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Ground breaking service launched in Worcestershire

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A new ground breaking service will give vulnerable people in Worcestershire the opportunity to extend their social and leisure networks, while building their confidence to independently enjoy interests and activities within their community

The new service from Bromford Support, follows winning a£50,000-a-year contract to deliver an exciting new network service for Supporting People, Worcestershire County Council, through a rigorous evaluation which included customers spending a whole day with the team.

The two-year pilot Worcestershire Floating Network scheme will support a wide range of customers with generic needs - reducing social isolation by getting them involved in their local communities, keeping in touch and sharing interests on-line through a whole range of social media.

Business Manager Jo Fieldhouse from Bromford Support said: "This is an exciting new project that will help people live a full life as independently as possible. People can become isolated because of lack of confidence or the sheer geography of where they live. This project will enable us overcome some of the barriers through sharing opportunities with our customers in a different way, enabling them to play an active role in their local community and supporting them to take the initiative and build their own networks in the future. "

Laura Westwood, Commissioning Officer for Supporting People, Worcestershire County Council said: "We are very excited about this service. These are challenging times for public sector services and we are incredibly proud, in Supporting People, that we are still able to commission new, innovative services that vulnerable people have told us that they need. "

The network service will bring like-minded customers together to share interests and activities and make friends in the wider community. It will communicate with customers in the way they choose and use support plans to find out what's wanted and, if it's not available, work with partners to provide it.

The programme builds on existing resource centres and networks and will bring together a wide range of local amenities, agencies and voluntary organisations in the area.

The Worcestershire Floating Network scheme will also offer a wide range of personal development opportunities for customers including being safe on the internet, using social media, chat rooms and forums and independent travel training.

"Bromford has an excellent track record in involving customers and we trust they will also want to get involved for the network, support each other and gain new life-skills in the process," Jo added.

To find out about more about being referred to the service or how to make a referral please contact Bromford Support's Worcestershire office on 01527 591471 Monday to Saturday.

Pictured are: young mum Christine with her daughter Sophie and Bromford Support Worker Michelle Bourne. Christine lives at Smallwood Almshouses and will benefit from the networking service as she starts to establish links in a new community when she moves on from the project.