Community hubs improve advice for adults in need

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A NEW project which could see the development of community hubs has been discussed.

One of the outcomes from Northumberland County Council’s review of daytime support in 2009 was the need to develop better information provision, advice and guidance to adults who have a disability or illness.

Community hubs are being proposed which will provide social care advice and guidance. They will operate in such a way that they will provide an easy access for people who are eligible for personal budgets to make appointments with support planners directly rather than having to contact the council’s adult services.

A team of ten dedicated support planners has been in place since early 2010 to help people who receive personal budgets to participate in activities which suit their lifestyle, rather than using specific services such as day care. The number of people preferring this method has been steadily increasing and community hubs, such as those planned, will help them access universal services available.

It is envisaged that the community hubs will open up other information streams within local libraries and provide a gateway to services such as information on community groups and local events.

Daljit Lally, corporate director for community services and housing, said: “The hubs will play a key role in connecting individuals, families and carers to a range of services across the county.”

Coun Ian Lindley, executive member for adult care and wellbeing said: “This initiative is the realisation of the council’s vision which believes adults who have disabilities should feel genuinely included in the community, and be able to make genuine informed choices about the support and activities they want to have. This is a big step forward to achieving this.”

Five pilot locations have been identified, one of which is in Amble library.