A TOWN’S community support scheme has been praised – with plans to expand it to the city.
Members at a cabinet meeting of Chichester District Council hailed the results of the Selsey Think Family campaign which has been piloted in the town.
The project aims to help people get back to work and provides youth activities, transport and health care for residents in need of support.
Based on the scheme’s success, councillors voted to approve similar plans for Chichester east and south.
“Good on the people of Selsey,” said Cllr Myles Cullen, speaking at Tuesday’s meeting.
“We facilitate it – then the rest is down to the community. It is like building the well in Africa in the village.”
Selsey Works – a new initiative described as the ‘launch pad of Selsey’s future’ – was especially praised for its work in the community.
“It has managed to get five people back into work,” said Steve Hansford, assistant director of communities at Chichester District Council. He said the hub had also worked with expelled students from The Academy, Selsey.
Cllr Carol Purnell said Selsey Works had taken an ‘awful lot of input’ from Selsey Town Council.
“It is a fantastic example of partnership working. Without that it might have never got off the ground,” she said. “It has benefits which are far-reaching.”
Cllr Purnell said the good Ofsted results from Seal Primary Academy might mean the Academy Selsey would achieve better results.
The next phase of the scheme, called Think Family Expansion Neighbourhoods, is set to focus on Chichester east, Chichester south and Tangmere. It is set to help people on employment benefits and reduce crime.
“We need to make sure the area around them is as supportive as possible,” said Mr Hansford.
“We have narrowed it down to small areas and will work intensively in those.”
However, Cllr Josef Ransley raised concerns over the sustainability of the scheme.
“We should be looking to see if we can get assistance to see how they can generate more income themselves,” he said.
“They have to be self-sustainable otherwise they will create success and disappear.”
He said much of the success was ‘driven by the community’.
West Sussex County Council has allocated £52,000 for the project. A report considered by cabinet said: “The money will be used to lever in funding from other sources.”
Leader of the council, Heather Caird, said: “I would like to express my personal congratulations to Selsey and the officers who have worked on the scheme. I’m sure the community at large are equally as grateful.
“I’m sure Chichester city and Chichester east are looking forward to doing the same.”