NORTHWICH volunteers giving the ‘marginalised and excluded’ of Cheshire a voice are bidding for more than £250,000 of Government money.
Cheshire Community Voice (CCV) is an independent voluntary organisation, active for two years, helping individuals, service users, carers and their families to inform and influence the health and social care agenda.
The £257,000 launches Local Involvement Networks (LINks) which will give a greater number of local people a voice in commissioning health and social care, enabling them to influence key decisions about the services they use and pay for.
Hilda Yarker, chief executive of CCV, said: “It would enable us to build capacity in the community, providing training and support.”
So far, around five organisations are bidding for the cash, including national charities and private companies.
Hilda added: “If a big national charity gets it, what do they know about Cheshire and the people that live here? We’re here already.”
Applications must be in by the end of this month before presentations will be made by those shortlisted.
The charity’s objective is to influence the planning of services from the point of design to the commissioning stage through to final delivery.Š
Its website contains a database, currently with 250 people registered, for individuals to express their views on social care.
Hilda says: “I believe there’s power in numbers, there’s power in a collective voice saying: ‘That isn’t good enough’.
“It’s public money and should be spent wisely.
“Those at a senior level at PCTs are very much on board and are listening to the public. They want to know that they’re giving a service people want.”
One issue CCV will soon be inviting opinions on is the idea of direct payments for elderly care. Under the plans, relatives of those who have lost their independence would be given money and then choose to pay someone to look after their loved one or pay for a place in a care home.
If you would like further information about the work of CCV visit www.cheshirecommunityvoice.co.uk