Case studies

Innovation in local government is about improving the lives of the people in our communities. Browse through our case studies to see the many innovative programmes councils are involved in.

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COVID-19 case studies

Councils are doing remarkable work to address the challenges brought by coronavirus. Good council practice related to the COVID-19 outbreak can be found on our dedicated web hub.

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Getting people talking about menopause

Kirklees Council (KC) prioritises inclusion and the health and wellbeing of their people. With a high proportion of females in the workforce and almost half of those females being average menopausal age, they recognised the impact that menopause can have on both individuals and the organisation. KC started work in 2018 to create a more supportive and inclusive environment for colleagues approaching or experiencing menopause.

Calderdale: making the most of the local community

Calderdale Council has set up a programme to tackle loneliness that is based in local communities – there are separate locality teams. Workers are employed to support local activities and groups and connect people referred into the programme with opportunities that suit them. One of the major strengths of the programme is that it is driven by local people who know their communities the best.

Leeds City Council: using neighbourhood networks to connect communities

Leeds City Council has commissioned its 37 neighbourhood networks to help tackle social isolation and loneliness. They provide a range of support, which continued throughout the pandemic, helping hundreds of vulnerable and frail older people stay connected.

Middlesbrough: making it easier for people to access services and activities

A Big Lottery funded programme aimed at tackling social isolation has been running in Middlesbrough for the past seven years. It has helped to fund a range of different activities across the borough for the over 50s. To help people access these activities, extra support has been put in place to make it easier for people to get out-and-about by working with public transport providers and businesses to create an age-friendly environment.

Norfolk: how libraries can connect communities

Norfolk has a well-established Healthy Libraries scheme that is having a significant impact on social isolation and loneliness. The library service runs a range of initiatives from singing and colouring groups to a reading project aimed at people who are housebound. They have played a vital role in keeping people living in the large rural county connected both before and during the pandemic.

Reigate and Banstead: community workers helping people of all ages

Reigate and Banstead’s community development workers are a key part of the borough council’s work to tackle social isolation. They are embedded in the community and work with people of all ages, helping establish volunteer networks for older people, intergenerational art and craft groups and activities for teenagers and young people.

Stockport: helping the digitally excluded

An alliance bringing together the public, private and voluntary sectors has been supported by Stockport Council to help tackle digital exclusion. Local residents have been trained to become “digital champions” and a dedicated helpline and a device lending library set up. Since the programme started in 2018 thousands of residents have been helped improve their digital skills, reduce the risk of isolation in the process.

London Borough of Waltham Forest: using social prescribing to combat loneliness

The London Borough of Waltham Forest set up a social prescribing service five years ago. The team works with primary care in the NHS and community groups across the area to link people in with activities and support. Loneliness is one of the most common reasons for a referral. But thanks to the support being provided residents are being helped to learn new skills and take part in a variety of activities, reducing isolation in the process.

Worcestershire: the benefits of a dedicated loneliness service

Worcestershire County Council commissions a specialist loneliness service. People referred in are assigned case workers who support them to access local activities as well as helping to build up their confidence. More than 900 people have been helped over the last 18 months.

South Tyneside Council: Viking Energy Network Jarrow

South Tyneside Council declared a climate emergency in July 2019, making a pledge to take all necessary steps to make South Tyneside Council carbon neutral by 2030. The strategy captures the innovative approaches being developed to help to combat climate change, by developing a range of renewable energy schemes, minimising reliance on fossil fuels.