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Ambition 2 Supporting communities and families

Nottinghamshire has a diverse range of communities in our market towns, rural villages and urban centres. Supportive, vibrant communities can boost health and wellbeing, give people a sense of belonging, and create enjoyable, welcoming places to live.

Our libraries, children's centres and youth services are already doing exactly that and we need to make sure they meet demand and provide the best possible services for all our communities and families.

We know too that the Covid-19 pandemic created new challenges for our communities and made existing problems worse. During those difficult times, neighbours, volunteers, and members of our communities stepped forward to care for the most vulnerable, and we’d like to build on those new relationships, systems, and goodwill to help everyone thrive.  We also learnt a lot about communities’ needs during the pandemic and will use that knowledge to target our resources and support towards those who need it most, while providing services for all.  

Over the next few years, we plan to:

  • strengthen our relationships with the voluntary and community sector
  • empower people to help themselves in their own communities
  • make the most of community-based services to offer early help and interventions, and reduce the need for more complex and costly support later on
  • look at opportunities to share property with our partners to reduce our carbon footprint
  • deliver more joined-up services, closer to the communities we serve.

The Big Notts Survey

  • Over 1 in 3 (38%) of those 65 said the community coming together was one of the top positives that had come out of the pandemic
  • 1 in 3 people (32%) said strengthened community ties were something they would most like to see continue after the pandemic.

Over the next four years we will:

We’ll develop our Community and Voluntary Sector Compact to build stronger and longer-term partnerships that better support the voluntary sector. 

We will build on what we’ve learnt through the pandemic, to better meet the needs of the most disadvantaged:

  • We’ll deliver social recovery plans for those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and direct resources and funding to initiatives that will help the most disadvantaged.
  • We’ll further develop our Community Support Hub and look at ways we can use technology to help partners and volunteers support people more effectively.
  • We’ll launch and deliver a new four-year Local Communities Fund programme to fund community initiatives and projects where the need is greatest.

We’ll support and empower those we work with to make a positive contribution and make a difference to the things in their community that matter to them.

We will deliver our ‘Best Start’ Strategy [PDF] so that all children grow up in the best possible health, are protected from harm, and can access an education that helps them reach their full potential.

We will pilot new Family Hubs to offer early integrated help to better meet the needs of families. Family Hubs will bring together a range of organisations who serve the local community to address local families’ specific needs.

To support children with special educational needs and their families, we’ll improve the range of local, specialist services, and look at ways we can better support those preparing for adulthood.

We’ll develop our libraries as community, cultural and learning hubs, and we’ll keep our comprehensive libraries network.  We’ll provide a range of events, courses and activities that are accessible in local communities and affordable for everyone. And, we’ll support young children to develop language, reading and motor skills.

We’ll invest in our Youth Service so that young people have somewhere safe to go, trusted youth workers to talk to, and fun and engaging things to do. We’ll also run outdoors activity experiences for our foster care families and all our children in care.

We’ll keep investing in our registration services for births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships, to provide the best support we can for milestone moments in everyone’s lives.

We’ll offer people with social care needs the right support, at the right time and close to home. We’ll strengthen our multi-agency community teams and make it easier for people to find help when they need it most. This will help people to have a good life in their local communities and avoid more costly interventions later.   

We’ll look for opportunities to share property and services with our partners, allowing us to bring services together in local communities to provide value for money and easier access for people.

Through our cross-Council ‘Early Help and Prevention’ transformation programme we’ll look at ways of providing the right support early on. This will better support communities and families and prevent more costly interventions later on.

Success means:

  • Communities will support each other through volunteering and involvement in local organisations
  • More children will be ready for school and achieve a good level of development by the end of reception year
  • The Community Compact between the Council and the voluntary sector is adopted widely among community organisations
  • Funding reaches those community projects and initiatives that will best support our communities
  • Continued good quality and comprehensive services delivered in the communities that need them most
  • Improved and better co-ordinated services in local communities.
  • Fewer homes and businesses are affected by flooding.

In 2023-24, to achieve this, we will deliver the following actions:

Work with our partners to improve the outcomes and experiences of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). This will see that they have their needs identified and met at the earliest opportunity, the timeliness of statutory assessment processes improves, the confidence of parents and carers in the ability of their local mainstream school to meet the specialist needs of their children/young people is increased, and there is sufficient delivery of high-quality specialist educational provision, as set out in the Specialist Place Planning Strategy 2021-2026.

Develop the Council’s approach to provision of community-based preventative support, so that people are able to access the early help and support they need to remain healthy, happy and safe in their homes and communities. To achieve this, we will work with partners through our transformation programmes to establish projects in communities that will benefit most from joined-up support and services. This work will help us make the best use of resources by reducing duplication and maximising opportunities of service integration and/or co-location for our community-based services.

Launch the Community Health and Wellbeing Champion programme across the county to develop a network of volunteers to promote positive health and wellbeing messages. We will also embed Local Area Co-ordinators (delivered through our Early Help and Preventative Interventions transformation programme) into five identified localities across Nottinghamshire, to provide support, guidance and signposting for individuals and communities. These services will work alongside community and voluntary sector partners, with Co-ordinators helping people achieve good lives through increased and sustained independence, reduced social isolation and increasing access to opportunities.

Supported by the Financial Resilience and Inclusion transformation project, we will deliver the Local Communities and Household Support Funds to help communities to be financially resilient and support our most vulnerable residents by funding the voluntary and community sector through revenue, capital, cost-of-living, and food redistribution grants.

Develop the offers available at our country parks and libraries, including through invest-to-save initiatives. This will allow us to better support our visitor economy and local communities, by maximising the number of people who can access, use and, where applicable, stay on our sites, both from inside and outside of the county.

Recommission the Nottinghamshire Healthy Families Programme to ensure that children, young people, and families receive the support they need to thrive between the ages of 0 to 19.

Develop the platforms through which people can access information, advice and guidance, as a key priority within our transformation portfolio. This will improve accessibility, making more information and support available online and through digital platforms, so that more people can easily selfserve at a time and place that is convenient for them

Establish Family and Youth Hub Networks across Nottinghamshire that help to give children the best start for life, as a key area of focus in our transformation portfolio. This will give parents/carers, children and young people access to local support centres, where they can find a broad and integrated range of support and early help, to help them overcome challenges and build stronger relationships.

Offer high quality family support, delivering the national Supporting Families Programmes, working to meet the needs of the whole family and leads to improved outcomes for children. By developing strong partnerships with other organisations and community-based support, we will bring together a network of support around vulnerable children and their families to prevent needs increasing or risks escalating.

Protect people’s homes and communities from flooding, working with partners to ensure that we have strong multi-agency emergency response plans whilst also promote local community flood risk engagement schemes. This will ensure that residents living in flood-risk areas are well supported.

Implement a comprehensive review of the County Council's Registration Service, services for births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships. This will ensure the Council provides the best support we can for milestone moments in everyone’s lives.

Work in collaboration with the Department for Work and Pensions to embed improved performance and monitoring mechanisms, in order to target more eligible families and increase the uptake of funded early years education places for two-year-olds. This will help ensure that children achieve good levels of development and that they get a good start in life.

To find out more about what we’ve got planned for the current year, you can read our full Annual Delivery Plan 2023-2024 [PDF].

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