Age Concern Isle of Wight has been selected by the Isle of Wight Council to run the Island’s first User Led Organisation which will support adults with disabilities, older people who have social care needs and carers on the Isle of Wight.
In July this year the council invited bids from voluntary, community and not-for-profit groups to provide a User Led Organisation on the Island through a prospectus approach. This is where the council sets out a list of outcomes and money is made available through a grant to organisations to deliver them in the most effective and innovative way.
Organisations bidding to become the User Led Organisation were asked to provide a range of support and services for people directly affected by disability or age. Funding of up to £140,000 is being made available over a two year period.
Bidding organisations were asked to set out how they would deliver the following outcomes: Providing information, advice and guidance, as well as advocacy and peer support; support for people in using Personal Budgets, including the hosting and moderating of a community website to support this; supporting people to recruit and employ personal assistants; assist people with shared-assessments; conduct disability equality training; support and train volunteers who support service users and carers and support the implementation of the
Five bids were received and assessed by a panel made up of representatives from the Isle of Wight Council, the voluntary sector and a parent/carer. The bids were scored and, despite a number of high quality applications, Age Concern Isle of Wight’s bid emerged as a clear winner.
Age Concern Isle of Wight will be working with partner organisations, Older Voices, Isle of Wight Society for the Blind and John’s Club to commence delivery of the User Led Organisation although it is hoped, in time, that a great many individuals, and organisations from the voluntary, public and private sector will become involved to make the User Led Organisation a success.
Cllr Roger Mazillius, Isle of Wight Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Housing, said: “This is a hugely exciting development on the Island and this new way of working will support the most vulnerable people within our society. Age Concern Isle of Wight and their partners have shown that they are extremely well placed to deliver services to fulfil the outcomes outlined by us.”
Jo Dare, Chief Officer of Age Concern Isle of Wight, said: “Working with our partners so we can involve a wide range of service users, we are enormously proud to have been entrusted with the development of a User Led Organisation for the Island.
“We will be working over the next two years to develop a new organisation capable of working positively with service users and providers of services to ensure that individuals are enabled to shape and direct the services that they need to live the life they choose.”