Council pledges £1m to support Breckland’s most vulnerable people
PUBLISHED: 15:55 02 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:15 02 March 2020
Antonio Guillem/Getty Images/Breckland Council
More than £1m has been set aside for a range of projects designed to help some of Norfolk’s most vulnerable people.
Breckland Council's new vulnerability programme is aimed at tackling growing issues including county lines drug dealing and child exploitation, as well as supporting victims of domestic abuse.
The cash pot will fund opportunities for those at risk of becoming socially isolated in later life, while also helping people experiencing poor mental health.
Various individual schemes are set to be delivered over the next three years after the proposal was agreed at the council's budget setting meeting on Thursday, February 27.
Breckland Council leader, Sam Chapman-Allen, said: "When a new leader takes over, you have got to put a marker down. When I took over in May, I asked 'what is going to be my marker?'
"Growing up in Thetford I saw the challenges people were facing on a daily basis, and that partner agencies - the police, councils, health services, charities - were not always engaging with each other.
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"These issues can affect anybody and Breckland is not immune, but we are putting our money where our mouth is and investing heavily in support for our residents.
"We've worked hard to balance our books and that means we are able to set aside considerable sums of money for these important projects."
Among the projects to be funded under this programme is Silver Social, an arts scheme touring the district with the aim of reducing social isolation.
More than £170k will be invested in projects to be delivered alongside expert organisations such as The Daisy Programme, which supports victims of domestic abuse.
Meanwhile, mental health first aid training will be made available as the council strives for mental health to be considered equally as important as physical health.
Rob Walker, director of place at Breckland Council, added: "Our thought with this programme was, if we put a bit of money behind something with regards to vulnerability in Breckland, what can we achieve for the better?
"We're looking at developing the types of relationships where we are being proactive rather than reactive.
"If we can spend money preventing and predicting the trigger points in people's lives, we'll be providing a better service and helping people as well."