Local Area Coordination is all about supporting our residents to stay strong, safe, well, resilient, independent and connected as contributing citizens to their local communities.
Launched in June 2013, our Local Area Coordinators work to strengthen the capacity of communities to welcome and include people and to make services more personal, flexible and accountable. They support with building more welcoming, inclusive and supportive communities.
Local Area Coordinators support and connect people & places. They work alongside people in very practical ways, always looking for local no / low cost solutions through the networks and resources that they know within the community. They support people to create their own solutions within communities that are inclusive and supportive. They believe in the strength and contribution of all local people (including those who are labelled as service users / clients or social care recipients) to build and pursue a positive vision for Thurrock.
Local Area Coordinators build partnerships with local people, communities, organisations and services – nurturing and sharing the resources within our communities and ensuring that marginalised individuals are active and valued.
Local Area Coordinators (LACs) support people to find ways to make a better life. They cover all areas in Thurrock and are based in towns and villages. They know the local communities and people, and will work alongside them to find their own solutions that are practical, no cost or low cost and sustainable.
They ask people “what would make a good life for you”, and support them find how best to lead that life in their local community.
Local Area Coordination is a long-term, person centred, strength and evidence-based approach to supporting people who may be socially isolated, lonely, excluded or marginalised.
If you are marginalised due to age, frailty, disability or mental health issues, our Local Area Coordinators can support you to identify and pursue your vision for a good life / what you want to do to make life better.
Who can they support?
Support is offered to people who feel marginalised due to age, frailty, disability or mental health needs or for any other reason (s). Marginalised people and their families can introduce themselves or be introduced to their Local Area Coordinator by anyone (GPs, local councillors, professionals, local people, neighbours, friends, family members / relatives, voluntary organisations, local clubs and activities)
What people say about Local Area Coordinators
They take time to get to know us, our family, our community and our circumstances
They listened to all the issues affecting me, normally people want to pass me on to someone else, but they helped me deal with all of it.
They support and challenge us to do things for ourselves; this has helped me build confidence, to solve more of my own problems and need services less.
It’s really nice to be able to come and talk to the same person face to face.
What your Local Area coordinators do:
Support you think about ways to make a better life
Do things you want to do
Get information, advice and support you need
Meet new people and connect with your local community
Make the best of your talents, skills and abilities and find ways to share them
Have your voice heard, so you feel in control and make choices
Feel safe, secure and more confident about the future
Be more involved with groups, activities or volunteering in your community
Find practical ways of doing the things you want or need to do
Access the right support and services, if you need them
Examples of what Local Area Coordinators don’t do
Use statutory services as first option
Replace services if required
Do statutory assessments
“OWN” peoples issues
Do “TO” or “FOR”
Replace appropriate specialist support
Manage care packages or budgets on behalf of individuals
Act as professional (care worker, housing officer, social worker, support planner etc.)
Run / own community activities / projects
Have meetings without people / or consent
Introduce to someone without their consent
Give up on people
Categorise or label people
Serve as permanent taxi service
Tell people what to do or what services to use
How does it work?
A Local Area Coordinator is based locally and is a single, accessible point of contact for people in their local community
They will take time to listen and get to know individuals, families and communities well, over time building a more personal, positive, trusting relationship
They are a resource to anyone in the community for short term support, information, advice or connections to local resources
They will also support individuals and their families, who may benefit from longer term support
How is Local Area Coordination different?
People often talk about how the social care and health system can be complicated to navigate.
There are lots of people responsible for doing different things, it can be confusing. Sometimes, services aren’t set up to offer preventative help, and are only able to respond in a crisis.
Local Area Coordination creates a single accessible point of contact in a local community, and is designed to support people to avoid a crisis in the first place.
Local Area Coordinators work alongside people in the local community.
Local Area Coordinators take a preventative approach; they take time to get to know individuals and families, their local communities and service partners and help people to explore what’s important to them, an individual’s personal vision for a good life and ways of getting there.
Identify, nurture and use/share their personal strengths, skills, experiences and those of their communities.
Find practical solutions to problems, that is no / low cost whenever possible.
What difference does Local Area Coordination make?
There have been many studies in different parts of the UK and internationally over the past 28 years. these have shown that, where it is done properly and there is a strong leadership and real community contribution, Local area Coordinations lead to consistent, positive outcomes. These include:
People feeling safer and more confident in the future
Good partnership working with community resources and services
People finding practical, local ways of solving problems or dealing with crises
Individuals having more friends and supportive relationships
Having better access to information, so increasing choice and control
Being able to be part of and contributing to local communities
Having better knowledge of resources in local communities
Families and carers able to continue their caring role