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Strong and Vibrant Communities conference

Age UK West Sussex, Independent Lives, Healthwatch West Sussex, 4Sight, Sussex Oakleaf, Carers Support West Sussex and Aldingbourne Tust represent some of the larger community-based service providers operating in health and social care in West Sussex.

In 2013, the seven charities formed the Community Solutions Consortium with the purpose of sharing best practice and collaboration. 

In November 2018, the Community Solutions Consortium co-produced the Strong and Vibrant Communities conference exploring greater collaboration and partnership to support and strengthen our communities in West Sussex.

The conference celebrated the expertise and excellence in our local third sector and challenged all stakeholders across health and social care to work more closely in partnership. Read the conference evaluation report.

Social Metrics Commission 2019 Report

A new report published today by the Social Metrics Commission (SMC) highlights the scale of the challenge facing new Prime Minister Boris Johnson when it comes to tackling poverty across the UK. The report reveals that 4.5 million people are more than 50% below the poverty line, and 7 million people are living in persistent poverty.

The SMC’s 2019 report is an update on its 2018 publication proposing a new measure of poverty for the country, and follows the Government’s announcement that it would develop experimental national statistics based on the approach. The new report provides a detailed overview of the extent and nature of poverty in the UK today and original analysis that shows how this has changed since 2000/01.

It shows that, despite fluctuations, overall rates of poverty have changed relatively little since the millennium. The current rate of poverty is 22%, which is the same as last year and only slightly lower than the 24% seen in 2000/01. However, this trend hides significant changes in rates of poverty among different groups. Poverty rates amongst pension-age adults fell steadily from 19% in 2000/01 to 9% in 2014/15 but have since risen slightly to 11%. Similarly, poverty rates among children dropped from 36% in 2000/01 to 31% in 2014/15, but have now risen slightly to 34%.

You can find the full report here.

Ensuring we are all safer in Sussex

See below for the latest update from the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne OBE:

'This week, local councillors told me that they are seeing an increasing amount of community groups being set up on Facebook and other social media sites. These are then used, by members of the public, to disseminate information around policing and community safety concerns.

As it stands, Sussex Police can not always join these groups and reassure it’s members or ‘myth bust’ some of the inaccurate information shared. Forces across the country are having discussions with social media platforms to find a better way that officers and staff can monitor these groups and communicate better with its members.

I launched an online poll this week asking residents to tell me where they hear policing news. The results will help me and Sussex Police understand just how prevelant this type of information sharing is across Sussex communities. Have your say here.

Over the last couple of months I have been engaging with Sussex residents at events across the county as part of my #TalkSussex programme. Tomorrow I will be at the Eastbourne 999 weekend on the Western Lawns. If you live in the area please do come along and share your views on policing and community safety with me. You can also find a list of other events which my office will be attending over the coming months here.'

Applying for funding: a step-by-step guide

People with physical and learning disabilities are being encouraged to apply for funding to help support them at work.

The Government’s ‘Access to Work’ grant can be used to pay for practical assistance at work including special equipment and adaptations, a job coach, interpreters, counselling, taxi fares and specific software.

West Sussex County Council has produced a series of videos that explain how to apply for the funding. The videos are a step by step guide to completing the ‘Access to Work’ application process as well as tips about working when you have a disability.

Watch the videos here.

Events & Training

Keeping People Safe

Independent Lives is launching a project called 'Keeping People Safe', in partnership with Disabled People's Voice and funded by Skills for Care. We will be running Basic First Aid, Manual Handling and Medication for PAs and individual employers. The training will be held at various locations across West Sussex and Hampshire.

Every person who attends one of the training sessions will also receive a Free Safeguarding Adults training workbook & Infection Control training workbook.

For a full list of available dates and venues or to book a place on the training, please visit our website:, or email [email protected]

Disabled Peoples Voice will be offering funded training for PAs under the name "’Working Together: building a rewarding professional relationship“ and will hold four, one day training sessions for existing PAs focusing on the PA/Employer working relationship. Each session will cover: The Social Model of Disability, Active Listening, Empowering your employer – ensuring choice and enabling independence & Building strong professional relationships. The full details and booking will be available on their website shortly.

Please note - This funding is only available to PAs and Individual employers who work with the adult workforce (over 18 years of age).