Block 3 covers key issues about involving local people in planning and/or running community-based health and social care projects. Using examples from Block 3, discuss how local involvement helps to make care services more responsive to local needs, and explain some challenges in achieving it.
According to Labonte’s model of health and well-being, (Diverse communities and resources for care, p.14), people require good mental health, social well-being and a sense of control over their lives. Local involvement in community projects responds to this need, through providing purpose for its residents, a degree of control over important local issues and support from those who understand the community best, so empowering the community to be responsible for those living within it. David Kellett, the Programme Director of Thornhill Plus You, a government backed initiative, supports this argument by saying, ‘It’s not rocket science - to show that if you have local involvement, local ownership, then the thing is actually going to work better’. (Fran Wiles, 2008, p.49). However, achieving local involvement in care services, from finding the right type of volunteer, to listening to and accepting professional advice, provides many challenges for those endeavouring to make care services more responsive to local needs.
Under the government’s New Deal for Communities initiative, thirty-nine severely deprived neighbourhoods across England were given time-limited funding to explore and test out innovative ways of tackling social exclusion and reducing the inequalities between their neighbourhoods and the rest of the country (Fran Wiles, 2008, p.39). The main aims were to improve people’s health, increase educational achievement and skills and improve housing and the physical environment.
One such area to receive funding was Thornhill in Southampton. In April 2001 Thornhill successfully secured £48.7 million to regenerate the area under five key themes; Health, Education,...