A new county-wide service has been launched to provide all sorts of free information, advice and help to those who need it.
Rutland Community Agents will support single people, couples and families of all ages through a network of trained advisors, community and voluntary sector partnerships and volunteers.
The service is funded by Rutland County Council, through the Government’s Better Care Fund and the Big Lottery Fund, and is run jointly between Spire Homes and the Rural Community Council in Leicestershire and Rutland. It has been developed with the help of several organisations including Rutland Citizens Advice Bureau, The Bridge, Home Straight and Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland.
County council director for people Dr Tim O’Neill said: “The council and its partners are committed to supporting residents who need help and advice – whether it’s a young family looking to make the best possible start or someone who desperately wants to maintain their independence in later life.
“By offering free guidance and support to those living locally, the new Community Agents service will help people to lead happier, healthier lives, while also easing the growing demand on existing health and social care services.”
The aim of Rutland Community Agents is to enable people to make informed choices about their lifestyle, health and wellbeing needs and will promote independence; making it easier for people to get the support and advice they need to stay independent and safe.
By offering free guidance and support to those living locally, the new Community Agents service will help people to lead happier, healthier lives, while also easing the growing demand on existing health and social care services.Dr Tim O’Neill
The Community Agents will offer free, confidential information, advise people where to go to get help, and encourage communities to develop their own local support groups.
There will also be a dedicated website to provide information and self-help toolkits across the whole county, ensuring accessibility to those who live in Rutland’s most rural areas.
Head of support services at Spire Homes Amy Callaway said: “The service will reduce pressures on health and social care services by offering targeted help and advice on a range of issues including, social isolation, home safety, practical living skills, sustaining independence, specialist legal and financial matters, and much more.
“The service has been designed to complement and add value to existing services and activities in the local area. It’s all about helping people make informed choices about their lifestyle, health and wellbeing needs, as well as promoting independence.
“We want Community Agents to be the first point of contact for people when they need advice and assistance, a recognised expert, local service.”
Sue Renton is operations manager for the service, working from the Rural Community Council. She said: “We are delighted to be given this opportunity to work closely with Spire Homes to deliver this much need resource across the county.
“Drawing on the strengths and commitment from a wide range of providers across all sectors, Rutland residents will have unprecedented access to information, advice and guidance from not just across the county, but from surrounding areas as well.”