Later in 2015 this project will begin rolling out superfast broadband to almost every household and business in a very rural part of Dorset. The approach taken in this case could be described as a community-led project, which can cite certain advantages and which tests one way of extending broadband to the final 5% of hard-to-reach communities. Read more
‘Job Done!’ is a project for unemployed people living in Wincanton and surrounding rural areas.
Based at the Balsam Centre in Wincanton, it offers opportunities to those facing barriers to finding work such as mental health or other health/disability related issues. By providing a friendly, supportive environment the project helps to break down isolation, encourages social networking, and thus helps people to build self-confidence and self-esteem.
Project members are then encouraged to develop their practical skills, for example in gardening, cookery, craft or countryside maintenance and are helped to find appropriate volunteering roles. In addition workshops assist with job seeking skills such as CV writing and interview techniques. Read more
The Job Club at Gillingham in Dorset provides a free support service for those who are out of work and especially for those with more intensive support needs. It offers a low-cost approach which, with the right people to manage and deliver it, could be replicated in other rural areas. Read more
The library service needed to consider how to accelerate its approach of delivering services in partnership with other providers in order to maintain, and wherever possible enhance, services whilst at the same time achieving the required savings of £1.7m over a three-year period. Read more
Storrington and Sullington Parish Council, at the foot of the South Downs in West Sussex, has created a voluntary support scheme for its older and more vulnerable residents. This will provide them with assistance during periods of severe winter weather or in other emergency situations. Read more
Cotswold District Council has set up a befriending and support service for isolated and lonely older people who live in the south of the district. This scheme, the management of which has passed to Gloucestershire Rural Community Council, is one of three linked schemes in the district. Read more
With high levels of fuel poverty and growing numbers of elderly residents, Ribble Valley Borough Council has been working with a group of partner organisations to offer some of its most vulnerable residents a pack which contains practical items that will help them to stay warm and comfortable. It believes that this, plus the provision of advice about energy efficiency, can make a real difference. Read more
Malvern Hills District Council has established a highly cost-effective scheme which is making a rapid local impact, addressing fuel poverty among those of its residents who live in the most poorly insulated housing. By obtaining great value for money through its contracting and by partnering with a charity it has achieved this within a notably constrained budget.
Fenland District Council, in partnership with King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council and a home improvement agency, has been managing an External Solid Wall Insulation pilot project for private sector housing. An objective was to see what efficiency savings could be achieved by procuring works on a relatively large scale, rather than for individual properties. From the outset it was designed so that lessons would be learnt about running such a project, so these could be shared with other authorities across the region. Read more
When its rural branch libraries faced a major spending cut Wiltshire Council decided to take radical action, by seeking to find and train-up a large cohort of community volunteers. Even it has been surprised by the positive extent of the outcome. Read more