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Our December Newsletter is out!

Local Area Coordination in England and Wales

December 2023

Updates on Local Area Coordination, the work of the Network and
the areas implementing the approach.

In this edition we’ll be covering:

  • Hello and Welcome
  • Convening Conversations
  • Congratulations to Swansea
  • Publications
  • Events, Training & Campaigns
  • Useful Blogs
  • New Social Leaders

Read all about it here.

Sign up to receive future copies to your inbox here.

A note from from Tom Richards,
Manager of the Local Area Coordination Network

Hello and welcome to the Local Area Coordination Network Newsletter!

We hope you’re well and looking forward to the holiday season. As 2023 draws to a close, we wanted to take this opportunity to look back on some of the big achievements over the past year, and to share what lies ahead for the Network in 2024.              Circle reading 'News'

Let’s start with what really matters. People. This year, thousands of people and whole families in 130+ neighbourhoods across the country have drawn on the support of their Local Area Coordinator. This means walking alongside people while they build their vision of what a good life looks like for them, and working out the plans and practical actions needed to achieve this vision together, no matter how small each step forward is, and no matter how long this takes. Collectively, Local Area Coordinators and their wider teams are helping to redefine what public service looks like, putting people, rather than services, back in the driving seat. Learn more about people building good lives for themselves here.

One of the 10 principles of Local Area Coordination is Lifelong Learning: something we deeply believe in and uphold within the Local Area Coordination Network, and this year was no exception. In 2023, we hosted 26 Network events to bring Local Area Coordinators and leaders together from across the Network, from our Regional and National Network Gatherings, to specialist training, to monthly Network meetings. We’ve facilitated 43 area-specific planning sessions, team development days, and inductions with teams across the Network, supporting teams with their ongoing reflective practice, which is vital in order to maintain the integrity of the approach.

It’s also been a huge year for Local Area Coordination research and evaluations, with the launch of a new study examining the physiological and psychological effects of being alongside a Local Area Coordinator (read about this new study here), and the first multi-site evaluation of Local Area Coordination concluding this year, funded by the National Institute for Health Research and led by the Universities of Hull and Sheffield, due to be launched in 2024.

This year we were thrilled to welcome South Tyneside Council, Oxfordshire County Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster City Council into the Network. These areas could not be more different in many ways, but all have a deep desire to build on what’s strong in people’s lives and communities. Each recognises the need to strip away the bureaucracy that gets in the way of building trust and connections with people, to ensure people have the right support, at the right time, in the right way, thus preventing people from falling deeper into crisis, which requires greater levels of support from services further down the line. Local Area Coordination is being increasingly recognised for its role in championing and delivering these aims, and over the past year we have presented at and convened a number of high-profile events and conversations allowing us to spread the vision and inspire action in new areas (read more about some of that recent work in this Newsletter’s main article). Beyond that, the approach is increasingly recognised and cited by others too. Here are just a few examples of publications this year where Local Area Coordination has been mentioned as good practice and a much needed strategy for change:

Adult Social Care: 3 Steps to Achieve “A Gloriously Ordinary Life”

Reimagining Care Commission

Thousands See Benefit of Swansea Local Area Coordinator Scheme

What Councils Need to Unlock Place-Based Prevention

NHS at 75: Why the Workforce Plan Should Start with Communities

It’s not been a year without some real challenges, for the communities Local Area Coordinators are embedded in, and for the services people draw on. The financial pressures councils face hit the headlines every week. Voluntary sector organisations face similar difficulties. The demand for services is only increasing. But herein lies the opportunity to do something different. Councils already doing Local Area Coordination are demonstrating the potential for significant cost savings and avoidance and, even more importantly, the growth, independence, and supportive relationships people gain while working towards people building their good life. There has never been a better time to start a conversation about Local Area Coordination, so please get in touch at

It’s been a huge year for Local Area Coordination and for the Network, and so it’s only right that we end by saying a big thank you to all of our wonderful members for your hard work over the past year. We hope you all have some well-deserved rest over the next couple of weeks, and we’re looking forward to seeing you all in 2024!

Enjoy the newsletter!

Tom Richards