A community project can support thousands more isolated patients over the next 12 months thanks to NHS support
20th June 2019 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in
A city project which provides a lifeline to thousands of vulnerable and socially isolated people in Leicester can now open its doors for an extra day each week, thanks to vital funding from the Leicester City Better Care Fund.
Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Leicester City Council agreed to continue to part-fund the service at the start of May for a further 12 months. It means the centre will be able to support 50 more people per week and 2,350 over the next 12 months.
The Centre Project, based at Alfred Place in the city, is a place where those who are alone and socially isolated can find acceptance, a sense of belonging and renewed purpose. The service provides holistic support and offers opportunities to reduce social isolation and promote wellbeing through a number of group and one-to-one activities.
It offers freshly cooked, home-made meals, food parcels, mental health counselling and support, as well as offering male and female only support groups, young person’s support groups, weekly exercise sessions and help with housing, benefits and getting back into work. The centre also supports people with learning disabilities, people seeking asylum and teaches people basic computer skills and provides them with the life skills to stay safe, well and independent within the city that they live.
Dr Raj Than, Leicester City CCG GP Lead for the Better Care Fund and GP Board Member, said: “The work of the Centre Project is part of a system of supportive services commissioned by health and social care partners in Leicester which offers important extra help on top of regular health and adult social care services.
“The Centre Project is such a vital service. It is projects like this that keep vulnerable people safe and well by giving them a chance to remain independent. Each person is treated as an individual; care is taken to conserve their pride and dignity. They can pay for a cooked meal and book their own appointments with advisors whilst giving them the option to ask for help if they need it, which means they no longer feel alone.
“We know social isolation can be linked to other social issues including drug and alcohol addiction, mental health problems and homelessness, which ultimately sees more people developing serious health conditions and ending up in hospital. Services like the Centre Project prevent this from happening.”
Cllr Sarah Russell, deputy city mayor for social care said: “Many vulnerable people who have no-one else to turn to have benefited from the work of the Centre Project.
“Its city centre location makes it easy for people to get there, and once through the doors they have access to a range of services – from hot meals to help with getting back to work.
This funding will help many more people to get the support they need.”
Eric Waweru, Centre Project Leader, said: “We can only continue to support some of the most hard to reach and isolated people in Leicester city if we have backing and generosity of organisations such as Leicester City CCG and Leicester City Council.
“The people we see each day have many complex issues which prevent them being part of a community. Our service provides them with a small, safe community where they can remain independent but also seek the support and advice they need to get back on their feet.”
On Thursday 27th June between 2 and 4pm the Centre Project is holding a free Health and Wellbeing event with cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and weight checks, free haircuts and information on a wide range of services including social groups, counselling, support for mental health problems, stop-smoking, drug and alcohol services. The Centre Project is at 1 Alfred Place, Leicester LE1 1EB.
The Leicester City Better Care Fund sets out how health and social care partners will implement services to support the prevention, early detection and improvement of health for patients living in Leicester to allow them to have a long and healthy life.