The project, which has the backing of Leicestershire County Council, utilises 9 Local Area Co-ordinators (LAC’s) who have been recruited and begun working in 9 agreed pilot areas, one of which is Enderby.
The LAC project is a key element of the Council’s Communities Strategy, (a partnership with the LCC and other agencies to facilitate the capacity of communities to support themselves and vulnerable individuals/families).
Enderby Parish Council agreed to provide office space in Enderby Civic Centre in which the LAC could be based.
Under the auspices of the project, Co-ordinators will be responsible for identifying and working with vulnerable people and helping to develop networks of community based support around them.
Anna Christie, the Local Co-ordinator for Enderby, opened the event by citing a personal experience with a family member as her motivation for becoming involved with the project. She also explained that the purpose of the afternoon’s event was to provide an occasion for people to mingle, network and have a say about their community.
Ms. Christie was joined by the Project’s Manager, Simon Dalby who gave a more global and historic context to the Project by explaining that the Project’s focus of helping isolated, excluded and vulnerable people was “not new”. The model had in fact been originally developed in Western Australia during the 1980’s, where the object was to support very isolated rural communities.
Mr. Dalby went on to explain that the model has been used in other areas of the U.K. The project in Leicestershire was formulated by researching how Local Area Coordination is working in this or that area and recognising that different communities have different needs, and then adapting “what works” in those areas to what will work in Leicestershire.
The current programme in the pilot areas sought to identify and support those vulnerable people needing help before they reached crisis and to develop an inclusive and resilient community around them.
Attendees were invited to identify:
- What is good about living and working in Enderby?
- What is not so good or is missing from Enderby?
- What would people like to see the LAC do in Enderby?
They were then asked to write a brief description of the good and bad points onto ‘post-it’ notes and stick them on one of two boards representing positive and negative perceptions.
The various opinions expressed at the meeting, together with the perceptions posted on the boards, will help inform Ms. Christie of how to construct a strategy for working with the community in Enderby.
A .pdf presentation outlining the LAC scheme is available at: