Community organisations, the Isle of Wight Council and the NHS are working together to support people on the Island to stay well, independent and connected with their local community this winter.
The Living Well and Early Help Partnership has already helped more than 800 people by linking them with local support.
A new mobile hub has also been launched and is helping the team to travel to some of the more remote areas of the Island.
The partnership is delivered by Aspire Ryde, working in partnership with organisations such as Pan Together, West Wight Sports and Community Centre and Ventnor Town Council. Funding is provided by the Isle of Wight Council and the NHS.
The partnership is already making a difference to people’s lives.
One 91-year-old resident was referred to the team asking for support with social isolation; her husband was in hospital and her family lived on the mainland.
During a home visit, the team identified other needs and arranged for her to join the minibus trip to meet people and join a monthly social group.
The team also assisted with some benefits support, she was referred to a local charity to become a befriender and transport was arranged to visit her husband in hospital.
Shirley Bradshaw, operations manager for the Living Well and Early Help Team, said: “The key to success is collaborative working, where we share information and work together to support our local community.
“Another crucial aspect of our offer is to help people stay safe and well at home by linking them with their wider community.”
Help can include anything from social contact and building people’s support circles, to referrals into community groups nearby or linking them with the job centre, Carers Isle of Wight, housing support, health and social care assistance or cost of living help, to name a few.
Dr Michele Legg, chair of the Isle of Wight Health and Care Partnership Board, Island GP and clinical director for Isle of Wight at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said: “By investing time into each individual or family, the team can gain an understanding of what support they need to be able to build on their own strengths and capabilities, so that they can stay strong and independent.
“Providing this early help, close to home, is even more crucial in the winter months and linking people up with community resources reduces the pressure on health and care services.”
Councillor Ian Stephens, Cabinet member for housing and poverty, added: “The new mobile hub will be getting into the heart of our communities to prevent people from being cut off — for those people who feel isolated, alone or on the outskirts of society.
“This will be a place for them to come, feel comfortable and find out about local help and support that’s right for them.”
Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet member for adult social care, added: “We must all continue to work together to make sure we are all safe, healthy and warm.
“The mobile hub aims to reach people who are isolated, and I would encourage them to stop by when they see this vehicle in their community. It’s there for you to use and to ask those questions which some find so difficult to ask.”
To find out more about the Living Well and Early Help Partnership call (01983) 240732 or visit lweh.org.uk
The council’s cost of living help web pages can also be found at www.iow.gov.uk/costofliving