Opening of new Floating Support Service in Blaenau Gwent brings support to the most vulnerable.
With possibly the worst sense of timing possible, Pobl Group recently launched a new service for vulnerable people in the Blaenau Gwent area – just as the lockdown came into force.
Understandably, the launch didn’t come without its challenges, but a month into the service, we can proudly shout about how well it is going as the new team settles in. Most importantly, we can see that clients are definitely benefiting from having someone there to assist them.
Cara Davies, who manages the new Blaenau Gwent Floating Support service, alongside Sharon Court, Assistant Director of Support, made every effort to make sure new colleagues are comfortable and are feeling welcome despite the challenges posed by social distancing guidelines, with each of the new staff met individually, at a two-metre distance, to provide them with their new IT equipment to enable them to carry out their duties from home.
Sharon Court, Assistant Director of Support, said:
“It was a pleasure to welcome them all, and in very strange and difficult times, but I look forward to being able to give them all the usual Pobl Welcome, when we are on the other side of Covid19. We are all looking forward to working with them all both during and following the current situation.”
The team are working from home to deliver individual support to clients, ensuring consistency of service. With a waiting list of almost 40 new referrals, the team are working hard to speak to each person and identifying what support they need.
The majority of queries being received are around tenancy related support, but some clients might need help with mental health issues and substance dependency. In addition to working really well in collaboration with partner organisations like GDAS and Mind, the team have developed great relationships with the local foodbanks as well, going the extra mile and dropping off food parcels on clients’ doorsteps to help them at this tough time.
“Because it’s a generic support service, we support service users with a variety of needs such as, tenancy and financial issues, substance misuse and mental health. The staff team have done a great job in adapting their ways of working, to ensure the consistency of support is maintained. We have new referrals through almost every day so even though we’re in lockdown, we are extremely busy. The team are doing brilliantly.”
The new team have been supported by our ICT department, who have been fantastic in trying to sort out technical issues. At times, colleagues also needed to think outside the box and put in place temporary measures to ensure clients have consistent support at the highest level. This has been a true collaboration with ICT; Human Resources; Procurement and Health & Safety all coming together as one Pobl team!
Very recently, the team have supported a client into securing her own tenancy.
The client was battling depression after losing her partner and needed support with housing applications, especially after the country was put into lockdown.
During regular phone calls, the team recognised the deterioration in the client’s mental health and wellbeing. They done all they could to move the client to Gold property band. Not long after, she was able to view a property, using social distancing and PPE.
Support was provided to change all benefits online and via telephone. She was able to manage utilities and was pleased she could achieve it independently.
Now the client is settling into her property.