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In early 2015 PAVO carried out a mapping exercise of the third sector's capability in Powys, particularly in relation to the changing eligibility criteria for Social Care. This was undertaken in response to the growing expectations being placed upon the sector to support people who will no longer be eligible for social care. The mapping exercise had a particular focus upon third sector befriending services, information services and advocacy services.

Key findings from the exercise include:

  • Respondent organisations provide services to 35,400 individuals a year, delivered by 577 staff (280.2 fte) and 1,757 volunteers.
  • Employed staff contribute £2,857,619.70 p.a. to the economy of Powys
  • Volunteers' direct contribution is valued at £4,109,368 p.a. These figures do not take into account the added social value that the activities of staff and volunteers generate.
  • The archetypal third sector organisations in Powys that delivers the H&SC services referenced in the consultation on social care eligibility criteria change
    • employs 9 - 10 members of staff
    • employs most staff on a part time basis, with an average fte of 4.6
    • has overall employment costs that are lower than in the statutory sector
    • deploys 29 volunteers who make an overall contribution valued at £67,366.69 p.a. provides services to 580 clients
    • provides 11 hours of volunteer support to each client with a notional value of £115.06
  • The gaps in service, where not currently being addressed, require attention
  • An agreed definition of the service levels encompassed by the terms 'befriending' and 'good neighbours' would benefit both commissioners and service providers, as would an understanding of the way in which these may differ from practical services.
  • PAVO's Third Sector Broker Service and infoengine provide access to and information about these services. Through their work in PPD the brokers act as a conduit for both H&SC professionals and individuals into the services.
  • Important strategic decisions have to be taken on whether to nurture, grow and develop a third sector in Powys that is local in nature, grass roots up and uses local resources and assets or whether to make choices based solely on market cost.
  • The majority of service providers are able to meet the current requirement for their services but do not have the capacity to deal with increased demand.
  • The capability of the respondent organisations is overall of a very high level, though constrained by lack of or uncertainty about the necessary funding to deliver the level of service that will be required in the future.
  • All organisations have safeguarding policies in place and, where required, POVA trained staff so that those referring clients in to the services can have confidence that the clients will be supported safely and competently.
  • Most organisations have attained or are working towards quality standards. As with all organisations that seek to deliver a high quality of service, there is always a desire for continuous improvement; development needs have been identified and will be met by PAVO's Third Sector Development Team. However, while much of this work is part of PAVO's currently funded service, the additional requirement may mean that, without extra capacity, not all demands can be met immediately.
  • Support or information on governance and on strategic and business planning will be crucial in the ongoing development of effective and sustainable organisations.
  • PAVO's Powys Volunteer Centre, supported by the Third Sector Development Team, will work with organisations to build their capacity to recruit and place volunteers, ensuring that they are suitably trained to deliver safe and appropriate services, while also ensuring that the roles of volunteers enhance, rather than impinging on, those of the paid workforce in the organisations
  • It is important to acknowledge and resource the contribution that is expected that third sector organisations will make towards meeting Moderate ASC needs.
  • Without long term funding, including both commitments from current funders and a move towards more self-generated funds, the current level of services may not be maintained and cannot be increased to meet a future rise in demand as a result of a change in the eligibility criteria for social care in the county from Moderate to Substantial.
  • There is considerable scope for further development of chargeable services and other sources of self-generated income.

The full report on the findings of the exercise 'Mapping Third Sector Capability and Resilience in Powys' is available here

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