Chief Exec’s update – May 2022
This month I wanted to update our members and partners on a few areas of development and opportunity open to us all.
May marks the arrival of “Mental Health Awareness Week” (9-15 May) and I am sure many of our members will be giving a focus to this year’s theme of “loneliness”. So many people have had to withdraw from their usual connections and friendships as a result of the pandemic and this has left an enormous gap in their lives and those who know them.
Whilst recognising that there are many people who, for various reasons, remain susceptible to the worst effects of coronavirus – there is some hope now of a return to more frequent mixing and engagement. Yes, the world has changed – but the importance of human contact, friendships and relationships remains and I encourage us all to reach out and begin to rebuild our connections and our support networks.
We are now recruiting for several exciting new programmes across Cumbria!
Staying on the theme of mental health, we are working with partner agencies in North Cumbria to support people experiencing severe mental illness to volunteer as part of a pathway into work, training or volunteering on a regular basis.
We are helping to develop the work of a Poverty Truth Commission in South Lakeland – supporting people with lived experience of poverty and those who provide public services to come together to better understand and tackle the challenges faced.
We are looking for a Lead Key Worker to join our successful “Building Better Opportunities – Getting Cumbria to work” project in South Cumbria – and our recent success in gaining “Reaching Communities” funding from The National Lottery will be providing further opportunities for “Community Connector” roles in the coming weeks!
Finally … Local Government Re-organisation continues with elections to our two new unitary shadow councils on 5 May (Cumberland; Westmorland and Furness).
Once these are completed, the next step will be to make key appointments and then begin the process of reviewing the “blueprints” that have been drawn up during the design phase. These will set out the responsibilities of the new councils, and work will begin to define each Council’s priorities and setting a budget which will take effect on Vesting Day on 1st April 2023. So – the previous “seven councils” will continue to operate to maintain services whilst the shadow councils will be working on all of the new arrangements.
It is really important that the voice of the third sector feeds into the service redesign and transformation phase that will being in April 2023 and I am keen to hear your thoughts and ideas. You can find out more here and get in touch through firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you again for all the support you, your colleagues and volunteers bring to our communities and organisations across the County.