POP+ has been liaising with the City Council (including its Public Health Department and Adult Social Services); community organisations, such as Nudge Community Builders in Stonehouse; STARS (Stoke Traders and Residents Association); The Hoe Neighbourhood Forum and Whitleigh Big Local to help create and support what are loosely being called Neighbourhood Care Networks, maximising local expertise to support neighbours-in-need. But what makes these networks unique is the intent to combine ‘community experts’ – people with a real understanding of where they live and the people that live there – with those employed in a ‘professional’ role who work in the same area, such as, district nurses, social workers, ‘faith’ leaders, GPs and police officers along with local volunteers. This collaborative approach ensures that a person, at risk or in need, benefits from a concerted effort to give them the care they need.
These new and evolved networks make use of innovative forms of technology and methods of communication. In the last few weeks POP+ has been trialling the use of digital technology, primarily around telephone lines, instant messaging and communication platforms to pioneer a radical – and rapid – means of supporting individuals within their communities. All this will be done via the technology platform Slack which will enable the rapid deployment of the required and appropriate help to someone in the neighbourhood who is in dire need. We are looking at how remote phone lines could be set up, with a phone number for each neighbourhood, to help co-ordinate volunteer support with Twilio.
POP+ is listening to and learning from these communities as they organise themselves to support people. We are learning through doing; sharing our collective experiences and challenges to find out what works and how POP+ can help. To find out more please contact PNCN@plymouthoctopus.org.
Who and how the Neighbourhood Care Networks can help…
- Individuals: if you need help you call the ‘help’ phone number. You will receive a phone call from the network ‘leader’ introducing themselves and asking what it is you need. They will then co-ordinate efforts from within the network to provide you with the necessary support.
- Care-provider, paid worker: If you are working in an area of the city with a NCN and you cannot provide your client/patient with the support they require you can contact the network to seek additional and appropriate care. You can reach ‘professional’ workers through the network, for example, service providers, as well as volunteers who have been recommended to the network.
- Concerned neighbours, families and friends: If you know of someone that is isolated and/or vulnerable and are not sure how to help or are unable to provide all the care they need then you can contact the ‘help’ phone number, raise your concerns & access support through the network. You will be able to speak to someone who will reassure you and put you in contact with community ‘leaders’ who can reach volunteers and paid services.
Neighbourhood Care Networks are for any paid worker, formal volunteer and community ‘leader’ within a neighbourhood. They are spaces that enable a greater level of support for an individual from – and between – friends, family, members of the community and, potentially, paid services. They create ‘bridges’, interaction and the sharing of information between formal paid services; community ‘experts’ and volunteers.
Neighbourhood Care Networks already working across Plymouth: