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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Plan to ease pain of home help cuts in Cumbria

An action plan is being drawn up to minimise the impact of spending cuts on older people needing help in their homes.

Carolyn Greenhalgh photo
Carolyn Greenhalgh

Changes to weekend cover look likely to be the first consequence of a drop in cash paid to a social landlord.

Eden Housing Association has managed to secure supporting people funding after tendering to Cumbria County Council for its operations in Eden.

But although successful with their cash bid to the authority, the money now available is less as a result of cuts to the council in Government funding.

Despite these problems, Eden Housing executives say it’s older tenants will continue to receive support services from staff they know well.

They have this week visited all residents in supported housing schemes to outline the changes and answer questions.

Carolyn Greenhalgh, the association’s assistant director of housing and support, said: “We are pleased to have successfully tendered for the supported people money.

“It brings to an end a period of uncertainty for our supported housing scheme and means we can now implement the changes we need to make to ensure we can still deliver an effective, structured service to our residents.

“We have used the last two weeks to make visits, gauging feedback and reassuring residents that the new service will be delivered by our staff working in small teams.

“Change at any age is unsettling, but the fact that it is still an Eden team seems to have made a difference.”

A string of meetings have taken place with people living in Eden’s sheltered and extra-care housing schemes over the past year to help residents shape how the service might be changed.

Changes to weekend cover arrangements are now in place. Details of wider changes are expected to be in place by the middle of the month following consultation with staff.

New services are set to start from May 7. Residents will be told how they will be affected within days.

A string of organisations working in the social sector have been affected by the need of services to be redrawn as its cash supplies are squeezed in the wake of Government cuts to local authorities, as well as other organisations.

Anyone with concerns can call Eden Housing Association team leaders Jenny Everingham or Heidi Ware on 01768 861439 or 01768 861419.

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