The Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council (SLNC) exists to provide a range of services to support disadvantaged residents of the Saffron Lane Estate and environs to reach their full potential. The neighbourhood is recognised as one of the most deprived in the country, and in the main, our service users have a wide range of issues associated with being in this demographic including poverty, ill health and disability, unemployment, and low educational attainment.
Established by community leaders in 1976, with support from the Local Authority, the object of SLNC has always been to work in partnership with statutory and voluntary organisations to improve the health, education, and well-being of the community. The SLNC Management Committee consists of a diverse mix of local residents and representatives of locally based organisations, whose objects (to improve the lives of disadvantaged residents) are consistent with ours. They all have direct experience of our services, either as users or stakeholders, and the majority have been involved with one or more of SLNC’s projects for several years.
The Saffron Resource Centre is one of three projects managed by SLNC. It is a centrally located community resource, currently providing information, advice and advocacy, tenancy support, detached youth work, mobility scooter hire, sexual health and pregnancy counselling, specialist debt advice, family law,
and drugs and alcohol counselling. Our MP, Police and local Councillors use our premises for their surgeries; Social Services and the Youth Offending Service use us as a contact venue.
The other two projects managed by SLNC are Saffcare and Saffron Acres. Saffcare provides a variety of daycare services for frail elderly people who are socially isolated, and is based in separate premises about half a mile from the Resource Centre. Saffron Acres is an environmental project situated on a once neglected twelve acre site, just around the corner from the Resource Centre, which has now been transformed into a thriving allotment and community garden. Both operate independently with their own staff and project managers, and on average we have over 15,000 client contacts per annum across all three facilities.
The busiest service provided by the Resource Centre is the Social Welfare Law Advice Service which was established in 1981 following a University of Leicester report commissioned by Leicester City Council, which identified Saffron as a top priority area. We provide free, independent, quality assured advice, information and advocacy on welfare benefits, debt, housing, consumer, community care, and employment law. We’re based in the heart of the community, literally and symbolically, and the Centre is recognised by residents and partner agencies as the place people come to when they need help or information. We have a reputation for being
friendly and non-judgemental, where everyone is made welcome and feels valued. By providing accurate, empathetic, and timely support, we empower clients to overcome the barriers of disadvantage, and help them to manage their problems more effectively. Residents can access the service themselves, or by referral from one of several partner agencies.
The Resource Centre has two full time staff; Community Development Worker, and Receptionist; two part-time Advice Worker, and one part-time volunteer. Sessional staff are employed as required. Some of the Centre’s services are provided by partner agencies that are either based at the Centre, or use it as an outreach venue from which to engage with local residents.
We also gather and collate social policy information particularly relevant to our neighbourhood, and participate in a variety of key local and regional partnerships and networks that aim to reflect the needs of our community, influence decision making, enhance community ownership, and promote social inclusion.
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