Principles met

  • We will promote community-based approaches to economic development that focus on supporting the creation of jobs, social enterprises and other businesses and providing an environment for co-operative and mutual enterprises to thrive.
  • We will embrace innovation in how we work with local communities to drive positive change.
  • We will support the development of a framework and criteria for social value, giving substance to the concept and supporting Councils with the tools to ensure better local social and economic outcomes.
  • In exploring new ways of meeting the priority needs of our communities we will encourage models, such as co-operatives and mutuals, which give greater influence and voice to staff and users. in designing and commissioning public services and in determining the use of public resources.

ReferKent launched in September 2022. The initiative was driven by a working group made up of different agencies from the public and voluntary sector across Kent. The group identified a need to mitigate the action of signposting. Often people are signposted from one organisation to another, and the person being signposted can feel as if no one is helping. If the person is not confident in reaching out, they may not get the help and support they need to remain resilient and end up falling further into hardship.

Services in Kent were also seeing an increase in people presenting to them with complex issues for which their specialist organisation could not provide support and they were therefore regularly signposting to other organisations. There was a growing need to implement a secure online referral system that allowed referrals to be made rather than a signpost.

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