training targets for mandatory training. Our Appraisal process is key to us identifying talent in our staff and volunteers and working with individuals to realise their career ambitions within, or outside of the organisation. Every year the Appraisal information is presented by our HR Team who identify our talent and work with Line Managers and Heads of Service to prepare Development Plans. I would encourage you to prepare well for your Appraisal and to maximize this annual opportunity to enhance and realise your career aspirations.
- To communicate and engage regularly with our staff and volunteers- Our Communication & Engagement Strategy supports this objective and includes amongst other things our commitment to engage with staff and volunteers regularly through Team meetings, TALK Meetings, and the Engagement Forums etc. Our strategy includes the following ambitions:
- To maintain an up to date Staff & Volunteer Portal which holds all internal organisational information
- To provide an in-depth induction into the organisation, service and role
- To provide regular organisation and service updates
- To organise and facilitate regular “team” meetings
- To organise and facilitate regular Employee and Volunteer Engagement Forums
Technology will play an increasingly important role in supporting us to achieve these ambitions, as well as communicating and engaging with other stakeholders.
- To reduce our carbon footprint across the workforce- this is an area I have touched upon under Aim One and Aim Three where we have the ambition to operate paperlessly and to reduce our business mileage.
- To improve the health and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers- if our staff are well then they will be at work, which has several benefits, probably most importantly it means continuity and consistency of service to our customers. We work in line with the Better Health at Work Award Framework and having achieved GOLD status we are working towards the CONTINUING EXCELLENCE level. We are reporting the lowest ever levels of staff absence which must, in part, be the impact of working to this standard.
- To recognise and reward our staff and volunteers- every year the Board of Trustees carry our Annual Conditions of Service Review, where they review every aspect of hourly paid and salaried staff conditions of service (all those areas that appear in our Contracts of Employment). This review will compare rates of pay to other employers in the same sector, any cost of living awards, and potential changes to pensions and other “benefits”. Whilst our pay is important we also look at other ways in which we can recognise our people, over the years we have introduced Loyalty Awards, Thank You Events, etc. We will always look and listen to the Employee Engagement Forum for new ways in which we can recognise our staff. Going forward we will be developing and working with a new Volunteer Engagement Forum to identify new ways to recognise and value our volunteers.
Aim 6 (Our Community) - to make North of Tyne an Age Friendly place
The World Health Organisation has identified 8 key areas which cities and boroughs can address, to better adapt their structures and services to the needs of older people, and it is these that provide the context for this Aim, which covers:
- The built environment
- Social participation
- Respect and social inclusion
- Civic participation and employment
- Community support and health services
We have identified 4 strategic objectives to support this Aim which are as follows:
- To strengthen the voice of people in later life- we will do this by campaigning on issues that affect older people and by regularly engaging with older people in our communities across North Tyneside
- To work to increase the housing options for people in later life- we have set up EveryDay Homes Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Age UK North Tyneside, to invest in and develop housing options for people in later life. Havelock Place is the first new development for this company.
- To identify and invest in a flagship One Stop Shop, Health & Wellbeing Hub for people aged 50+
- We envisage moving into new premises eventually which would be our “hub” and one-stop-shop, plus having a presence in each area of the borough to improve our accessibility.