A pioneering project to support vulnerable people and strengthen communities in Great Yarmouth will be launched following a £3.1m award from the Big Lottery Fund.
The Big Lottery Fund is awarding £3,075,493 to a partnership led by Great Yarmouth Borough Council to help around 4,000 people overcome complex issues, identify their strengths and develop skills to benefit themselves and their neighbourhoods. The funding will enable communities to develop ideas for improving people’s life chances, helping existing services to work better together to support vulnerable people, helping them into training, volunteering and employment.
Local residents who already have strong links to their communities will be employed as ‘Community Connectors’, identifying and building trusting relationships with people with issues like mental ill health, homelessness, debt, long-term unemployment and substance misuse. They will engage with them in informal street-based locations such as parks, shops and bus stops, find out what help they say they need and connect them with local activities, support and services. Community workers will identify their strengths and develop skills so they are able to set up community groups or events.
Councillor Penny Carpenter, Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s cabinet member for communities, said:
“The Neighbourhoods that Work Project will help the borough council, partners and communities themselves to further improve even more people’s lives.
“Traditionally, various areas of work which are actually inter-related have been funded and delivered in relative isolation because they are wrongly seen as separate, whereas Great Yarmouth is pioneering a broader joined-up approach to improving life chances for residents.
Our approach has proved more effective and efficient over many years on a smaller scale – and we now have the skills and resources to expand it over a wider area. This could become the standard model in the future and we are willing to share our learning with others.
“I very much look forward to working with the staff and partners including the Big Lottery Fund, whose significant investment in the borough demonstrates confidence in the approach and the ability of the borough council and partners to deliver.”