Awards Winner – Yarlington Housing Group


Wincanton Community Pilot

The aim of the Wincanton Community Pilot has been to integrate Yarlington’s Extra Care Scheme (Common Road) with the local community and two sheltered schemes; and to provide a central hub (at the extra care scheme) bringing together Yarlington’s own residents with people in the wider community to a central point where they can access information about services and other health/well-being initiatives as well as socialise.

Focus has been on developing a community approach and preparing sheltered residents for the changes to funding support for those in medium/high need as well as developing new business opportunities, self-funded support and improving partnership working with a variety of organisations to better signpost residents to other available funded services.

Other schemes are being developed as ‘satellite hubs’ particularly in rural areas where people are not able to travel to the ‘main’ hub. Older residents have become volunteers with plans to extend this to others in the wider community.  A number of different community events have taken place and local businesses have been involved in promoting these as well as services, helping to present Yarlington positively in the community.

Why we liked this project

This is a positive response to reduced funding which has achieved service improvements (supported by resident feedback) as well as lower staff costs.  It reaches older people in the wider community particularly in rural areas at greater risk of isolation and loneliness. We liked the focus on helping residents to understand the challenges such as service costs/priorities; and the use of Personal Independent Plans to help them consider their wider support networks which has resulted in many residents assessing themselves as having low need as long as help is there when they need it. Older people support each other to manage their conditions better reducing visits to GPs and the organisation is proactively responding to the challenges of working with health by offering GPs a referral mechanism to the hub and providing information about what it offers.

“We were delighted to just be shortlisted for the Erosh Innovation & Good Practice Awards 2015 for our Wincanton Community Hub, so to go on and win is fantastic and a wonderful recognition of all the hard work that staff have put in to ensure the project’s success. The Hub has become a valuable resource for many people in Wincanton and we are thrilled that the innovative concept was recognised. The real winners however are our residents, who were prepared to work with us to pilot this idea and it has allowed us to still provide a very good service to residents despite funding cuts. We would like to use the prize money to introduce a ‘Techno care / support’ service to residents which will enable support to be delivered through the use of technology and virtual portals – it’s now a really exciting time for us, knowing that we have the opportunity to develop this.”

Judith Wilkins – Yarlington’s Supported Housing Manager


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