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Report aims to help public and voluntary sector services to work together

A report aimed at improving the way local services in Argyll and Bute are delivered has been published. Local services deliver health and social care, provide community space and leisure activities, and offer environmental support such as recycling.

The Argyll and Bute Local Services Initiative Report highlights what the ‘critical factors’ are for delivering services in partnership with others and include understanding of customers’ needs, better communication, the importance of support networks and more recognition of the value of services to customers.

Argyll and Bute Council, Argyll and Bute Social Enterprise Network, Argyll Voluntary Action, NHS Highland and the University of Strathclyde have worked together on the report to find ways for the public and voluntary sectors to work more closely. Funding for the partnership project was provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Welcoming the report, Argyll and Bute Council Leader Roddy McCuish said

‘The council is committed to thinking creatively and working in partnership in order to continue to deliver the services valued by the communities. We will work closely with voluntary, community and social enterprise groups as well as other public bodies and members of our communities in order to offer the best possible services.’

Details of ten Argyll and Bute case study projects are in the report. These were chosen in order to illustrate the challenges of delivering services in a climate of reduced budgets and growing need. It is hoped that groups delivering services or wishing to deliver services can learn from these examples.

The project was initially set up with the Carnegie UK Trust who wished to use the information gained from social enterprise projects in Argyll and Bute which have demonstrated resourcefulness, such as Atlantis Leisure.

Martyn Evans, Chief Executive, Carnegie UK Trust said

‘The Carnegie UK Trust welcomes the launch of the Argyll and Bute Local Services Initiative final report and case studies. After three years of partnership support for this work exploring new local collaborations between the public sector and social enterprise, this report contains significant points of learning for organisations and individuals in Argyll and Bute and beyond.’

Margaret Somerville, Director of Public Health at partner organisation NHS Highland, said

‘NHS Highland welcomes the publication of this report. I recognise the importance of the social enterprise sector in delivering services in our remote and rural communities and the role the public sector plays in how we commission these services. Meaningful employment is at the heart of healthy lifestyles and social enterprises play an essential role in building a diverse economy.’

The Argyll and Bute Local Services Report is available in full from

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