Delivery to elderly patients at the Biggart Hospital
South Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership is committed to reducing inequalities and improving outcomes for people living in South Ayrshire and works together with community groups and organisations to ensure people in South Ayrshire can grow well, live well and age well. The Partnership plays a crucial role in supporting older people, and those living with dementia, as well as transforming the lives of local children and young people.
The Partnership's latest Local Outcomes Improvement Plan annual progress report captures some fantastic examples of their innovative projects, and highlights their extraordinary emergency COVID-19 response work.
From adapting services, to coming up with new and innovative ways to ensure the most vulnerable people in our communities are kept safe and connected, the pandemic has really highlighted the crucial role the Partnership plays every day across South Ayrshire.
When the lockdown came in to force, Council staff recognised the need to help combat the increased risk of social isolation and loneliness among older people. The highly successful 'Weigh to Go' healthy weight programme, which was a great place for older people to come together, lose weight and socialise, was adapted to become an effective buddy walking and doorstep visit system.
We also worked with the NHS and Voluntary Action South Ayrshire (VASA) to provide information on the importance of making and maintaining social connections during the pandemic. This was made available both online and in flyers which were hand-delivered to households receiving emergency support.
Some great work has also taken place to support people living with dementia and their carers, with the Council offering a range of tailored leisure activities such as Relaxed Golf and Invigor8. In the midst of the lockdown, 'garden' visits, regular shopping and prescription deliveries were introduced by the South Ayrshire Dementia Support Association (SADSA) for those who needed them most in our communities. Prior to the pandemic, South Ayrshire also secured a grant award of £150,000 from the Life Changes Trust. Thanks to this funding several local dementia related projects have received support including: Dementia Friendly Ayr who were able to use it to create a new Development Worker post, and Dementia Friendly Prestwick to develop a new meeting centre.
The work of the Partnership has also been pivotal when it comes to improving the lives of care experienced children and care leavers. During lockdown The South Ayrshire Champions Board worked with partners to set up virtual groups and activities, to ensure that care experienced young people and care leavers could stay connected.
The report also highlights an improvement in looked after school leavers progressing to a positive destination. 75% of looked after young people went on to a positive destination such as college, employment or university in 2018/19 - an improvement of 6% on the previous year.
The Partnership provides support and opportunities for the carers and young carers who do an amazing job every day across South Ayrshire. We recently developed the 'Young Carers Living in South Ayrshire – Young Scot' webpage which was requested and designed by local young carers, to help balance caring responsibilities and life as a young person. South Ayrshire Carers Centre also provide much needed information and advice to young carers aged eight and over, to help them to understand their role, the condition of the person they care for, and the support that is available to them.
Councillor Peter Henderson, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: "We are committed to making sure South Ayrshire is a place that people can grow well, live well and age well. This report highlights many great examples where we are doing exactly that.
"We will continue to work collaboratively to support the vulnerable and tackle inequality head on. There is no doubt that the pandemic has highlighted gaps that still exist and there is still work to be done. However, this report highlights just what can be achieved when we work together.
"I would like to extend my thanks to community planning partners, third sector agencies, local community groups and the army of volunteers who continue to make a difference every day."
For more information and to view the report click here