Budget bonus for neighbourhood networks in Leeds

Neighbourhood network schemes offer a wide range of support and activities for older people in Leeds

Leeds’s neighbourhood networks, which between them support over 17,000 older people around the city, have been allocated an additional £300,000 in the council’s 2013/14 budget.

The organisations will be invited to bid for a slice of this extra funding, which is aimed at helping them put new ideas for supporting older people into practice. The neighbourhood networks have a national reputation for innovative new schemes that are tailored closely to the needs of their local communities in a way that cannot be matched by council-run services.

Announcing the new funding, Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for adult social care said:

“One of the great success stories of social care in this city is the work of our fantastic neighbourhood networks to support older people who want to stay independent and remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

“Some of the reasons why they are so successful are that they are inventive and very skilled at finding solutions closely tailored to the needs of the communities where they work. To help the organisations achieve even greater potential, the council is making an extra recurrent £300k available, which will be added to the overall value of the current neighbourhood network contracts.

“We hope that they will bid to use this funding to develop holistic support plans for more older people, continue to build greater community capacity and widen their volunteer base.”

This boost to the neighbourhood networks comes at a time when the council is setting its most difficult budget ever, with nearly £55 million of savings targeted in this financial year alone.

Councillor Yeadon continued:

“The fact that we are increasing funding for the neighbourhood networks is testimony to the fantastic work they do – and the amazing value for money they give. Between them, the organisations harness the work of nearly 6,000 volunteers, who give their time so generously to supporting others. I look forward to seeing what imaginative schemes are proposed as a result of this extra funding.”


Notes for editors

All the city’s neighbourhood networks now have long-term contracts to provide services that support older people to stay living in their own homes for as long as possible. They are rooted in their local communities and the help they give older people includes luncheon clubs, dementia cafes, gardening, shopping, befriending, money advice, advocacy and a wide range of leisure and fitness activities.

Key facts about the neighbourhood networks include:

• They are supported by 5,948 local volunteers, many of whom are themselves older people.

• They provide on-going support to 17,174 older people across the city.

• They provide a befriending service to 2,697 isolated older people in their own homes.

• They support 419 people who have recently been discharged from hospital and need a little extra help to get back on their feet.

• They provide advocacy services to 2,692 older people.

• They provide gardening services to 3,332 older people.

• They help 1,717 older people with regular shopping trips.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk