New Local Area Coordinators have started work in Swansea and are now out and about getting to know residents and organisations on their patches.
The new recruits bring the number on the team to 22 and means even more communities in the city are being served.
Local Area Coordinators work with communities and individuals to support those who may be facing challenges so that their position does not escalate to the point where health or social service intervention is needed. They walk alongside individuals and help them identify their strengths and develop their confidence.
The team were at the forefront of Swansea Council’s response to the coronavirus pandemic by supporting people impacted by the virus and lockdowns and facilitating informal neighbour to neighbour support when people came forward offering to help.
The new recruits are Dominic Nutt in Penlan, Donna Kendall in Cockett and Gowerton, Sarah James in Dunvant and Killay, Rachel Cole in Gorseinon and Penllergaer and Ian Miller in Llansamlet and Bonymaen.
Donna (pictured) said: “People can contact us by phone, email or Facebook, or ask a professional, such as a GP, for an introduction. Or you can find us out and about in communities as things start to open up again.
“We can provide information and come alongside people as they maybe have to deal with issues, difficulties or illnesses in their lives. Or, if you have a great idea for your community, then get in touch and we can work on that together.”
“I am excited to continue spending time with people, and sharing the journeys of others, as they take steps towards their good life”
Swansea Council was one of the first council’s in Wales to trial Local Area Coordination when it piloted a scheme in three wards in 2015.
Since then it has gone from strength to strength and this year the council is investing more than £1m in the team.
Mark Child, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Community Health Services, said: “Since we first piloted Local Area Coordination we have seen its value in making communities stronger, friendlier, more active and better connected.
“They have a wide-ranging brief that includes helping people to develop skills and ideas to avoid crises by finding practical solutions to everyday problems.
“They also look out for people who might be lonely or isolated to prevent the need for intervention from social services or other agencies
“Their work has been especially valuable since the coronavirus pandemic started and the local area coordinators were at the forefront of the council’s response in our communities.
“I’d delighted that we will continue to build on this and I’d like to wish our new recruits the very best. I’m sure they will make a very positive contribution to the communities where they are based.
“Our ambition is to have local area coordinators covering all areas of Swansea and this latest expansion takes us another step closer to achieving that.”