People Like Us (PLUS)
Joint Statement from ONSIDE, Worcestershire County Council and the Integrated Care Board.
We regret to inform you that the contract for the PLUS (People Like Us) service is coming to an end and therefore the service will close on 31 March 2024. The service having been in operation for four years has reached the end of its contract period. It has supported hundreds of people to improve their connections throughout this time and contributed to tackle loneliness and isolation throughout Worcestershire. The Public Health team at Worcestershire County Council and NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire ICB, and Onside Advocacy and its sub-contractors are working together closely to make sure current service users are supported.
If you’re currently receiving support, this will continue as planned in line with your goals.
Tackling loneliness and isolation continues to be a priority for the County and work continues to address this. Together, we are capturing learning from the PLUS service and are identifying ways to integrate support for lonely and/or isolated people of all ages, across the county.
The existing service, aligned with the original model of delivery of up to six months support, will continue to accept referrals up to the end of November 2023. However, a light touch service will be available for referral until 15th January 2024.This may include limited one to one support, group and drop in options along with matching up with volunteers.
Onside Advocacy, Worcestershire County Council and the Integrated Care Board would like to thank everyone who has used, supported and contributed to the service including the hundreds of volunteers who have worked to increase connections for those in need.
There are a number of existing local groups and activities to support anyone feeling lonely or isolated. Please visit the loneliness and isolation page of Worcestershire County Council’s website for more information.