Neath Port Talbot Council has made an early start in delivering its ‘Recover, Reset, Renew’ agenda by strengthening a key front line community team that supports people who are going through a difficult time in their life.
The eight new Local Area Coordinators will join an existing team of six to help support more people and communities across the county borough.
Local Area Coordinators work with those who are at risk of going through a crisis in their life or help people recover if a crisis has already happened. Including people who are elderly, people with physical or mental disabilities, or people who feel isolated. They work with anyone who needs support, ‘walking alongside’ and helping them to find community-based, solutions instead of relying on health or social care services.
There is no formal referral system and residents can contact their Local Area Coordinator directly, or be introduced by friends, family, neighbours, statutory services or community organisations. Support is not time limited but seeks to avoid dependency and is tailored to a person’s needs.
In addition to supporting individual people, Local Area Coordinators work directly with community organisations and voluntary groups to enhance community-based support, reducing the reliance on more traditional services.
Councillor Peter Richards, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Services and Health, said: “Local Area Coordinators play a key role in helping vulnerable people in the community, and I am delighted we have been able to expand this team.
“They offer help to people at an early stage to avoid them needing more intensive support from health or social services at a later stage. By working closely with people and their families, they can help people to get back on their feet and link them to support in their local communities.
“We want to ensure that anyone who is feeling vulnerable or going through a crisis has somewhere to turn for help and is given the opportunity to lead a better life.”