Issue - meetings

Community Based Support Services

Meeting: 29/01/2024 - Health, Care and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee (Item 25)

25 Community Based Support Services pdf icon PDF 214 KB

To provide the opportunity for the scrutiny committee to contribute to the strategic review of Talk Community which is underway.

Additional documents:


The Chairperson made opening comments about the value of the activities supported by volunteers in the county, the need to use limited resources effectively, and the formation of Talk Community to promote and foster partnerships to reach out to individuals and communities.  The Cabinet Member Adults, Health and Wellbeing invited the committee to input into the strategic review of Talk Community.


The committee received the presentation ‘Strategic Review of Talk Community’ (link to the presentation).


The Service Director Communities presented the slides:- Strategic review of Talk Community; Aim and methodology; Strategic context; Need; Vision, aims and outcomes; and Delivery model. 


The Talk Community Development Lead presented the slides:- We asked our community groups what Talk Community was to them; Talk Community hubs; Hub case study; Community debt centres; Debt centre case study; Community action network meetings; Funding delivery; Talk Community delivery; Additional projects; Talk Community brokers; Case study – youth; Case study – market town; Case study – funding; and Talk Community has supported.  The Service Director Communities presented the final slide, Issues.


The principal points of the discussion included:


1.           The Chairperson suggested that the presentation should be shared with local partner organisations such as Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care Board, and West Mercia Police.


2.           A committee member noted that the scrutiny activity that could be undertaken was limited as the strategic review was at an early stage.


3.           A committee member expressed concerns about the implications of changes to the national funding structure.  The Service Director Communities said that this was being worked through currently.  The Corporate Director Community Wellbeing noted the cessation of some one-off sources of funding but emphasised that there was core funding to support the consistency and continuity of the Talk Community service.  The Chairperson noted some of the challenges associated with short-term funding streams.


4.           In response to observations made by the Vice-Chairperson, the Talk Community Development Lead advised that: data obtained from Community Debt Centres was clear, as reporting mechanisms had been established from the outset; data from Talk Community Hubs was difficult to pin down, due to differences in scale and ways in which they operated; the identified ‘25,000 visits per annum to a Talk Community Hub and being connected to support’ related only to those hubs that had responded; the lack of granularity was recognised; and a further breakdown of the figures received could be shared.


5.           The Service Director Communities reported that all 75 hubs across Herefordshire would be audited to understand the offer being provided, the spaces being used, and the level of engagement with Talk Community.  It was noted that there had been a seed funding grant scheme to support the establishment of each community group/hub (e.g. for computer equipment) but there was no contractual relationship with the council.  The committee was advised that the potential for a more systematic approach would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25