Part of the vision at Earls Hall Baptist Church is to create a community hub and to support the unmet needs of the community around us.
During the second year of the ministry of Rev Steve Smith, 2008 – 2013, an approach was made to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to investigate partnership working around integrated care in the community.
This was particularly in relation to people known to the church who were falling through the gaps in statutory help to which they were entitled, but which they could not seem to access at the right time.
The church’s approach resulted in grants from the Council to the church over two years to support carers in their roles and to help older people maintain their independence within their own homes.
Our way of working was innovative and targeted at individuals rather than groups. A key part of the support was using independent self-employed consultants in nursing, mental health, carers’ issues, computer teaching, money management and general liaison.
This made a huge difference by focusing upon the need and drawing in and complementing statutory and other services.
The success of the project encouraged us as a church to develop the work, and in 2012 – 2015 we are now commissioned and funded by the Council as part of Southend Communities Partnership ‘to create resilient communities where people take responsibility for themselves and others.’
Our proven way of working remains the same and, as well as our self-employed consultants, we have a supportive voluntary Council of Reference. This Council of Reference include professionals in psychology, health and social care management, housing, and people who have retired from district nursing and community police. These people of experience are on hand if needed with informal guidance and support.
Another key aspect of the work is that people who have been helped through the project are encouraged to use their newfound skills and confidence to help others, and the cycle goes on.
Our partners in Southend Communities Partnership have become good friends and a real source of help, and we seek in the years ahead to develop the links which are already proving so worthwhile.
Our partners are:
More about Southend Communities Partnership can be found at: www.southendcommunitiespartnership.org.uk