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Scheme To Help Vulnerable People Launched In Keighley

“It is about helping people help themselves.”

A scheme to offer help to vulnerable people as early as possible will begin in Keighley in March.

The pilot “early help and prevention” project will work with families in the town to tackle any problems they face before they escalate.

It is likely to involve the setting up of a “hub” in a building central to the town, such as a GP surgery or library.

The pilot will be reviewed next Summer, and if it proves successful then the scheme will be spread across the district.

The pilot was discussed by members of the Bradford and Airedale Health and Wellbeing Board at a meeting in Bradford City Hall on Tuesday morning.

Members were discussing work to improve the district’s Early Help and Prevention services when the Keighley pilot was raised.

They were told that the pilot would have three streams – place, people and developing integrated locality services.

Prevention is a service that aims to stop problems emerging in the first place. Early Help is about preventing problems that are happening from getting worse. The services are aimed at families that area likely to become involved in the social care, health or criminal justice systems.

Kersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council, said: “We are seeing increasing volumes of demand at our front door services. We are looking at how we can make better arrangements to identify the earliest point we can help people and offer support.”

Supt Sally Fryer, who is leading on the project, said: “Prevention is stopping problems emerging in the first place and involves actions at the community level.

“Early help is working with individuals and families who are at a point in their lives when their needs are not being met.”

Families involved in the service are asked questions including what needs to change in their lives and what a “good life” looks like to them.

Discussing the shake up she said: “It is not about buildings, it is about changing the way we think about offering these services.

“It is about helping people help themselves.”

On the Keighley pilot, she said it would involve different groups, from health to police to voluntary services, working closer together.”

A report on the pilot that was put to the committee said: “The pilot will continually evolve, exploring learning and what works. This will be evaluated prior to a decision regarding implementation across all of Bradford District.”

The Board agreed to approve the pilot scheme, as well as a more co-ordinated out-of-hours service for vulnerable families and the formation of a District wide all age “front door” hub where people can access help.

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