Community Support Case Studies
During 2017/18 we supported community groups such as sports and arts clubs, memory cafés, brass bands and pantomime groups. We also support businesses that benefit the community, for instance village halls and social enterprises.
We conveyed the various skills and knowledge needed, which in turn has generated many positive results. Approximately 260 charities and social enterprises have been supported with the development of their governance, organisational structure and funding. More than 30 community spaces were given detailed support and advice in the form of one to one support, workshops, factsheets and signposting
Whole Again Communities (WAC) CIC
WAC CIC is a truly community based organisation, having grown out of a recognised need to assist people in one of Cornwall’s most deprived neighbourhoods to overcome a range of challenges such as debt, unemployment, poor lifestyle choices (eg unhealthy diet) and mental health issues. We have provided support to WAC since its inception five years ago in a number of key areas, such as business planning, advice regarding governance, training for directors, staff and volunteers and particularly with accessing grant funding. Last year our advice helped them to access over £50K of grants which have been put to excellent use by contributing towards areas such as an extension of youth provision and core running costs. We were very honoured to be named community support organisation of the year by WAC CIC at its annual award ceremony in recognition of the assistance provided. Liz Lewis, Managing Director, WAC CIC said: “I am incredibly grateful for the friendly, empathetic support and expertise”.
Newquay Cricket Club
Newquay Cricket Club offers recreational and competitive cricket for all ages and abilities. We have been supporting the club for the past five years with advice on governance, policies and procedures and grant funding. In 2017/18 our support enabled the club to purchase new equipment and provide additional activities for its members including £750 for youth equipment. Nigel Dawes from the Club said: “We would like to thank CRCC for their sterling work over the years on the club’s behalf. Their inside knowledge of grants and how to apply for them has been invaluable, enabling the club to maintain good equipment for the many junior members to train and play matches with. We are very grateful for all you have done and hopefully will continue to do for us”.
Training Programme Case Studies
We deliver training opportunities to individuals and groups of various ages and abilities. We offer courses leading to qualifications and a variety of less formal skills sessions. Plus, support to become self-employed via New Enterprise Allowance (NEA).
Learning Disabilities – programme of study for 16 to 24 year olds
We have supported nine young people with a range of learning disabilities to undertake a year-long programme of activity. They have gained qualifications based around units of transferable skills in team work, communications, customer service, hospitality and with a focus on career progression into work or meaningful activities into their future. They undertook one day a week of work experience giving them real life experiences.
This provision has been in partnership with Kehelland Trust and from September 2018 it will move to Chaos Group to extend the range of exciting opportunities available. This small specialist provision is a fantastic alternative for people with learning disabilities who might struggle to cope in a college environment.
The VCSE building resilience programme aims to support VCSE organisations to develop the skills they require in order to continue to deliver services in a challenging environment. A training needs analysis is undertaken and a bespoke programme of training is identified that meets the needs of the organisation. Over the last year we have worked with approximately 150 learners from 20 VCSE organisations and have facilitated training in a wide range of subjects such as information, advice and guidance, education and training, management, social value, lone working, mental health, universal credit and youth work.In addition to this, in consultation with strategic leaders in the sector, we developed a peer support training programme for CEOs in the VCSE. Through this programme nine CEOs benefitted from eight sessions delivered across the year. The CEOs identified the topics they wanted to cover and the learning outcomes from these. A range of expert guest speakers were engaged in order to meet the aims of the programme.
Feedback from this programme was extremely positive; one learner said: “I have gained so much knowledge and I have already activated several of my learning outcomes. I found the course very helpful and relevant. Overall I believe that my charity will benefit and is keen to form a network and expand ideas.” Another said: “I found the content, delivery and peer support invaluable to my own development and it has triggered several actions that will improve the development of the organisation I lead.”
New Enterprise Allowance (NEA)
NEA has been around for a while in one form or another – New Enterprise, New Deal and now NEA. It is essentially a vehicle that supports the unemployed into self-employment. Potential candidates are referred to us by the Job Centre when they wish to go self-employed. They attend a workshop called ‘Link Up Start Up’ (LUSU). The LUSUs have been held in Penzance and Truro so far. They are fairly prescriptive, highlighting how the NEA works, what is expected of clients, how long they have to produce a business plan, what the pitfalls of self-employment are and so on. The LUSUs take three to four hours and give us a better idea of the candidate’s readiness. If the candidate returns and wants to go ahead with NEA, they speak with our NEA advisors. If successful, they have twelve weeks to get a business plan approved. Once approved, they have thirteen weeks to start trading and when they start trading we offer support for a further twelve months. We are thrilled to have enabled 59 new businesses to start trading between April 2017 and March 2018. The types of new business include an artist, caterers, graphic designers, digital marketing, dog groomers, beauty therapists and photographers.
Grant Case Studies
We have continued to administer five grant programmes funded by Cornwall Council and the NHS, with over £88K of grants being distributed in the past year. Here are some example case studies.
Memory Café/Dementia Support Group Grant – The Oasis Centre
The Oasis Centre runs a dementia support group that has 16 members, supported by eight friends/family and eight volunteers. They use the grant to pay the rent on the room they hire and towards activities. “As ever, our greatest need is for help with the rent, to cover some of the costs of providing stimulating and interesting activities. Without the security of knowing that our rent can be paid, we would not be able to do anything. We can offer activities that help to stimulate our members and that also attract new members. The grant programme works really well and there is always support available. What we offer our group depends on our funding each year, so it is a massive bonus to get the rent paid.”
Together for Families VCSE Grant – Sea Sanctuary
Sea Sanctuary is a marine-based mental health charity based in Penryn. They aim to reach children, young people and adults who are struggling with their mental health and who are often referred to as ‘treatment resistant’. They use two very different platforms from which they deliver their service; a wooden yacht, and ‘Water’s Edge’, a land-based facility. They run day and residential programmes, which include both psychological therapies and sailing sessions. They applied for a Together for Families grant to extend their service from working with individuals, to working with whole families, through a new programme called Sail into Life, which will offer families with complex needs opportunities to spend time together on sea and land, improve their emotional resilience, build relationships and develop strengths and abilities. They said: “We have found that younger members of the families felt more confident and felt they could do new things. Adult feedback showed they felt less socially isolated, developed better coping strategies to deal with life’s ups and downs, their mental health and/or wellbeing improved, their ability to enjoy life has improved.”
Carers Wellbeing Grant – Indian Queens Pantomime Society
Indian Queens Pantomime Society provides entertainment for its local villagers. The cast consists of approximately 40 adults and 30 children, including five with physical and/or learning disabilities and 20 backstage crew. The society wanted to support members who have caring roles and responsibilities for friends, neighbours and family members. After feedback from previous carer-focused events, the society decided this year to hold a special Christmas film screening at the local community hall, with a buffet, raffle and drinks.
Forty-six local carers enjoyed their special Christmas event, and the organiser said: “Our event was a huge success, with carers at the foremost of our thoughts. Our invited carers began to turn up at the hall very early for drinks and a chat with their fellow carers. It was an afternoon full of fun and laughter”.
Carers Wellbeing Grant – Camborne Carers Group
Camborne Carers Group is well-established with 17 members. Members mainly look after someone with serious mental or physical health issues. The group lead says that looking after family members in any capacity is a largely unpaid and unrecognised essential function. The trip out means an ‘escape’ from their caring duties, even for a short time.
They applied for a Carers Group grant to pay for their carers to see a Christmas edition of ‘That’ll be the Day’ at the Hall for Cornwall, followed by a meal at Wetherspoons. The group said afterwards: “As a carer you are on duty 24 hours and it is so nice to do something different. We all need a break now and then. Joining the group is the best thing I have ever been involved with. As a group, I find these outings very helpful to me; they create happiness and sheer enjoyment and are about making time for ourselves.”
Carer Case Studies
The following personal stories capture how our assistance, alongside the strength needed by individuals due to their challenging circumstances, has made a huge impact. These are short studies describing a series of events over a period of time, leading to positive outcomes for the individuals and families involved.
A carer receives support with energy bills and debts
A husband suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s meant his wife had recently become his carer. She had been trying to take over responsibility for paying all the bills which, up until this point, had been kept on his laptop and close to his chest. His wife was unaware of the mounting credit card and energy debt and the situation was causing her stress and anxiety. They had also lost their granted mobility car and had been awaiting an appeal date – the couple had relied on the car to pay their bills quarterly at the post office which had become increasingly difficult to do. This had been a very stressful time, but with assistance and encouragement from our team the majority of their bills were switched to monthly direct debit, enabling the wife to monitor the bills and ensure they were on track. The couple have been supported to receive funds from the Winter Wellbeing Fund and other funds which allowed them to clear some of their electricity debts. They were assisted with contacting the DWP in regard to the husband’s DLA appeal and they also recieved some counselling.
With these adjustments and some understanding the couple are now in a much more stable position. With the small amount of money they have managed to save they are able to take a short break and should be able to manage a lot better in the future.
Bereaved carer living in near poverty without support
Our aged veterans support worker had been providing support to a particular veteran carer who was isolated and had experienced periods of depression throughout his life. He had been caring for his son with numerous difficulties including substance addiction and recent psychosis. One morning in September the carer had found his son deceased in his room – he was only 42 years old.
This was a catastrophic discovery; he could not believe what had happened. He experienced extremely difficult, emotional and grief filled months that followed his son’s death. The veteran had no local family and had been left feeling very alone. His daughter lived away from home and, although providing emotional support for her father, she herself was experiencing her own grief following the loss of her brother. The veteran had additional stress and anxiety regarding the cost of his son’s funeral; there were no provisions in place, therefore the cost fell solely to him. A DWP social fund payment of £1,300 was eventually awarded; however, this still left a shortfall of £945. Not being able to make this payment he had turned to not heating his house in order to save and pay off the debt. He had become unwell physically as well as struggling emotionally. Contact was made with the Elizabeth Finn Fund, via Turn 2 Us and the support worker assisted in getting the right documents, explained the situation and wrote a letter of support. To his huge relief, the fund paid the remaining £945 directly to the funeral home. He was so grateful and said: “Thank you for your help; this has given me part of my life back. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted”. Not only did it take away the debt and the some of the stress, but he could also stop saving and this gave him the ability to spend Christmas with his daughter.
Listening and conveying knowledge helps carer cope in their role
A husband referred himself to the carers service, being a carer for his wife and children. His wife suffers with bipolar, hypothyroidism and chromosome 15, his daughter with chromosome 15, learning disabilities and coeliac disease and his son with hypothyroidism and type 1 diabetes (which at the time was not well controlled). He was also caring for his uncle, not living with them however suffering with mobility issues and hearing loss. A support worker visited the carer and spent some time determining the most important issues. A referral for a carers assessment was made and various options were discussed. The support worker explained the benefit of having a break from his demanding role and reassured him there was no need for him to feel guilty about taking time for himself. The carer was given information on Scope, SENDIASS, The Pearl Centre, local carers groups, bipolar and over eating support groups. He was awarded £350 via the carers personal budget, which allowed him to take a break from his role. He has attended several carers groups, providing him with a support network that he desperately needed. He has also made links with the mental health team and a diabetic specialist in order to gain more support when his role becomes overwhelming. Being given time to explain his situation and being listened to, made a huge difference. He felt less troubled knowing where to access help in the future and on a return visit by the support worker, there was a noticeable difference to his confidence and stress levels – which was hugely rewarding.
IT Case Studies
These studies give examples of the positive impact made by receiving support to access technology and it shows how it has enhanced their lives.
Becoming self-sufficient online
With some encouragement from family a gentleman had purchased an iPad, but was struggling to understand how to use it. He attended a six week Get F+IT course (finance and technology), which aims to improve and develop individual’s IT skills, building their confidence and improving safety online. The course helped him to gain a better understanding and allowed him to make the most of his new piece of technology. He has now started to access the internet and become more self-sufficient online. He has looked at internet banking, shopping online and contacting friends and family online. It has also allowed him to start following one of his favourite sports; having a keen interest in boxing, and has now begun to use his tablet to watch and research boxing matches. He was also supported to switch his broadband provider, which has cut his bill by a significant amount and has also improved his broadband speed. After the course he said that whilst he was completely new to technology, he has now learnt so many new things and actually looks forward to being online.
Rose Hooper – it’s never too late to embrace new technology
Rose is in her 80s and lives in a small village in rural Cornwall. She attends a local carers group who support one another in their caring roles. She is a huge part of the group and is known for her supportive and positive attitude. All of Rose’s family have computers – her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They recognised that she would benefit from being online, so for her birthday the family gave Rose an Amazon Kindle tablet as an incentive to encourage her to have a go.Coincidentally, a Get F+IT course; which helps people to become more confident online, was due to run sessions at the carers group Rose attended. She was very keen to sign up and participate in the training to support her learning and confidence with the new technology. The Get F+IT training gave her the basics on getting started, for instance the use of settings, apps and programmes available. Rose thoroughly enjoyed the training and found it invaluable. She is now confident enough to use Google searches to look at new recipes and knitting patterns and she accesses her emails and photos online. She has also downloaded books and has read a whole series on her Kindle. One of the main gains for Rose though, has been connecting with her family and friends. Being a carer is often lonely and isolating; being able to communicate easily online has allowed Rose to keep up to date with her family and friends, some of whom are overseas. Rose said: “It’s nice to see everything going on without being able to be there. If I didn’t have the tablet and the internet my news would come secondhand to me. This way I’m getting the latest news direct from family and friends”.
Since the Get F+IT course Rose has continued to find more family members and friends online, including a long lost cousin and her granddaughter’s husband’s mother has been in touch from Kenya: “If I didn’t have the computer I would never have known her – I have now corresponded on Facebook and I have seen her picture”. Rose is a member of the WI and is making use of email to stay in contact and keep up to date with her local branch. Rose loves quizzes – she says that they keep her mind active. The computer has opened up a new world and she has gained lots of pleasure from using it: “You’re never too old to learn and I have learnt a lot”. As Rose is now less able to go out independently to see people, being able to use the internet has stopped her from feeling isolated: “I feel that my family and friends are always near me at the click of a button”.
Young People Case Studies
Here are some examples of the support we provide to young people in the West of Cornwall, which is accessed via outreach, events and regular venues.
Young people communicate their needs
A safe environment for young people to have fun and access skills and knowledge is provided by outreach youth workers in West Cornwall. This takes place in both Porthleven and Helston. The key goal of this work is to support young people to communicate their needs and help to keep them safe. In Porthleven we have hosted various sports activities and supported numerous events that have taken place over the year. Over the summer of 2018, with the support of a Community Chest Grant, we will host a paddle boarding and kayaking day. This will enable consultation with young people about the future of the provision in their area.
In Helston, youth workers attend Furry Youth Café, which is held twice a week with approximately 60 young people being supported between the ages of 10 and 16 years. Our workers offer one to one support at the sessions and also offer additional support as required. Through targeted sessions we aim to meet the needs of the young people, for instance holding sessions on c-cards, alcohol awareness, being safe (eg following the attacks in Manchester) and internet safety. We also work with a local youth focused police officer. The young people are keen to support the local community and over the summer will be helping with fundraising to replace equipment in Helston Skate Park. Our provision is growing, with Porthleven Town Council currently looking for a venue to provide centre based support, and the committee at Furry currently applying for funding to support a third evening.
House of Commons visit with members of Youth Parliament
Your Way is a project that runs throughout Cornwall in order to support young people and community groups. It has three strands; Find Your Way, Mind Your Way and Create Your Way. Our participation workers sit within Create Your Way, which is run in partnership with Young People Cornwall. One of its roles is to promote and support a youth voice in Cornwall. We do this is by supporting Members of Youth Parliament; these are young people elected by their peers to advocate for them on issues that directly impact young people. Cornwall has three Members of Youth Parliament and three deputies, one each for West, Mid and East Cornwall. They are supported throughout their two-year term within Cornwall and travel to events hosted by the British Youth Council. In November three MYPs were supported in travelling to London and invited to the 9th Sitting at the House of Commons and our East MYP was given the opportunity to speak there on the 50th anniversary of the LBGT+ movement. All three had a fantastic time exploring London and attending the House of Commons. One MYP said: “The experience was astonishing and offered us the opportunity to debate on extremely important ideas for young people. I was even given the chance to stand up and speak in front of everyone (which still astounds me how I managed to keep speaking), and even though speaking in the House of Commons was scary, it was an amazing experience that allowed me to express my views and represent all of the young people in my constituency.”