Solihull's first Community Advice Hub, managed by Age UK Solihull on behalf of Solihull Council and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is celebrating its first birthday today, 23 July.
The Community Advice Hub, based at Chelmsley Wood library, brings together local voluntary organisations including DIAL, Independent Advocacy and BID Services to provide information and advice to support Solihull residents.
Councillor Ken Meeson, Chair of Solihull's Health and Wellbeing Board, explains why the Hub is important. "It's a priority for the Council and CCG to enable people to maintain their independence and enjoy a good quality of life. We are very much committed to partnership working with voluntary and community organisations so it is great that the Hub is run by agencies that are trusted by the public and seen as impartial.
Cllr Meeson continues: "Over the last year the Community Advice Hub has been running as a pilot scheme to help people in the north of the borough to access the services they need to live independently and self-manage their situations. After a successful pilot scheme, it's full steam ahead for the hub at Chelmsley Wood. And we've opened a second hub at Solihull Arts Complex to support residents in other parts of the borough. We're putting information and advice at the heart of our communities.
Anne Hastings, Chief Executive Officer of Age UK Solihull, says: "We have created the Community Advice Hubs using the expertise and knowledge developed through a range of joint working between the statutory and voluntary sectors in Solihull.
"Staff at the hubs are trained to listen to people's stories and provide a holistic assessment. They help people to identify the support they need, in whatever area of their life, and make connections with the right organisations or groups. As we celebrate the end of our first year, we have supported 2,516 people with 5,021 issues and made 819 referrals to specialist services. That's a great start."
Community Advice Hubs are part of Solihull Together for better lives, the borough's shared commitment to improve local health and care services.