We're looking at new ways to help support families and communities through our Thriving Families programme.
As well as dealing with everyday issues, many families have extra difficulties that make it hard to solve problems themselves. These might include poor literacy and numeracy skills, no permanent address, no friends or family living nearby, poverty, mental and physical ill-health, and drug or alcohol misuse.
We're working with other organisations such as the Police, District Councils, Voluntary sector and Health service to create services that:
- Make things easier for all families in Derbyshire, and especially families who face both daily and long-term challenges
- Support families when they need it by providing services to help deal with problems at an early stage rather than when they become too difficult for families to deal with
- Help families to build networks of support including extended family, friends and communities so that families are not facing problems alone. This will also help reduce the cost of providing services
Families come in all shapes and sizes and we're working with a broad range of people including couples with children, single parents, couples with no children and parents with adult children at home.
What is happening?
The range of services on offer to families in Derbyshire differs greatly between communities.
We're testing the project in four different areas of the county. We've already started work in Cotmanhay near Ilkeston and we're also working in Gamesley near Glossop, Shirebrook and Bolsover and Danesmoor near Clay Cross.
We're furthest along in Cotmanhay, where we have worked closely with volunteer families through 'day-in-the-life' visits and design sessions. They have told us about their aspirations and challenges and together we've formulated some ideas about how our services could work differently to better meet community needs. The innovation process we have followed is outlined in the related documents, alongside illustrations detailing the journey to each of the three service ideas.
Derbyshire County Council is working alongside the Innovation Unit to deliver the Thriving Families programme. The Innovation Unit is an independent social enterprise supporting the public sector to develop radically different, better and lower cost solutions to complex social challenges.
If you would like to get involved give us a call. We'd love to hear from you. Contact Becky Lomas on 01629 539171 or Sam Critchlow on 01629 538266.