Lancashire Volunteer Partnership

Lancashire Volunteer Partnership – Integrated Community Step-Down Model

Briefly describe the initiative/ project/ service

Lancashire had a disparate public service volunteer offer which often focused on organisational need rather than reducing vulnerability and enhancing service delivery. Their combined public service offer was fragmented, duplicitous and failed to maximise the capacity that volunteers could offer in building more resilient communities and reducing dependency on statutory services. Recognising this, in Jan 2016 those public services came together to agree an integration strategy.

Lancashire Volunteer Partnership is made up of public services in Lancashire, such as Police, Local Authorities, Fire and Health Services, offering an integrated single gateway into public service volunteering. The integration Programme has at its heart an ambition to reduce vulnerability and dependency on public services by offering a community step down model that pairs volunteers with need and follows an early action philosophy. The Partnership offers a community step down facility to integrated public service teams who can make referrals to them that either prevents escalation of harm or reduces vulnerability below statutory thresholds.

Why do you think it should win this award?

The Lancashire Volunteer Partnership is truly ground-breaking, transformational Programme that in just 18 months has broken down cultural and organisational barriers to develop an interrogated volunteer offer that affords public services a community based step down in a managed and targeted way. It is one of a kind and suitable for upscaling across the Uk. The Partnership offers public services a breathing space to tackle more complex cases and reduces the number of people entering into crisis. At present LVP supports over 3,500 public service volunteers ranging from over 800 young people engaged in uniformed youth groups to Community Support Volunteers, Specials Constables and Countryside Rangers.

By bringing paid staff together to form a more effective and efficient delivery model, the Lancashire Volunteer Partnership operates across the County to support vulnerable people and by working closely with integrated teams the partnership can look to provide support to vulnerable people at risk of entering into statutory provision or are just leaving it. The partnership also provides support in that it can access over 5,000 volunteers who may be able to assist at times of civil emergency or major incident.

What are the key achievements?

In 18 months a small programme team led by Chief Inspector Ian Sewart as Programme Manager from Lancashire Constabulary and Julie Sumner from Lancashire County Council as Projects Manager have transformed the way volunteers support public services and the way in which they can assist in reducing vulnerability, reducing demand on statutory services and provide resilience at times of civil emergency and major incident. In that time they have;

Secured one the best cloud based volunteering ICT systems which can task and deploy volunteers along with processing applications. It is able to track the journey of vulnerable people and is configured to support place base leaders.

Developed a single gateway into public serve volunteering with one single website that connects ICT systems to secure a smooth application process along with offering a platform to promote public service volunteering linked to social media.

Provided a network of bases from which they operate that cover the entire County and which allow their staff to work alongside integrated public service teams taking on referrals that step people down from statutory services with a view to making them more resilient and connected to local communities

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