SUPPORT for people to stay well and independent in their own communities is in safe hands thanks to a new partnership with three grassroots organisations, says North Yorkshire County Council.

The three organisations, in Skipton, Settle and Grassington, have all proved themselves during the coronavirus pandemic, and will offer a range of opportunities and help for people to get help if needed and also to make use of their own skills by volunteering.

Until last month, the county council had a contract with Age UK North Yorkshire and Darlington to lead on such support in Craven though its office in Swadford Street, Skipton. But, after the charity took what it described as a 'difficult decision' to withdraw from the contract, and close its Skipton centre, the county council said it took the opportunity to change the model and grant fund grassroots organisations that have built up a strong track record in the area helping people during the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

Skipton Step Into Action, Grassington Hub and Age UK North Craven – three community support organisations that have worked effectively together and with the council's Stronger Communities to help people through the past challenging years – will now deliver the Stay Healthy, Independent and Connected project across the district.

The county council says the organisations will work with other grassroots organisations to support adults in Craven to stay healthy and well, do things they enjoy, connect to others and live happily and safely in their home and community.

The project will aim to ensure that residents can access information and advice, so they can help themselves where possible, and know where to ask for a helping hand, if they are not able to help themselves. It will also offer a 'listening ear' and someone to talk to, and there will be opportunities to connect with and to meet others.

The project will also offer people ways to continue using their skills, talents and passions to contribute to and feel valued in their communities, such as through volunteering.

County councillor David Chance, executive member for stronger communities, said: “This is a great opportunity for us to build on the great track record of these community organisations, and further develop support in the area which helps people to be healthier and more connected.”

For more information about the new ‘Stay Healthy, Independent and Connected’ project, people can contact Age UK North Craven on 01729 823066