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Independent living advice service awarded for transformation in health and social care – AT Today – Assistive Technology

The Isle of Wight’s independent living advice service has been awarded gold in the Transformation in Health and Social Care category in this year’s iESE Transformation Awards.

Now in its 14th year, the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards celebrates innovation and transformation by rewarding public sector organisations for their efforts in improving and transforming local public services.

The Living Well and Early Help service was jointly commissioned by the Isle of Wight Council and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (ICB) in April 2022, and delivered by Aspire Ryde, a community centre and registered charity in Ryde in the Isle of Wight, and its community partners.

Since then, the community-led partnership has helped to improve the lives of more than 2,390 Islanders, helping them to stay well, independent and connected with their local community.

This includes people living in some of the most remote areas of the Island, thanks to the launch in December of its innovative mobile support hub.

Trevor Nicholas, Chief Executive of Aspire Ryde, said: “This is fantastic recognition for the service that the Living Well and Early Help team are providing across the island.

“They are out in the community every day supporting people and building community resources to make a real difference to people’s lives.

“The award is a testament to close working between the Isle of Wight Council, the NHS and voluntary sector partners and it’s wonderful to have this recognised at a national level.

“We are really proud of our whole team who have worked so hard to achieve our vision for the service.”

As well as providing improved wellbeing and more sustainable community support, the service is also helping to reduce demand on the Island’s health and social care services.

Help can include anything from social contact and building people’s support circles, to referrals into community groups nearby or linking them with the job centre, Carers Isle of Wight, housing support, health and social care assistance or cost of living help, to name a few.

Laura Gaudion, the council’s Director of Adult Social Services, said the service was ultimately ensuring people received the right support, when and where they needed it.

“This is such a well-deserved accolade for a team that has truly put the community at the heart of their work — an outstanding service that empowers people to maximise their independence, while reducing the need for statutory interventions,” she said.

Dr Michele Legg, Island GP and Clinical Director for Isle of Wight at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (ICB), commented: “Huge congratulations to the Living Well and Early Help team.

“This is such important work to keep people well at home and a blueprint for how all the different parts of the health and care system can work together for the benefit of our patients and communities.”

Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, paised the service: “I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in the Living Well and Early Help Service.

“Our aspirations are for people to live independent lives in their own homes and to have the support and help they require.

“This incredible service is helping us to achieve just that — reaching out across our Island in a progressive, responsive dynamic manner increasing access to support for local people in their own communities.”

The Isle of Wight Council recently recommissioned its independent living advice and guidance service to continue to help people to live as independently as possible in their own homes.

The Independent Living Centre closed and reopened in April 2023 as ‘The Independent Support Centre’.

Led by the Isle of Wight Council’s award-winning Living Well and Early Help Service, free, impartial support is available on a wide range of daily living equipment and aids.

Staff and volunteers aim to help residents choose the right product for their needs by offering advice about specific disability aids, equipment and services over the phone, by email or in-person at one of its Independent Living Support Clinics held across the Island.

Residents have the opportunity to try items before committing to buying or hiring, such as walking frames, perching stools, kitchen equipment, household gadgets, bath boards, telecare equipment and sensory support products.

Staff can also advise people on grants and discounts they may be entitled to, or ways to make energy saving changes to their home to reduce bills.

Laura Gaudion, the council’s director of adult social care and housing needs, added: “The changes in the way we offer support to local people is fully aligned to what Island residents have told us that they want.

“The excellent service provided historically by People Matter IW at the Independent Living Centre has created a strong foundation on which we have been able to build a new offer based in our local communities.

“We are grateful to People Matter IW for their support and look forward to this further evolution of the nationally recognised Living Well and Early Help offer.”

The Living Well and Early Help Service is delivered by Aspire Ryde with community partners such as Pan Together, Ventnor Town Council and West Wight Sports and Community Centre.


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Rizwan Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed
AuditStudent.com, founded by Rizwan Ahmed, is an educational platform dedicated to empowering students and professionals in the all fields of life. Discover comprehensive resources and expert guidance to excel in the dynamic education industry.


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