In 2014 Calderdale Council took the brave decision to put communities in charge of a brand new pilot project to tackle isolation and loneliness.
Three years later and Staying Well is one of two Council services selected as a shortlisted finalist in the 2018 LGC Awards. With much of the management of the project transferred to community anchor organisations North Halifax Partnership, Hebden Bridge Community Association, and Halifax Opportunities Trust, the partnership between the Council, Public Health and the third sector has never felt stronger.
The LGC awards, run by Local Government Chronicle, are the biggest and most prestigious awards ceremony for the local government sector.
Nearly 100 organisations have been shortlisted as finalists in the coveted awards, which recognise the best of local government innovation and service delivery.
Calderdale Council has been selected as a shortlisted finalist in the Children’s Services and Public Health categories.
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:
“We are very proud to be in the shortlist for two award categories. This is testament to the Council’s innovative work to give our residents the best possible support. All of our teams continue to do an amazing job and I wish everyone the best of luck in the awards.”
The Council’s award submission for the Public Health category focused on the Staying Well project to reduce loneliness and social isolation among older people in Calderdale. Community ‘hubs’ were created and people were offered access to local events, activities and support. People have reported feeling less lonely, with significant improvements to their health and quality of life.
The Children’s Services submission centred on the Council’s work to transform services for Calderdale’s most vulnerable young people. The Council is now seen as a benchmark for its innovative practice in tackling child sexual exploitation, reducing domestic violence and providing a range of early support to help improve the lives of children and families when needs are first identified. The work has also ensured that over 90% of young people leaving care have suitable accommodation.
The high quality of this year’s entries demonstrates local government’s enthusiasm to innovate in an era in which councils’ budgets have been cut. The awards seek to identify and recognise local government’s greatest innovators, whose achievements are often under reported.
With budgets at the forefront of priorities, it is even more important this year to shine a spotlight on the achievements of those councils whose pioneering best practice can inspire other councils to improve services.
LGC editor Nick Golding said:
“To be shortlisted for an LGC Award shows a council service is among the country’s most innovative, and doing the most to support the needs of local residents as councils face continuing budget cuts. We should salute the council officers and councillors doing the most to ensure our vital public services thrive in the era of austerity.”
Winners will be announced on 21 March 2018 at Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane which will be attended by 1,100 people from local government and its partner organisations.
The full list of finalists can be found at awards.lgcplus.com