ACT's Current & Past Projects

Recruiting for potential from under-represented groups

Recruitment into the sector is an on-going challenge and it's important to consider new ways in which to recruit and retain a workforce fit for the future demands on services. We must look at recruiting from pools of potential talent and it is recognised that these may not come from traditional recruitment methods. 

In August 2017 ACT was awarded funding to manage the delivery of an exciting new project, which will concentrate on working with and supporting a group of 12 people in Herefordshire to gain entry level qualifications in social care & health. 

The programme of learning will ensure the group have a greater understanding of job roles/career opportunities within the sector and to gain the skills and confidence to apply for employment opportunities within the sector. 

The project will engage with both health and social care employers from across Herefordshire who are willing to support a variety of different employment opportunities including job trials, work experience, volunteer vacancies and where appropriate recruit into employment vacancies.

If you would like to know more about this project please contact melissa@actforfunding.org

Integrated Care Transformation Theme 2016/17

What is self-care??? It is important to recognise what self-care is and what it means. Self-care is about individuals, families and communities accessing ways and methods of promoting good health and well-being.

This may include some the of the public health initiatives, for example healthy eating and improving exercise. There is also evidence that some diseases can be prevented through changes in lifestyle such as type 2 diabetes and liver disease through prolonged alcohol consumption.

When citizens are supported to take ownership of their conditions this can promote self-esteem and a person will feel more confident and able to engage and manage their illness or disability with support of other stakeholders or partnerships.

The media are currently talking a lot about adult mental health, particularly where support can be gained. Telephone and on-line chat rooms for support with mental health is becoming increasingly popular with people who need someone to listen to them before possibly accessing further services.

The government have promised to increase the resources available for mental health, particularly adolescent mental health. We need to consider the IT skills of this age group who will be more likely to access support in a digital way.

When we are looking at the benefits to self-care we need consider the possible outcomes, for example; it can lead to safe and effective care that supports early diagnosis and prevention. The earlier a condition is diagnosed the better the chances there are of the person/patient being able to live well with that diagnosis and possibly avoid acute or long term care. It can also support the person with a quicker recovery. Being able to remain independent and make choices throughout a person’s life can lead to the person/patient having a positive journey and also support the use and intervention of appropriate resources to meet desired outcomes .

Health Education England is working in partnership with ACT and a number of social care partnerships in the West Midlands to promote a set of valuable tools and resources to encourage self-care as part of the Integrated Care Transformation Theme Programme (ICTT). This work is part of a wider programme to improve integrated working across health, social care and other organisations.

Self-Care Resources now available via online portal

As part of the West Midlands Integrated Care Transformation Theme we are proud to announce the launch of a range of self-care resources via the HEE West Midlands Learning Portal.

The programme has identified a set of valuable tools and resources for self-care. These are now available via one easy to access portal to all care workers, unpaid carers, patients/citizens and commissioners.

http://learning.wm.hee.nhs.uk/self-care

Face-to-face learning opportunity

As part of this project ACT is supporting the delivery of Essentials in Care Training across Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Coventry, Warwickshire and The Black Country in partnership with Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire and St Richards Hospice.

For more information please contact: debbie@actforfunding.org 0787 5136686 or 01905 420715

On-line learning support

Essentials in Care on-line training programme http://www.elfh.org.uk/programmes/essentials-in-care/ complete a set of modules and download a certificate. Organisations need an NMDS account/registration number to make the most of this resource.

Falls Prevention

A best practice research report and Falls Prevention resources have now been uploaded to the portal http://learning.wm.hee.nhs.uk/node/889

Peer Support Networks

There is also opportunity to join local ‘Peer Support Network’ which will enable; sharing good practice, ongoing dissemination of information, coordinated discussions and link to other regional/national work. Networks will be established by March 2017.

We would appreciate your support in promoting these resources and the opportunity to become part of a ‘peer support network’ through your networks. To join a local network or to provide feedback/suggestions on resources please email debbie@actforfunding.org

Workshops for voluntary organisations.

If you are a voluntary organisation and would like the opportunity to gain more information and links into local networks, we would appreciate your input and support. Many organisations do incredible support behind the scenes; we need to ensure that communities are aware of where they can access on-going support. If you would like a workshop to share the concept of self-care and digital innovation please contact debbie@actforfunding.org for more details on how you can get involved.

Making Every Contact Count (MECC)

Making Every Contact Count is an approach to behaviour change that utilises the millions of day to day interactions that organisations and individuals have with other people to support them in making positive changes to their physical and mental health and wellbeing. MECC enables the opportunistic delivery of consistent and concise healthy lifestyle information and enables individuals to engage in conversations about their health at scale across organisations and populations. The fundamental idea underpinning the MECC approach is simple. It recognises that staff across health, local authority and voluntary sectors, have thousands of contacts every day with individuals and are ideally placed to promote health and healthy lifestyles.

  • For organisations, MECC means providing their staff with the leadership, environment, training and information that they need to deliver the MECC approach.
  • For staff, MECC means having the competence and confidence to deliver healthy lifestyle messages, to help encourage people to change their behaviour and to direct them to local services that can support them.
  • For individuals, MECC means seeking support and taking action to improve their own lifestyle by eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, drinking alcohol sensibly, exercising regularly, not smoking and looking after their wellbeing and mental health.

MECC focuses on the lifestyle issues that, when addressed, can make the greatest improvement to an individual’s health:

  • Stopping smoking
  • Drinking alcohol only within the recommended limits
  • Healthy eating
  • Being physically active
  • Keeping to a healthy weight
  • Improving mental health and wellbeing.

http://www.makingeverycontactcount.co.uk/media/1129/mecc-factsheet.pdf


Skills for Care commission ACT to raise the image, status and profile of adult social care in Worcestershire

Skills for Care commission ACT I Care...Ambassador service to work work with school pupils in raising awareness of adult social care careers and apprenticeship opportunities. The Vamos Theatre Company performed 'Out for Tea' to 60 students at Bishop Perowne Church of England College. ACT's I Care...Ambassadors talked to students about their exciting career journeys and employers got involved by discussing current vacancies.

As part of this project local school and employment support career advisor's were invited to a presentation about careers in the sector to support them in gaining a better understanding of social care careers.

Project delivered 2015


The ACT  I Care...Ambassador Service supports workforce growth in Herefordshire

Hereford Council Workforce Planning Group commissions ACT to support workforce growth using ACT's I Care...Ambassador Service to engage with schools, colleges & local community groups to raise awareness of working in the sector. ACT is continually working with local employers to enable the social care workforce recruitment challenge will be addressed.  

Project delivered 2014/15  


ACT support employers to recruit  I Care...Ambassadors in Herefordshire

During 2015 ACT have recruited and trained I Care...Ambassadors to promote the sector across Herefordshire. ACT continually support Hereford Council's local workforce planning group with addressing workforce challenges in the sector.


Supporting Sector Based Work Academies (SBWA) in Health, Social Care & Children & Young people's settings 

SBWA's Sector-based work academies are designed to help meet employers’ immediate and future recruitment needs as well as to recruit a workforce with the right skills to sustain and grow their business.

A sector-based work academy can last up to 6 weeks and has 3 main components:

  • pre-employment training – relevant to the needs of the business and sector
  • a work experience placement – of great benefit to both the individual and a business
  • a guaranteed job interview 

ACT work in partnership with Job Centre Plus and other employment support organisations to offer job seekers the opportunity to access formal learning and qualifications in the sector. ACT's I Care...Ambassador service supports this process by offering job seekers information, advice and guidance relating to working in the sector. The serivce links to employers to enable access to sustainable employment outcomes.


Schools and Further Education Colleges engagement

The ACT team of I Care...Ambassadors visit primary schools, high schools and colleges across Herefordshire, Worcestershire, The Black Country, South East, North East & North West delivering workshops to encourage young people to think about social care careers.

Project delivered 2014


Supporting Individual Employers with qualifying their Personal Assistants 

As part of Skills for Care's Workforce Innovation Funding ACT engaged with a number of local individual employers to enable their personal assistants to gain formal qualifications. This project also supported existing assessors in gaining knowledge in assessing the personal assistant workforce.

Project delivered 2013


Resilient Managers 

ACT was awarded a contract as part of Skills for Care Workforce Innovation Funding to provide care managers with an opportunity to build on their own personal development and become more confident and capable managers who are able to better understand the responsibility they hold for 'owning' the culture within their service. Employers from Herefordshire & Worcestershire piloted a 'Step on - Step off' rolling training programme which included 6 modules;

- The Qualities of a Manager (including self care and resilience)

- A Question of Morale - Team Leadership

- Your Role as a Care Leader in Setting Standards

- Confidence in Managing your Care Environment

- Managing Risk and Outcomes - Know Your Support Network

- Keep Calm and Carry On - Coping with Crisis & Challenges

 Project delivered 2013. 


Increasing Learning opportunities in Dementia Care for Care Home Managers

ACT worked in partnership with the Association for Dementia Studies in Worcestershire to establish training opportunities to enhance existing learning of Care Home Managers in Dementia and to undertake IT skill and confidence training.

Project delivered 2012