astra People First Community Support
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community-based, tenant-led

in the support zone
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updated 10 August 2016

community support
As a housing provider the association has long recognised the important role support can play in enabling people to manage their home and sustain independent living in the community.

We were confident that with the right opportunities we could deliver effective support packages which would not only promote independent living, but enable people to grow and realise their potential.  The community support service has developed from a vision into reality in a short space of time and has now been in operation for more than seven years.

Our services receive funding from a variety of sources, such as Supporting People and Manchester's Directorate of Adults and Wellbeing.

Having set up our first services in 2002 to incredibly tight deadlines we now assist more than 150 households and employ around 20 staff through our support and befriending services. 

Central to our approach has been the delivery of services at a local level.  With offices in Manchester and Cheshire, we are well-placed to respond to the needs of service users.  Primarily we provide floating support services, but we also have some supported accommodation in Cheshire.

Our expertise in delivering support has developed over the last few years and we now work with people who have a range of issues and come from diverse backgrounds.  For example, we work with: In practice people can not be defined by specific ‘problems’ and categorised into neat groups.  Many of the people we work with have a range of problems.

During the development of the community support service, we also had to gear up to the challenges presented by Supporting People.  We have had successful reviews in all areas of operation and received positive feedback on the quality of services we provide.  This has been echoed by our own consultation with stakeholders.  Our success in getting the services up and running and securing contracts is to a large extent attributable to the commitment of the staff who work at People First, the vision and support of the Board and the partner organisations we work with, who have given us opportunities to develop new services.

Our biggest challenge now is to ensure we retain our contracts in a time of great uncertainty about funding, but we are confident we can achieve this if we ensure we continue to put ‘people first.’  This means regular consultation with service users, stakeholders and partners and working towards continuous improvement and excellence.  Crucially it also means ensuring continued opportunities for our staff to develop and grow.  We have built a strong base from which to develop further and ensure our continued success.

dropin service
Did you know People First runs drop-in services for support clients across Manchester? You can even come along if you are on our waiting list or used to be one of our support clients in the past.

The drop-ins are held: You should book first to make sure we have time to see you.

We offer up to an hour's support with: If you would like to use the services, please call us on 0161 235 6900 to book an appointment. We can offer you a 30 minute or one hour slot. Please bring any relevant documents when you visit. You can find the location of all of our drop-ins here.

manchester carers forum
If you care for someone with dementia, it may be that you are experiencing feelings of isolation and could do with someone to talk to.

Manchester Carers Forum have a group of volunteers who have direct experience and understanding regarding caring for someone with dementia.

A volunteer can keep in regular contact with you by telephone and by visiting you at home, giving you opportunities to talk about the issues that matter to you.

For more information, contact Anne at Manchester Carers Forum on
07483 100939

dementia friendly People First is a signatory to the National Dementia Declaration. The declaration has been developed by the Dementia Action Alliance and shows our commitment to improving the lives of people with dementia and those who care for them.

There are 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK now and by 2025 there will be over one million. So, dementia is one of the greatest challenges facing our ageing society today. We want all people with dementia to be able to say: You can find a copy of People First's Dementia Action Plan here.

road to recovery

One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any one year, Goldberg and Huxley (1992)

We talk about recovering from mental health problems, and as workers and individuals we all want to see people well – both physically and mentally

The Recovery approach aims to see service users holistically, as complete people who have the capacity to cope with their distress in such a way that they are able to participate in a full life, developing self esteem and self determination, and including, for example, being allowed to make their own mistakes and learn from them - just as the majority of people do in our society. It aims to focus on identifying realistic life goals for service users and enabling them to achieve them.

Think about what recovery means to you: In order to support you to recover, our support workers will: We would love to hear from you if you have any views or personal stories on recovery. If you would like to discuss this on a 1-2-1 basis, or would like to be part of a group discussion, or would just like to know more, then please get in touch with Claire Bates on 0161 235 6906

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People First is registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, Registration Number 27746R. It has charitable status. Homes and Communities Agency Registration No L4088. (c) People First HA 2016 All Rights Reserved

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