It was a real breath of fresh air meeting Jennie Cox and Sarah Charlton, local area coordinators for Tang Hall and Huntington and New Earswick respectively, because it was so obvious how much they cared about the communities they were supporting.
Local Area Coordination, launched in August last year, is a new initiative from City of York Council, that aims to support the people that most need it and in turn create resilient, inclusive communities.
Jennie and Sarah start up friendly and open-ended conversations with people in their areas; asking simple questions that establish what life is like for that person, what is important to them and how their lives could improve.
This refreshing, person-centred approach, ensures people feel listened to and allows real solutions, relevant to that actual individual.
Both these areas have different issues that need addressing. Whether it is social isolation, alcohol use or mental health problems, Local Area Coordinators use their knowledge and skills to help people get the help they need and take steps to improve their lives.
There is no timescale set on how long a person can be supported, and contact is flexible, so they can get in touch when they actually need it.
Sarah likened the approach to them taking a car journey together where the person they are supporting is in the driving seat. The Local Area Coordinator is in the passenger seat, and if they felt able, the driver could go it alone. The crucial aspect of this approach was that they can always call on the support again, if needed.
They want every individual to be safe, well and independent and have a strong supportive community around them.
And by feeding their observations back to commissioners, Jennie and Sarah provide vital insight into gaps in provision, to help prevent these issues for other people in the future.
If you live in Tang Hall you can contact Jennie on 07795354468 or at J.firstname.lastname@example.org
And her social media handles are:
Facebook: Tang Hall York Local Area Coordination
For New Earswick and Huntington contact Sarah on 07500997556 or email@example.com
Her social media hands are:
Facebook: Huntington and New Earswick York Local Area Coordination