Celebrating Social Enterprise in Kirklees: Locala Health & Wellbeing
For Global Entrepreneurship Week & Social Enterprise Day 2021
‘Caring for you locally’
Locala Community Partnership CIC (trading as Locala Health and Wellbeing) is a social enterprise that is proud to provide a variety of NHS community healthcare services to people in Kirklees, Calderdale and Bradford. As a social enterprise their ethos is supporting people to have better lives by investing all resources into local communities. As Locala is a membership organisation colleagues, in partnership with community representatives, make key decisions about the services provided, and how communities are supported. Their head office is in Batley.
Healthcare services care for, and support people, from before birth to end of life, ranging from health visitors to physiotherapy, and sexual health to district nursing, as well as dental care, school nurses, and foot care. Locala works closely with GPs, Social Services, other local NHS organisations and Local Authorities to deliver a co-ordinated approach to care and support, and aim to provide high quality, value for money care and support people closer to home.
As a social enterprise Locala is able to tailor services to meet the needs of local communities – and financial surplus is re-invested straight back into supporting patient care and community projects.
Locala was well placed to develop and support initiatives to enhance support for communities through the Covid pandemic.
This was done in a number of ways that included additional funding to support partners in the voluntary sector struggling as a result of Covid. £75,000 was given to The Kirkwood Hospice at a time of great need for them and an additional £23,144 was given in small grants to voluntary sector organisations across Kirklees, Calderdale and Bradford. This was on top of the £28,157 given through the Community Fund early in the year.
A network of relationships was strengthened with the voluntary sector in Kirklees, through work with Third Sector Leaders, and the Community Anchor organisations. This was done to better understand local need, and to enable conversations with Primary Care Networks to develop community projects with their support and engagement.
At the start of the pandemic Locala’s Engagement Team turned their work to ensuring services could access additional support for vulnerable patients. Where required the team themselves took food parcels or made befriending calls to ensure isolated patients were supported. A colleague befriending scheme was established where isolated colleagues were supported by Locala’s Volunteering Team to give their time to phoning isolated patients. This initiative has now been running successfully for more than 12 months.
In partnership with local authorities more than 700 laptops were purchased for pupils working at home in Kirklees and Calderdale, and a digital inclusion project was launched in partnership with TSL Kirklees, to give access to technology for those who might be isolated. This project is run in partnership with the TSL Kirklees Community Anchor Network who each have a provision of tablets that they are able to give on long-term loan to those that will benefit from them, along with training to sue them. This could be for reasons of loneliness, trying to get into work, or getting access to support services.
Graduate Internship Programme
As part of Locala’s commitment to social value, and in response to the challenges Covid created for young people setting out in their careers, a Graduate Internship Programme was developed and launched.
This provides local graduates with the opportunity to take the first steps on their employment journey, develop their skills and talents, and gain real-life work experience. The Programme aims to support the aspirations of young people and establish Locala as an employer of the future, and since May 2021 nine Graduate Interns have been welcomed into the organisation.
Graduate Interns support a variety of corporate teams from Business Development to Colleague Engagement, Communications to Estates, Executive Management to Medicines Optimisation and Organisational Development to Transformation. Most have been recruited from local universities, including The University of Bradford, The University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Trinity University and The University of Huddersfield, which has further developed our partnership working with educational institutions.
The internships enable graduates to develop their skills and talents in a professional and challenging yet supportive environment, and provide Interns with access to a range of opportunities designed to support their personal and professional development, including Coaching, Leadership Development and Quality Improvement. Interns are part of a Graduate Network which enables them to share experiences and support their peers.
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