As part of the development of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA), the Council held consultation workshops and attended community events to hear from local communities about local assets and needs. 70 organisations took part in the workshops and conversations were held with 205 individuals. Community-based organisations were asked about their work and future ambitions to improve health, social care, and wellbeing in Coventry, and residents were asked about their experiences of living in the city. There is a wealth of social action taking place, and the Council is proposing ways to generate better connectivity and collaboration amongst community based and public sector organisations.
Feeding Coventry is opening the city’s first social supermarket in September 2019. This responds to issues identified around food poverty and food waste.
The social supermarket will sell food surplus, that is, perfectly good food that is not considered sellable in commercial supermarkets, at heavily discounted prices. This will help low income communities to access affordable and nutritious food.
The social supermarket has been made possible through the asset transfer of Foleshill Community Centre with funding from the Big Lottery Fund.
In addition, Feeding Coventry has launched an online crowd-funder to raise funds to support help deliver a programme of holiday food and fun clubs to ensure that every child has access to healthy food and fun activities.
The Disability Equality Action Partnership brings together representatives from a variety of groups supporting disabled people and the Council. This year, the group has launched a disabled shoppers charter to improve accessibility; a pavement parking awareness campaign; and is assisting with taxi inspections to ensure they have the straps to make wheelchairs secure.
The Council awarded bursaries to a range of community and voluntary organisations to improve their financial viability and long-term sustainability.
The Council and partners, including the Police, Crisis, WM Housing, change grow live, Salvation Army, Coventry University, Department for Work and Pensions and Mind, are working with people with lived experiences of homelessness, substance misuse and offending behaviour as “experts by experience” to co-design ways to improve the outcomes for people with multiple complex needs.
This year, experts by experience at The Arc CIC have contributed to the development of the city’s housing and homelessness strategy, helping unblock issues which are preventing vulnerable individuals from accessing support and accommodation.
Rough sleepers often have a range of health issues they need help to overcome. Steps for Change acts as a link to other support.
The Council is supporting Coventry and Warwickshire Mind to help provide funding and grants to encourage the growth and sustainability of peer support groups. Peer support is when people use their own experiences to help each other. It can happen on a one-to-one basis, online or in a group. It may involve a range of activities such as crafts, walking or meeting for coffee. The Council recognises that coming together with people experiencing similar problems can make a real difference.