A new way of working for welfare

Tuesday, 15 December, 2020

East Hampshire District Council is set to commission welfare projects across the district targeted to the people who need them most.

The new way of working will see the end of the council’s long-running play scheme, the Rural Area Play Project (RAPP), with resources redirected into a variety of schemes aimed at improving wellbeing for all ages.

EHDC has earmarked welfare as one of its key priorities and has laid out its plans to help vulnerable residents in its Welfare and Wellbeing Strategy, adopted in August 2020.

Projects will be based on evidence gathered by the council’s research team, so the right services can be delivered to the people who are most in need.

It will be funded by resources redirected from the RAPP scheme as well as grants from the council’s Welfare and Wellbeing Fund and the Supporting Communities Fund.

RAPP was set up in 2006 to provide holiday play for children in the area’s towns and villages.

Since that time private play schemes have bloomed, creating a much more competitive market, while coronavirus regulations have seen the council’s programme curtailed.

Cllr Julie Butler, Portfolio Holder for Welfare and Community Integration Portfolio Holder, said: “RAPP has been a terrific service for East Hampshire but it is the right time to change it. When we launched it more than a decade ago it was new and innovative and filled an important need.

"These days there are lots of great schemes out there and the need for us to provide a similar service has been reduced.

“However, by using our evidence-led Welfare and Wellbeing Strategy, we can target our new commissioned services to those people who need them the most.”