Project Bridge is an independently facilitated project to co-produce innovative solutions to challenges identified by our communities. It brings together partners from diverse backgrounds on an equal footing - including the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE), the council, Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the local NHS hospital trust and any other interested parties.
Project Bridge has already redesigned our sitting service for unpaid carers. When redesigning the service we heard about the human cost of unreliable sitting services - in one instance a carer missed their chemotherapy appointment. Since the redesign we've heard wonderful stories, including a very serendipitous matching of a lady who loves getting her nails done with a retired beautician looking to give back to the community.
Project Bridge has also looked at volunteering, getting people home from hospital quicker, rough sleeping and childhood obesity.
We know that there are groups across the city who - for complex social, economic or structural reasons - have not always managed to make their voices heard when it comes to solving our city's challenges. Future areas of focus for Project Bridge include:
- Better outcomes - for the voluntary and community sector to work collaboratively with the statutory sector.
- Volunteering - to make volunteering sustainable by attracting new volunteers and supporting existing volunteers.
- Bringing people home (from hospital) - to work between Health, NHS, CCG, Portsmouth City Council and the voluntary sector to help bring people home from hospital.
- Social Enterprise - to consider how social enterprises can provide a more robust market to better support a personalised offer for Adult Social Care enabled by technology.
- Young people at risk of exploitation - to align police, child services, education, leisure, business, transport, health, housing and the council to solve this complex issue.
- Childhood obesity - uniting the voluntary, community and statutory sector to discuss the complex issue of childhood obesity.
- Replacement for the sitting service - My Time was launched in 2018 and is an innovative replacement for the existing sitting service. 87 people have been supported since its launch. The focus is now being expanded to focus on not only the carer and the person they care for, but to anyone who would like a befriender or support to get out and about.