Diss hub will help provide support for town’s struggling families

James Joyce

James Joyce - Credit: Archant

A help centre is to be set up in Diss to reduce the number of families reaching a crisis point because of the town's higher levels of deprivation.

The town has been chosen to be first of Norfolk's 'family help hubs' because it faces 'higher than average levels of deprivation and unemployment', said James Joyce, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for safeguarding.

The hub will consist of staff from voluntary and public sector organisations, like the police, as well as county and district councils.

The idea is that the hub will be able to look at a family's whole needs, rather than have separate organisations deal with their problems without communicating with each other.

Mr Joyce said: 'It is common sense to look at all the needs of a family when we are working with them because if they are facing domestic violence or substance misuse issues then we need to help them overcome all of these issues and we can't do that in isolation.

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'This model will allow us to look at the underlying cause of their problems and prevent them from needing to access services again and again.

Mr Joyce added that Diss was also chosen because it has a 'very active community with good resources and we feel it will welcome and embrace this approach'.

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Diss county councillor Jenny Chamberlain said: 'The rural nature of the town can make can create a range of difficulties for families and some can find themselves working with a range of agencies and professionals, which can be overwhelming. This new model will help ensure a more joined up approach.'

What do you think about the level of support for families in Norfolk? Write, giving your full contact details, to EDPLetters@archant.co.uk

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