Local Area Coordination

Local Area Coordination is described as:

'A model of support which focuses on identifying and supporting those who need help before they hit crisis and working towards building an inclusive supportive community around them'.

Local Area Coordination (LAC) was originally developed in areas of significant rural and social isolation in Western Australia in the 1980's, where there was limited access to services or other opportunities. Local people realised that the support of the local community was essential to helping people to have a good quality of life. This principle helped to establish LAC in Western Australia.

LAC was introduced in Leicestershire in 2015, and is also being delivered in other areas of the UK, including Derby, Derbyshire, Thurrock (Essex), Cumbria, Swansea, York, Monmouthshire, Solihull, Suffolk, Birmingham, Kirklees, several Boroughs of London and the Isle of Wight.

In Leicestershire, Local Area Coordination works with local people, organisations and services, to promote opportunities for people who may be vulnerable or at risk. This includes people who may be experiencing challenges in coping with daily life due to their age, disability, mental health or due to social isolation.

What is Local Area Coordination?

Local Area Coordination uses a strength based and person-centred approach to support people and their families to have a good quality of life.

It is a preventative approach which helps individuals to:

  • improve their health and wellbeing
  • stay safe, well and happy
  • improve their quality of life
  • develop confidence and independence
  • make links within the local community
  • reduce social isolation
  • access opportunities for further support, friendship and social interaction

Local Area Coordinationalso uses an asset-based approach to community development. This involves identifying the assets, strengths, and skills that already exist within an area, including the personal skills, qualities and expertise which individuals, families and communities themselves can offer. It also includes identifying and utilising other community assets, such as local services, groups, community buildings, places of worship and businesses.

What does a Local Area Coordinator do?

  • Spends time to understand a person's strengths and aspirations
  • Works in partnership to develop effective networks of community based support for local people
  • Normally works in community based outreach settings
  • Identifies community assets and resources which individuals can access
  • Links individuals to sources of informal support
  • Supports individuals to access other relevant services where required
  • Help support the creation of local community groups
  • Uses an enablement approach to prevention to help people to be and maintain their independence and be as in control of their own lives as much as possible.

The outcomes Local Area Coordination is aiming to achieve include the following:

  • Fewer hospital/emergency admissions and visits to the GP
  • Increased engagement and access to local sources of support, including voluntary groups, education, training and employment schemes
  • Positive use of community assets and resources
  • Greater community cohesion, community capacity and resilience
  • Stronger individuals, families and communities
  • Enables practical ways of achieving goals and visions for a good life, thus preventing people from reaching crisis point

Your Local Area Coordinator can help you with the following:

You: thinking about how to make life better and looking at what you have to offer

Connecting with others: linking people together and helping you to be a part of your community

Information: finding out about what's happening in your area and getting the right help for you where and when you need this

Taking action: helping you to make changes that will improve your quality of life

Signposting: offering advice about local services or community groups

Longer term support: working with you for longer periods when needed, to help you to achieve your goals and lead a happier life

If you know of someone who would like to be introduced to a Local Area Coordinator, please open the document below to find contact details for the Local Area Coordinator for your area.

You can also contact the Local Area Coordination Manager, Simon Dalby:
email: simon.dalby@leics.gov.uk
Tel: (0116) 305 6650