Community Links

early action

Success Stories

Haringey Thinking Space

Haringey Thinking Space

Designed and delivered by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and funded by the local authority, Haringey Thinking Space (HTS) is one of the responses to recommendations made by public panels following the summer 2011 riots. Described as both a community development project and a therapeutic initiative, HTS is bringing people living in Haringey together to talk and think about their experiences, develop understanding, and take steps to improve themselves and the community. HTS is enabling Haringey… Read more.

MCR Pathways

MCR Pathways

Young Glasgow Talent, a scheme delivered by MCR Pathways, consists of one-to-one mentoring between volunteers and young people aged 13 to 18 in fifteen secondary schools in Glasgow. Its focus is establishing long-term relationships that encourage, guide and support disadvantaged and looked after young people to pursue the same educational outcomes, career opportunities and life chances as their peers. It intervenes in the lives of young people who are disadvantaged through… Read more.

Malachi Community Trust

Malachi Community Trust

Malachi provide early action services to support and advocate for children affected by family breakdown. It takes a dual pronged approach; a community interest company (Malachi Specialist Family Support Services) delivers support services within schools across the Midlands and Somerset, whilst a community hub (owned and run by Malachi Community Trust) provides a variety of services and activities to promote community cohesion and support the local population. Malachi’s model provides a holistic,… Read more.

Detecting Cancer Early

Detecting Cancer Early

The London borough of Newham has one of the worst cancer survival rates in the country, prompting Community Links to develop two new programmes encouraging early detection. The first telephones people at risk to persuade them to attend screenings, as letter invitations and other reminder services weren't working. The second acts even earlier by going into schools to explain the signs and symptoms of cancer, the importance of self-examining, and to encourage students to raise awareness with their… Read more.

Ways to Wellness

Ways to Wellness

Ways to Wellness is the UK's largest social prescribing programme, aiming to reach 11,000 patients in the west of Newcastle upon Tyne over seven years, and the first health service to be funded by a Social Impact Bond (SIB). Social prescribing aims to improve health by prescribing non-medical activities that enhance social and physical wellbeing - offering a 'more than medicine' approach recognising that strong social networks and physical activities can increase resilience to ill health and reduce… Read more.

Green Gym

Green Gym

 Green Gym is the health and wellbeing programme delivered by long established charity The Conservation Volunteers (TCV). It enables communities to engage with their outdoor space, improving their mental and physical health, involving themselves more in their community, and improving their local environment as they do so.  The Department of Health has recognised Green Gym's positive health and wellbeing impact on people's lives and their community spaces - including increasing… Read more.

Jobs, Friends and Houses

Jobs, Friends and Houses

Lancashire Constabulary is running an entirely new rehabilitation model to break the re-offending cycle, by tackling underlying housing, employment and welfare problems that drive people to commit crime. Instead of imprisoning vulnerable people, they want to help people “in recovery” from addiction, offending, homelessness, long-term unemployment and family breakdown to improve their lives and contribute to society. Their key project, Jobs, Friends and Houses (JFH), is a construction… Read more.

Specialist Intervention Team

Specialist Intervention Team

Established by Ceredigion Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Wales, the Specialist Intervention Team (SIT) are caseworkers trained in legal representation, acting as brokers for families in contact with local Children and Families Services. SIT resolves housing, debt, benefit and employment issues, while sharing legal expertise with social workers. With the number of referrals at Ceredigion Children and Families Services doubling over the past five years,… Read more.

Ready for School

Ready for School

School Home Support (SHS) is a charity helping to improve children's life chances by tackling the underlying barriers to a successful education. One of their projects, 'Ready for School', is one of very few programmes addressing the attainment gap in schools by engaging parents early, as opposed to children and/or teachers, in order to prepare their children for the transition to primary and secondary school. Delivered through a series of workshops, Ready for School… Read more.

The Passage

The Passage

In a sector often focused on managing crisis, The Passage is a London homelessness charity that has redesigned its whole approach towards prevention. This includes raising awareness among central and Eastern European migrants about the need to plan where they will live before moving to the UK and preventing people being discharged from hospital directly onto the streets. It also enables formerly homeless people to retain their homes, offering tenancy support… Read more.

Includem

Includem

Includem is a charity in Scotland working with young people who have some of the most complex needs. It seeks to break the cycle of inter-generational social exclusion by working with young people and their families who other services have been unable to engage with or support. Through a model that enables staff to offer 24/7 one-to-one support, it puts a lot of resources into building trust with young people and being available at the times they need them most.… Read more.

Mentor UK

Mentor UK

It is widely recognised that 'prevention is better than cure' yet public health spending on preventing ill health remains at just 4%. Since 1998, in an attempt to shift the balance of spending, Mentor has been delivering effective interventions to prevent drug and alcohol misuse, aiming to influence national policy by evidencing 'what works' and creating a community of practice focused on prevention. One of Mentor's programmes is Unplugged, a primary… Read more.

Call & Check

Call & Check

 Seeking to improve health and social care services for older people, the postal service in Jersey does more than deliver letters. It has become a "delivery platform", calling on isolated older people to check how they are doing, passing on information face-to-face, identifying any additional help they might need and getting in contact with family members or other services when needed. This 'Call & Check' service… Read more.

Boilers on Prescription

Boilers on Prescription

 A large housing association in the north-east, Gentoo, recognised the health benefits tenants reported after having heating improvements made to their homes. It developed a project to install new boilers, double-glazing and insulation to improve people's health and reduce GP and hospital admissions in the future. After 18 months, doctors appointments among COPD patients in Sunderland have fallen by 60%and the number of walk-in visits to A&E has fallen by 30%. By our estimation,… Read more.

Early Action Mental Health Programme

Early Action Mental Health Programme

The Mancroft Advice Project (MAP) was one of the first three beneficiaries of the Early Action Neighbourhood Fund (EANF), a funding pilot set up by the Early Action Funders Alliance who formed following the publication of the Early Action Task Force’s second report, 'The Deciding Time'. Although MAP has been focussing on early action for many years, its EANF-funded project specifically… Read more.

Parents Moving Forward

Parents Moving Forward

 Learning Links, a Portsmouth based charity, are addressing Child to Parent Violence through their parenting programme ‘Parents Moving Forward’. Using an innovative therapeutic model of ‘Non-Violent Resistance’, parents are equipped with techniques to reduce and de-escalate conflict in the home, improving their family’s wellbeing and the likelihood of positive life outcomes for their child. PMF has been an overwhelming… Read more.

happier@work

happier@work

In response to concerns about the mental health and wellbeing of staff raised by the NHS staff survey, the four organisations that make up Kings Health Partners (KHP) developed a workplace wellbeing scheme, 'happier@work'. Initially funded by NHS London, the programme seeks to reduce stress in the workplace and improve levels of wellbeing, working at the individual, team and organisational level by embedding a range of interventions, including… Read more.

Volunteers Supporting Families

Volunteers Supporting Families

 Volunteering Matters’ ‘Volunteers Supporting Families (VSF)’ service has supported vulnerable families and children in a number of local authorities since its inception in 2004. The service is designed to run alongside and complement local authority children’s services. Volunteers support families on child protection, child in need and early help plans. By building trust and developing impartial relationships with parents, volunteers help families to make the changes… Read more.

Hospital to Home

Hospital to Home

 Hospital to Home is an initiative aimed at improving the care experience of older people being discharged from hospital in the Tayside region of Scotland. Delivered by Iriss, the project worked with local health and social care practitioners, older people and their carers. The group shared their… Read more.

SOS Project

SOS Project

 St Giles Trust offers a range of services that work to reduce youth violence, vulnerability and exploitation, especially targeted at medium to high risk offenders. Its SOS project is designed to help vulnerable young people caught up in criminal lifestyles – often gang related - to enable them to realise their aspirations in education, training or employment and ultimately reduce violent and weapons crime. It also includes SOS+ which works in schools to prevent at risk young people… Read more.

Gloucestershire County Council: Your Circle

Gloucestershire County Council: Your Circle

Your Circle is a website designed to signpost individuals with social care needs towards appropriate support and care, and allow local organisations to advertise their services. In this regard it is similar to those run by many other local authorities, but the language it uses is particularly positive. It says: “Most of us have a circle of support in our lives. It might include: • a neighbour that cuts our hedge at the same time as his own • friends made at a… Read more.

Salford Council: Making Every Contact Count

Salford Council: Making Every Contact Count

Salford Council and NHS Salford knew that thousands of frontline staff across all services were meeting residents every day, and that there was potential for these meetings to achieve far more than that required by the service itself. Their Making Every Contact Count training gives staff the skills to talk to people about issues like smoking, healthy eating, debt, housing or employment issues, providing basic advice or referring people on to greater support. It is available to council and… Read more.

Haringey Neighbourhoods Connect

Haringey Neighbourhoods Connect

Haringey Neighbourhoods Connect is a locally-led project in the London Borough of Haringey, which aims to support residents (particularly older people) to live more independently in the community. It works closely with social services and other council departments to engage with people who are at risk - through age, disability or health condition – of becoming increasingly dependent on intensive state services. It aims to connect them with existing support, and building links within… Read more.

Essex County Council: Reablement service

Essex County Council: Reablement service

Reablement services work with people discharged from hospital, or people whose health has deteriorated in some way, to help them adapt to life at home with their condition. It can involve the provision of new equipment (for example grab rails, or emergency alarms), or psychological support, help with finding the right social support locally, and much else. It is widely seen as a vital way of reducing hospital readmissions and the cost of ongoing council-funded care. Essex County Council… Read more.

Wigan Council: People at the heart of Scholes

Wigan Council: People at the heart of Scholes

Like many councils, Wigan is anticipating a significant shortfall in its social care budget in future years if provision is not radically reformed. The ‘People at the Heart of Scholes’ project is a pilot, developed as part of Nesta’s Creative Councils scheme, providing social care in a way that harnesses community capacity to deliver services while stimulating the local economy. The introduction of personalised budgets for adult social care will be accompanied by a ‘top… Read more.

Birmingham City Council: Brighter Futures

Birmingham City Council: Brighter Futures

Brighter Futures is the name Birmingham City Council has given their children’s and young people’s strategy, introduced in 2009. Its aim is to address the Every Child Matters outcomes through redirecting resources so that ‘services are delivered to children and their families before problems set in or escalate.’ The programme includes intensive piloting (or testing) of eight preventative and early intervention programmes. The pilots include Family Nurse Partnerships,… Read more.

Youth work in Dursley

Youth work in Dursley

When Gloucestershire County Council cut the majority of its funding for youth services, the market town of Dursley was left with no services for young people at all. The town council’s consultation on their community plan revealed very high demand for youth services, and Councillors knew how important youth work could be. They decided to make the project one of their main aims for 2012/13 and voted through a 1% increase in the Town Council’s share of the Council Tax to help cover the… Read more.

Futuregov: Patchwork

Futuregov: Patchwork

Brighton and Hove Council are working with Futuregov to pilot the use of their newly-developed Patchwork online app, which makes it easier for professionals to find out who else is working with an individual child or family. The app aims to address the silos that occur when multiple professionals from different agencies are all independently in contact with the same person. By allowing professionals to discover who else is involved with the child, Patchwork facilitates more joined-up services… Read more.

Free School Meals

Free School Meals

 Free school meals are currently available to children whose families’ income lies below a certain threshold, but in 2009 two local authorities (Newham and Durham) began offering free school meals to all primary school children as part of a government-funded pilot. The evaluation showed that the scheme dramatically increased take-up of free school meals, including amongst those who would have been eligible anyway but were not taking up their entitlement. Attainment levels for… Read more.

Youth Justice Reinvestment Pathfinder

Youth Justice Reinvestment Pathfinder

The Youth Justice Reinvestment Pathfinder Initiative is a pilot project in which the Youth Justice Board and the Ministry of Justice devolve extra funding from the central custody budget to some local authority Youth Offending Teams, for use in reducing the number of young people entering custody. The two year pilot is working with local authorities or consortia in four areas (east London, west London, Birmingham and West Yorkshire), and is run on a payment-by-results basis, whereby the funding… Read more.

Department of Education: School Exclusion Trial

Department of Education: School Exclusion Trial

A four year Cambridgeshire scheme to reduce school exclusions was so successful that five of the six Pupil Referral Units (where excluded students are usually educated) closed, after referrals dropped from 650 in 2007 to 120 in 2012. The project’s success attracted the attention of the Department of Education, who are now piloting the approach in 300 schools in eleven local authority areas. The scheme illustrates the powerful impact of a simple shift in incentives. When a school excludes… Read more.

Birmingham City Council: Be Active Scheme

Birmingham City Council: Be Active Scheme

Be Active is a scheme offering free swimming, exercise classes or gym use, and some community activities to all Birmingham residents. It aims to tackle health inequalities and associated deprivation; a recent cost benefit analysis found that on average every £1 invested in Be Active generates £21.30 in benefits. The scheme allows people to use council-run facilities for free during off-peak times, and is mostly funded by the local NHS, with the city council contributing 15%… Read more.

Gloucestershire County Council: Village and Community Agents

Gloucestershire County Council: Village and Community Agents

Village and Community Agents provide older people in Gloucestershire with easier access to information and services. They bridge the gap between the community and sources of support and help from statutory and voluntary organisations. Village Agents have a cluster of parishes that form their “patch”, whilst Community Agents cover the county and support BME communities. The Village and Community Agents provide high quality face-to-face information and support, helping individuals… Read more.

Islington Fairness Commission

Islington Fairness Commission

Although not a 'project' in the sense of many of those featured on these pages, the Islington Fairness Commission embodies many of the hallmarks of Early Action.  It was set up in June 2010 to explore how to make the borough a fairer place. It met in public 7 times at meetings attended by over 500 people. Commissioners included senior figures from Islington Council, Islington Police, NHS, Homes for Islington, Islington Trades Council, Islington Chamber of Commerce, City and Islington… Read more.

Discover Childrens Centre ‘Catching Words’ project

Discover Childrens Centre ‘Catching Words’ project

Discover Story Centre based in Stratford, east London is the UK’s first hands-on creative literature space for children aged 0-11 years and their families/carers dedicated to generating a love of language, literature and stories.   The 'Catching Words' project supports year 2 students struggling with literacy, by focussing on stories and play. Developed by the Discover it was used in 3 schools in Newham last year with excellent results. The project is continuing in four… Read more.

Wythenshawe Early Intervention Service

Wythenshawe Early Intervention Service

This successful project began when a panel of staff from a range of local agencies realised there was a significant gap in provision for families, with children under 5, who were in need of support but not in such a serious situation that they met the threshold for statutory interventions. The Early Intervention Service was born, as a partnership between the local authority Children's Service Deparatment (where the project manager was based), Barnardos (who employed the six project workers) and… Read more.

Advice Services Coventry

Advice Services Coventry

Advice Services Coventry are an alliance of advice providing organisations in the city. They run a coordinated online referral system which means people seeking help can turn up at any member’s door and be booked an appointment at the organisation most able to help. By pooling their resources in this way they are able to offer the best help as early as possible to those who need it. They also use their network to identify issues common to many clients – for example the way the… Read more.

Building Bridges Project

Building Bridges Project

Building Bridges is a professional home-based family support service designed to meet the needs of families with ‘multiple complex needs’. It starts with the families’ own perceptions of what needs to change, and involves proffessionals spending time with the family, linking with other services, and providing both emotional and practical support. The project was initially designed as an early intervention for families where ‘multiple complex needs’ such as… Read more.

The Big Question

The Big Question

Family Action worked with primary school children in Walthamstow to create a film asking the question: “does being in a gang or carrying a knife make you safer?’ The film is being distributed to Year 5 & 6 teachers in Walthamstow primary school, along with teaching materials, to highlight the dangers of being in a gang. The film aims to give primary school children an awareness of the dangers of carrying knives and joining gangs, and some arguments to resist the pressure… Read more.

Children NE - Youth Link Project

Children NE - Youth Link Project

The project pairs 18-25 year old volunteer mentors with young people aged 12-18 who are not achieving or engaging in school. After being matched by youth link workers, they meet weekly for 2-3 hours. Young people are referred by professionals (schools, children’s services etc). The project coordinator meets with the family and the young person before deciding if a placement would be feasible, and then assigns a volunteer. The volunteer and young person meet weekly, the placement is… Read more.

WRVS

WRVS

WRVS a nationwide charity that recruits volunteers to provide a variety of support for older people – helping out at home, running social activities in the community, providing transport or delivering meals, running services in hospitals, and responding to emergencies. Their support for 100,000 people, with 45,000 volunteers, helps older people stay independent and active in their communities and reduces isolation. They are currently conducting SROI research on their programmes. They… Read more.

Kickz

Kickz

Kickz began as a joint project between the Premier League and the Metropolitan Police, with the idea of using professional football clubs to help deliver football sessions with young people in deprived areas. It now spans 131 projects involving 43 clubs and over 50,000 young people. Ninety-one per cent of the programmes run on Friday and Saturday evenings. It is delivered with the help of 5,000 volunteers, many of them young people themselves, and also offers workshops on issues like drug… Read more.

Quaker Social Action - Down to Earth

Quaker Social Action - Down to Earth

Down to Earth helps people on a low income have the funeral they want at a price they can afford. Planning a funeral for a loved one is extremely hard for anyone, but for older people on a pension, and others living on a low income, meeting this extraordinary cost is a huge financial hurdle which can lead to severe difficulty, debt and additional unnecessary distress, and lead to spiraling financial problems. Through advice and guidance in person and over the phone, and a circle of trained… Read more.

Ocean Maths

Ocean Maths

Ocean Maths is a project based in east London that helps schools engage parents in their children's maths education, improving both students' and parents' ability, but also their relationship with eachother, with knock-on effects for learning in general. Parents are invited (and actively encouraged) into special maths sessions and children are then given homework to complete with their parents. Poor numeracy has a dramatic impact on future life chances. Each workshop costs schools £400,… Read more.

Southwark Circle

Southwark Circle

 Southwark Circle is a membership group, targeted at over 50s, offering cheap practical help and bringing people together for social events. It aims to combat the isolation and lack of practical support elderly people told Participle – its founders – were most damaging in their lives. Members pay £10 or £20 per year, and have access to a wide range of social events organised by staff and other members. They can also buy £10 vouchers to exchange for small… Read more.

Positive Tickets

Positive Tickets

Positive Tickets is a project, begun in British Colombia, Canada, that sees police reward young people for good behaviour by issuing ‘positive tickets’. The scheme allows police to build more positive relationships with young people, preventing anti social behaviour and crime, and improving community relations. It has been adapted for use in many other countries. The rewards are often donated by local business. The tickets can be redeemable for goods or activities (anything… Read more.

St Giles Trust - Through the Gates Project

St Giles Trust - Through the Gates Project

 Through the Gates aims to reduce reoffending by providing a package of accommodation and support for offenders before and after their release. Run in conjunction with the London Probation Service and launched in 2008, it worked with prisoners serving a minimum of 1 year, returning to any of 14 London boroughs. Staff, many of whom are ex-offenders themselves, work with prisoners prior to their release, as they leave the prison gates, and once they are back in their community. Much… Read more.

Fight for Peace

Fight for Peace

Using boxing and martial arts as a hook, Fight for Peace promotes education, personal development and leadership amongst young people. It began in 2000 in the Complexo da Maré, a complex of favelas (shantytowns) in Rio de Janeiro., and opened its London Academy in Newham in 2007. The core boxing and martial arts training is complemented by a programme of personal development education which all young people who attend the open access sports are expected to attend, and includes 1:1 mentoring,… Read more.

Quid’s In

Quid’s In

 Quid's In is a quarterly magazine focussing on money advice for people on low incomes, distributed free to over 130,000 readers by housing associations and social landlords. It takes a 'tabloid' approach to conveying messages about managing finances. In a readers’ survey 83% responded that they were ‘very likely’ to act on the advice provided in Quids In. The quarterly publication is self-sustaining through sales, mainly to social landlords, who pay a unit… Read more.

Upper Room - UR4 Driving Project

Upper Room - UR4 Driving Project

Tony (aged 44) came to UR4Driving whilst serving a community service for drugs’ offences. His 20 year record of offences included several wounding and weapon offences in his early record followed by a string of robbery and assault charges related to drugs. After three months on the project he got his HGV licence and took a job as a delivery van driver, which he is still enjoying three months later. Run by homeless charity The Upper Room, the UR4driving project works with ex-offenders… Read more.

Participle’s LIFE programme

Participle’s LIFE programme

Ella is a mother in one of Britain’s increasingly infamous ‘troubled families’, living in Swindon, she was abused by her father and then several partners. Her four children are all known to a myriad of local services. Yet after two years as part of Participle’s Life Programme, she has a new job, new friends, and her children are all back in education. The project recognises fundamental problems in the current system – that billions of pounds spent on ‘troubled… Read more.

Children North East - BU Diploma Project

Children North East - BU Diploma Project

 When 12 year old Sarah began attending ‘BU’ diploma classes she was unruly and disruptive. As the course progressed she settled down, started contributing, and soon became the life and soul of the group. She also began telling school staff about her problems at home and difficulty controlling her anger. By the end of the course she was teaching other students about relaxation techniques. Children North East’s ‘BU’ diploma in wellbeing is an accredited… Read more.

Quaker Social Action - Made of Money project

Quaker Social Action - Made of Money project

 Quaker Social Action’s family ‘blind jaffa cake’ testing is not normally part of a financial inclusion course. But the organisation realised that for many families, financial problems stem from pressure within families rather than lack of knowledge. The Made of Money project provided financial literacy education in various forms to over 200 families last year. It recognises that supporting families to communicate and share their hopes and fears about money and spending… Read more.

The Reading Recovery Programme

The Reading Recovery Programme

Reading Recovery (RR) is a short-term intensive literacy intervention programme for primary school children who are experiencing problems with reading and writing after their first year of school. There are over 60 Reading Recovery centres throughout the UK, Ireland and Denmark. It consists of intensive daily 30 minute one-to-one lessons over a period of approximately 20 weeks, held with a trained literacy teacher. Poor literacy has been shown to be a serious disadvantage in later… Read more.

Nurse Family Partnership

Nurse Family Partnership

 The Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a community based health program that seeks to support vulnerable mothers who are pregnant with their first child. A mother is paired with a registered nurse at an early point in her pregnancy. She then receives ongoing nurse home visits up until the child is two years old. The nurse follows a programme of activities with the mother and child. The NFP originates from the US but was introduced to the UK in April 2007 in 10 pilot sites throughout… Read more.

Chance UK

Chance UK

 Thomas is a quiet 10 year old who because increasingly sullen and violent at school, after his father ran away leaving his mother and three siblings. He was sent home for threatening to stab someone. Every weekend for a year he spent time with mentor Richard, a journalist – they played sport, visited the park, and went on the London Eye. After the project ended, Thomas was elected class representative by his peers. Chance UK run an early intervention programme working with 5-11… Read more.

School Home Support

School Home Support

Leo is a single parent with 3 boys, and suffers from depression. The SHS practitioner at his sons’ school helped persuade the council to move Leo from his damp and badly-maintained house far from school to a much better one near the school gates. This meant his sons weren’t missing school due to bad health or transport difficulties, and their grades could improve. School Home Support (SHS) places specialist staff in schools, who work with young people and families to help them… Read more.

Rokeby Hub

Rokeby Hub

 Jude was 19 when he first came into Rokeby and remembers the area before the centre was there: “The green was often used as a base for criminal activities…cars stolen and set alight.” First he attended the youth club, then he was recruited as a youth worker, and soon after set up his own dance school, initially based out of the hub and later moving to a studio. Rokeby is open all day Monday – Saturday. Their programme includes children’s play sessions,… Read more.