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Birmingham Connect to Support

Neighbourhood Network Schemes

Neighbourhood Network Schemes (NNS)

What are Neighbourhood Network Schemes?

Neighbourhood Network Schemes (NNS) are funded by Adult Social Care, Birmingham City Council to develop the support people need to lead happy, health, independent lives in their own homes and communities. There is a Neighbourhood Network in each of Birmingham’s 10 constituencies, most of which are run by a range of voluntary and community sector organisations.

Each NNS works with community groups, organisations, and local services to develop activities and support people need to lead happy, health, independent lives. NNS are focused on support for older people, but we are working on extending them to include younger disabled adults. Each NNS has development workers that build partnerships with local assets as well as with professionals working in the community.  A partnership steering group brings together social workers, local assets, and other community-based professionals to oversee this work. All the NNS leads meet regularly to share learning and support each other.

What do Neighbourhood Networks do?

Neighbourhood Networks promote and develop partnership working between the Voluntary and Community Sector, Health, Social Care, and other parts of the public sector. They also strengthen and develop community-based support and activities. The overall aim is to improve partnership working to reduce demand on adult social care services such as home support and residential care, whilst at the same time making our neighbourhoods more supportive and inclusive places to live.

Community assets are groups, services, places, and activities which enable older people to lead happy, independent lives within their own homes and communities. Each NNS has created a community asset map to help citizens and professionals find support. We are also recording how each asset contributes to the following 5 outcomes:

  • Improved social participation
  • Healthier lifestyles
  • Maximised income
  • Living independently in their own homes
  • Carers feeling more supported

In each of Birmingham’s 10 constituencies the Lead Facilitators manages partnership meetings and networking events with residents, adult social work teams, community organisations and other public sector professionals. They work closely with adult social work teams, and other partners, to identify gaps in the support for older people. The Lead Facilitators can invest in community assets through a small grant scheme managed in each Constituency.  Facilitated by BVSC, Birmingham’s 10 NNS work together to share best practice and resources.

How Neighbourhood Networks Work

Purpose & Vision

The purpose of NNS is to ensure that as many citizens over 50 as possible can access community based support which can promote well-being and a better quality of life. NNS aims to do this through better co-ordination of community-based prevention & early intervention services.

Citizens 50+

Citizens can get involved locally in NNS. Local NNS workers can advise on opportunities. In some areas they sit on panels; in others there are citizen forums.

Many local assets rely on local citizens to run activities too.

NNS Workers

NNS workers get to know the activities & services on their patch. They work closely with social work teams in each constituency to link them up with assets. 

NNS workers identify and fill in the local gaps by running a small grants scheme to try new things. They also provide training and support to groups & undertake community development.

The Neighbourhood

NNS starts with the communities where people live. The focus is on constituencies and wards.

Local Assets

Activities and services occur in many local venues such as community centres, places of worship, parks, advice surgeries and citizens own homes.

Asset Directory

The NNS workers list all the assets in the the online asset directory. This is shared with social workers and is available here.

Social Work Teams

Social Work teams cover constituencies. They can have meetings and drop in surgeries in local assets, such as libraries and cafes. They use the 3 Conversations approach to get to know citizens better. This approach starts with looking at the strengths of individuals and communities. 

It ensures social workers have time for real conversations with citizens and focus on what is important to the individual. 

NNS helps them to progress these conversations. Social workers can then introduce citizens to activities and services which help them have a good live




Last updated: 9/7/2021

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