support zone home
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.
about our support serviceHaving set up our first services in 2002 to incredibly tight deadlines we now work across four offices in the North-West, supporting more than 250 households and employing around 40 support staff. We have been able to build on these firm foundations, successfully securing new contracts and expanding services. This additional growth has been achieved against a back-drop of cuts in Supporting People grants and a climate of uncertainty across the sector.
Central to our approach has been the delivery of services at a local level. With offices in Manchester, Cheshire and Rochdale, 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:
- Asian women in Rochdale
- Elderly people who are showing early signs of dementia in Manchester
- Members of Manchester's black and minority ethnic community who have issues around mental health
- Irish men in Manchester with issues around alcohol misuse and homelessness
- Homeless families and young people at risk in Cheshire
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.
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:
- every Wednesday in Harpurhey
- every Wednesday at our offices in Manchester
- every Thursday in Wythenshawe
- filling out forms
- writing a CV
- using the telephone to contact benefits, landlords, doctors, etc
- reading through letters
- using the internet
manchester speakout event
We held our annual Speakout event on 22nd August 2012, with a trip to the Manchester Science and Industry Museum. Our clients enjoyed a tour of the museum and lunch in the café.
Everyone who attended joined in our ‘people bingo’ game and enjoyed the tour through the history of trains and train lines. Attendees also received a prize at the lunch time raffle.
Feedback was sought from all clients about how they find our service and we will be producing a summary and action plan of any comments raised.
We would like to thank all those who attended, and our community support staff – Anna Maria, Debbie and Helen for organising the event and making it such an enjoyable day.
If you would like to get involved in our regular Focus Groups please contact the office.