Early Help Newsletter - October 2016


Help Hub

Providing practical early help support to families across South Norfolk

A Message from Sandra Dinneen

Last week saw the Chief Executives of the Early Help organisations across South Norfolk come together to see how far we had come and what our priorities need to be over the coming months.  The bi-annual get together enabled us to share the success stories of where officers and practitioners had worked generically across organisations to deliver a holistic and joined up service to our residents to help tackle their issues early.

It is clear that the appetite for early help services continues to grow - the number of requests for support has increased, with schools now accounting for a fifth of all requests, and an increase of around 10% coming directly from the community.  With nearly half of all requests, wellbeing and mental health continues to be a big issue, along with a third of cases relating to concerns around finance.  We will be working closely with our colleagues in mental health and the Police over the next few months to look at how we can improve information sharing  and we have recently run a mental health first aid course to raise awareness in businesses to understand how they can support their employees.

In terms of ‘what next’ for early help in South Norfolk, the following themes kept cropping up at the recent meeting:

- Utilising our collective community resource more effectively – a number of our partner organisations have dedicated resource to build community capacity and deliver community led early help. We talked about working in a more joined-up way to use this resource more effectively for the benefit of our residents.

- More joined- up commissioning – it was agreed we needed to commission preventative services more intelligently, jointly collating and analysing data to improve early help outcomes

- Improving our data sharing- we agreed that whilst we have made big strides, it is critical that we build on our existing data sharing arrangements to ensure we have the correct technology and pathways in place to share relevant information so we continue to intervene at the right time with the right support package.

I know that organisations across the board are having to trim their budgets and consider where their investments will make the biggest difference. Now, more than ever then, it is important that we continue to work together and make the case to invest in early help, improving outcomes and delivering savings for upstream services in the long-term.

Handyperson home energy checks

The South Norfolk Handyperson can offer a free home energy check for all age groups. This is an excellent opportunity to make sure that your house is prepared for autumn and winter. To qualify, someone at the property must be in receipt of a means tested benefit.

During a home energy check, our handyperson will check your heating system, house insulation, lighting and energy bill tariffs. The Handyperson can install draught proofing, radiator reflector panels and LED light bulbs, all included as part of the service. He can also help you set your heating programmer for your requirements and check the price you’re paying for your energy.  If you need loft insulation, cavity wall insulation or help to change energy tariff then you will be referred to the council’s energy team who will be able to help.  South Norfolk’s handyperson is offering this service till 31st December, 2016. Get an energy check booked before winter sets in. To enquire or book a visit please call 0808 168 2000

SNYAB Summer Activities


SN YAB has had a very busy summer with lots of different activities going on across South Norfolk. From mid-July, 227 places were taken up by young people aged 11 – 18 taking part in things such as:
• Life Skills programmes
• Accredited courses such as First Aid and Sign Language
• Conservation and Farm Work at Bittern Meadow and Appleseed Care Farm
• Wellbeing courses
• Art and Craft Days
• Activity Sessions, sports and trips out
• Volunteering at Sundown and South Norfolk on Show
Extra sessions had to be booked for things that were over-subscribed, and some others will continue into the Autumn term.  Young people got to try new things, meet new people and gain new skills. 
If you would like to know more about the work of SN YAB, please contact Sam Mason sam@mtmyouthservices.org.uk

Supporting a healthy workforce

South Norfolk Council’s Help Hub launched an information pack for employers designed to give them the tools to help their staff stay well at work

The initiative was launched on the 28 September at a free two day Mental Health First Aid Course, at The Park Hotel in Diss. Business leaders from across the District have been invited to attend the course which is designed to teach HR teams and managers how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis.

South Norfolk Councillor Yvonne Bendle said. “Addressing mental health problems is an important part of being a good employer. A healthy workforce is a productive workforce and poor mental health among staff costs employers £30 billion per year in the UK through lost production, absence and recruitment costs.

“By supporting the positive mental health of your staff you are more likely to retain the skills, knowledge and experience of your employees. And, perhaps more importantly, they will know that your organisation is a place that values and understands their needs.”

The pack contains information from organisations including the South Norfolk Job Service, Active Norfolk, Public Health England, Prince’s Trust and MATCH.

For a copy of the pack or more information please contact Stevie Spencer, sspencer@s-norfolk.gov.uk

Fun Palaces Weekend

fun palaces

The first weekend in October was Fun Palace weekend in South Norfolk.

Fun Palaces is an ongoing national campaign to put culture at the heart of every community, with activities led by, for and with local people. The event was about people of all ages creating and making together: they are a space where arts and sciences, crafts and technologies, fun and learning meet and work together.

The free events offered people the chance to do things that they don’t usually do and were for everyone, regardless of age or ability and offer residents the opportunity to just have a go at something different.

The Fun Palace events took place at Pulham Market Memorial Hall on Saturday 1 October and Sunday the 2 October Poringland Community Centre.  Over 260 attendees enjoyed the fun and each also learnt about the Help Hub

Big Switch and Save

A collective switching scheme ran by South Norfolk Council could save residents £100’s on their annual bills. Collective switching is when a large group of people come together and use people power to negotiate a better deal on individual gas and electricity bills. The more people that register, the greater the bargaining power.

Energy companies are often able to give better deals to those participating in such schemes. In the last few auctions some tariffs offered have been market leading.

To register your interest, visit www.bigswitchandsave.co.uk or call 01603 430627.

There is no obligation to switch once you register. To see how much you could save, you’ll have to wait for the auction.

The scheme is open until midnight on 10th October, 2016.


  • Handyperson home energy checks
  • Supporting a healthy workforce
  • SNYAB Summer Activities
  • Big Switch and Save

This month's case study

The Situation
B lives with her two children in South Norfolk.  B suffers from health problems and was unable to cope with her two children and the pressures of her work.

The Plan
B and her family started working with a Family Practitioner from Children’s Services, and they soon developed a plan together.
• Integrate the children back into full-time education and support the transition to High School
• Support B with a Disabled Parents Protocol
• Manage bad behaviour by establishing family rules

The Results
There are now appropriate boundaries within the family.  They support, respect and listen to each other.  B is now managing her time better which allows the family to have days out and become generally happier.
“Our Practitioner has done a very good job in bringing our family back together. If I hadn’t have had the help I would probably have been sectioned and the kids taken away”.

Got a great case study that you would like to share in the next issue?- please send an anonymised version to Stevie Spencer(sspencer@s-norfolk.gov.uk

Meet our New Community Connectors

In September we welcomed our new Community Connectors for the Diss Area, Jeff and Karen


Jeff Bremner.
Mobile:  07789170952


Karen Wooddissee

Who's in the hub?

Who's in the Hub?

Stonham Homegroup
Family Intervention Project and Youth mediator
Norfolk Constabulary Operational Partnership Team
South Norfolk Council
Community Safety; Revenues
and Benefits; Care and Repair;
Home Options; Community
Connectors; Handyperson Service; Independent Living Team
MTM Youth
Services Youth Advisory
Board coordinators
Norfolk Children's Services
Family Focus; Family Support
Workers; Early Help Social
Workers; Young persons
Norfolk Youth Offending Team Youth justice worker
Matthew Project Unity Young persons substance misuse worker
Early Help Domestic Abuse Worker
Cambridgeshire Communities services - Duty Health Visitor
Action for Children and Diss Children's Centre

The Hub is available for any early
Help related practitioners to hot
desk or host team meetings.
Contact Amanda Smith
(asmith@s-norfolk.gov.uk) or
Mike Pursehouse
or call 01508 533933 for more

Do you have something at home which needs repairing? Bring it along to our Community Repair Hub!

The Community Repair Hub is all about repairing things, preventing them from being thrown away and saving money. Many of the things we have thrown away could still be fixed. Bring along broken items and work alongside the repair volunteers to learn how to fix them. If you have nothing to repair, you can always come to one of our workshops to learn a number of new skills.

Date: 10 October 2016
Time: 10am - 2pm
Venue: Breckland Hall, Costessey
Cost: Free! Donations towards the Chairman of the Council's charity are welcome

For more information, please see: www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/communityrepairhub.

FSP Core training dates

Training to be held at South Norfolk Council

11 October 2016
25 October 2016
17 November 2016
1 December 2016

Places can be booked by following the link below:


Community Repair Hub

Repair hub

Repairing is becoming a dying skill and we want to bring it back!  Come along to our NEW Repair Hub to divert your items from going to landfill and to bring those old items back to life again 

Many of the items we have thrown away could still be fixed. Bring along broken items and work alongside the repair volunteers to learn how to fix them. If you have nothing to repair, you can always come to one of our workshops to learn a number of new skills.  

Date: 10 October 2016
Time: 10am - 2pm
Venue: Breckland Hall, Costessey
Cost: Free! Donations towards the Chairman of the Council's charity are welcome

For more information, please see: www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/communityrepairhub

Contact Us

Are you interested in finding out more about the project, have an idea or want to get involved than please email Amanda Smith on asmith@s-norfolk.gov.uk or call 01508 533933.

Contact us