Combining Personalisation and Community Empowerment (CPCE)

Combining Personalisation and Community Empowerment (CPCE) is based on a) the ability of individuals to control their own budgets when assessed as requiring social support by a Local Authority, b) the rightful expectation of quality service delivery and c) a community wanting ownership of that delivery. Its benefits are: DERiC has been working since 2010 to put CPCE programmes into place. We have been able to raise cornerstone funding from BigSocietyCapital (BSC) of over £1m to invest in 7 CPCE programmes.

We are currently working in Leeds (4 programmes), Belfast (1 programme) and Sandwell (1 programme). Further work is being undertaken in other Local Authority areas to develop the final BSC supported CPCE programme.

In addition DERiC is setting up two further investment funds which will enable the CPCE programme to be further expanded.

How DERIC chooses its local authority partners

In its work so far DERIC has formed partnerships with Belfast, Leeds and Sandwell. In choosing these local authorities to work with DERIC evolved a number of criteria. These apply to all DERIC/CPCE initiatives. They are:
  1. The local authority partner must already be in an advanced position (and have a strong culture at all levels within its operations), in its implementation of individual budgets (both Direct Payments and/or Individual Budgets). This lies at the heart of the personalisation agenda. Without substantial progress in this area the local authority will not be able to embrace CPCE.

  2. CPCE requires full and committed political ‘buy in’. This was obtained at very early stages in Leeds in particular, and was an essential driver for progress. CPCE is both exciting and innovative and local politicians must own it.

  3. Similarly, DERIC has ensured that senior and Chief Officer approval, enthusiasm and drive have to be in position to ensure that CPCE will work. CPCE will change much that is familiar in local authorities and they must be able to embrace this change.

  4. On a day to day development basis local authority partners must have effective and creative development capacity able to address the detail of preparation and implementation of CPCE programmes within the local authority.

  5. Local authorities must ‘see’ the whole CPCE concept and be able to articulate it and understand its operation within their own context. Wanting merely to make savings in the cost of their services is not enough. They have to be able to work at an effective pace and not be tied down to lengthy processes that will suffocate progress.

  6. There must also be a strong commitment to community engagement and empowerment. (These are not the same thing: the former is about consultation and involvement but the latter is about handing over responsibility to communities and supporting them to achieve mutual goals).

  7. The local authority must have a track record of innovation and the ability to initiate first steps/actions on CPCE quickly. quickly.

  8. Finally, any local authority wishing to take on the CPCE approach must be prepared to invest matching funding and/or development resource support for community based CPCE programmes being progressed through new community owned social enterprises. Not only is this a DERIC ‘condition’ it is in any case an essential precondition, which DERIC uses to illustrate the levels of overall commitment that the seven previous points above seek to discover. Without matching support CPCE cannot work.
All eight of these criteria have to be met before DERIC will invest in a CPCE programme.

How DERIC identifies and works with possible new local communities to implement CPCE

The eight criteria described in the previous section give the basis for initiating work by DERiC to develop a CPCE partnership in a local authority area. In addition the following more detailed process mapping will be utilised.
  1. Following an initial period of exploration and investigation together a submission will be prepared for the DERIC Board with an analysis of the possible potential for future investment.

  2. The DERIC Board approves in principle and initiates a ‘proof of concept’ period. DERIC’s advisers work with the key stakeholders in the local authority and the local community to explore the local capacity, help develop the expertise and where appropriate support the development of a new social enterprise. The local authority partner is expected to place matching funding/resource support into the programme at this stage and the programme carries out exploratory case study work to demonstrate how the CPCE process will work in practice. The local community will produce a business plan for its future work and this will be endorsed by the local authority. This is the business plan that will set out the basis for potential DERIC investment.

  3. Each local community will need to adopt a series of ‘brand characteristics’ which reflect the uniqueness of the CPCE approach.

  4. DERIC’s advisers will report back to the Board on the progress achieved with recommendations on whether to proceed with investment or not. This report will include:

    • an overall progress report
    • a business plan and financial model of the local community social enterprise
    • agreement from the local authority to match fund and repay DERIC
    • evidence that proof of concept work has demonstrated CPCE can work locally
    • terms of a DERIC investment plan with match funding proposals and timings


Brand Characteristics of a local community owned CPCE programme

The characteristics of the CPCE brand are:

CPCE – some examples

CLARE - Belfast

CLARE began in Mount Vernon - an estate of approximately 800 people in North Belfast. During the period of the conflict in Northern Ireland, Mount Vernon was one of the most traumatised settings.

With the support of the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland, DERiC has helped to establish a CPCE programme aimed in the first instance at supporting local FACS eligible people in inner north Belfast.

Beginning in Mount Vernon an implementation steering group took the decision to develop a consortium of communities and community agencies initially covering a population of 6000 people in North Belfast. This will be expanded at the end of two years to cover the inner North Belfast area partnership covering 14,000 people.

Mount Vernon has established a separate Community Interest Company (CiC) “CLARE”, to take forward the CPCE work and the board members represent the wider Loughview area.

CLARE appointed a Programme Manager in October 2013 working with a seconded senior social worker from the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, alongside two community development workers who have been responsible for developing community based social capital.

DERiC is investing £150,000 in CLARE and the Public Health Agency will be providing a similar sum.

'Local Links' - Leeds

Leeds has a national reputation for the work that has been carried out under their Neighbourhood Network (NN’s) initiative which has been in place since 1994. There are currently 37 NN’s receiving funding from Leeds City Council and Leeds PCT of approximately £2.3m core funding per annum each. Each NN is owned and run by local people and has been able to add extra services using community volunteering (“social capital”) and other resources including fund raising. However, until Leeds embraced CPCE NN’s only worked with non FACS eligible people. (i.e. those not in receipt of statutory services.)

Leeds City Council has set up a single Project Advisory Board for CPCE, which has been renamed ‘Local Links’ in Leeds.

Two programmes have been developed so far.

Armley Helping Hands (AHH)

The first CPCE programme is based in Armley Helping Hands (AHH) in the inner south area of the city covering the areas of Armley and Wortley.

AHH is a national award winning organisation. It serves a population of nearly 40,000 people and will be implementing Local Links through a separately established CiC for the CPCE programme. AHH has recently appointed a social worker to act as community broker to develop the Local Links service

DERiC is investing £150,000 in Armley Helping Hands

Garforth Net

Garforth is a Neighbourhood Network in rural east Leeds. It has an outstanding reputation and has already developed a wide range of potential community support inputs as well as having taken its preparation for CPCE work beyond proof of concept stage.

Garforth appointed two job share staff to its Local Links programme in October 2013 – a social worker and an occupational therapist.

DERiC is investing £150,000 in Garforth.

Further Local Links programmes in Leeds

In addition Leeds City Council and DERiC are in the process of establishing 2 further Local Links programmes to take the total number in Leeds up to four altogether. DERiC will be investing in these also.