Three new projects have been launched which give people in Telford and Wrekin a joined-up advice service across the whole social care spectrum for the first time.
The new projects are being run by a combination of charities, supported by Telford and Wrekin Council, and include services for carers, children with special educational needs and their parents or carers, and adults who need care and support.
Central to the new way of working is My Choice, which introduces a single point of contact for adults who need information and advice about care and support, covering issues like community care, personal budgets, form-filling help, and most importantly how to maintain independence.
My Choice is being delivered by Citizens Advice Telford and the Wrekin, Taking Part, the Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK and SIAS, with support from Telford and Wrekin Council.
Lyn Brayne, of Citizens Advice Telford and the Wrekin, which is the lead agency for the project, said giving people a central point of contact was important.
She added: “It’s the first time that these services have been pulled together and the aim is to make it easier for people to access the right support for them.
“One of the major priorities is to help people maintain their independence and prevent problems from happening in the first place.
“In the past, people would only make contact with these types of organisations when they were in crisis, but we are now actively looking to talk to people before they get to that crisis point.”
For more information and advice, call My Choice on 01952 459252.
Alongside My Choice is the All-Age Carers Service for unpaid family carers, including young carers, and the Telford Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS) for parents and carers of children with special educational needs.
To contact the services, people can call 01952 240209.
Debbie Gibbon, of Telford and Wrekin CVS, head of projects for the Carers Service and IASS, hailed the developments as a major step forward.
She said: “The main aim of these projects is join the threads of what existed before to make sure that nothing falls through the gaps.
“By running these three services simultaneously, it also means there will be no overlap because they are integrated.
“For instance, one family may well end up working with all three groups to get the support they need.”
Another part of the work at the moment is recruiting volunteers across all services, and volunteers are needed for a variety of roles, such as a new befriending service for adult carers.
Debbie added: “Full training and support will be given and it’s a great chance to be part of a team doing valuable work in your community.”
For more information, call the volunteer co-ordinating team on 01952 458044.