End of Year Message from Neil Blanchard, Chief Executive of Southdown, Community Roots' Lead Provider

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Neil Blanchard and the Staff of St Botolph's Learning Disability Service
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Thank you for all your support in 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, on behalf of the Executive team at Southdown, I want to say thank you to everybody who has enabled and helped us to provide support for 10,000 vulnerable people living across Sussex over the past year.   

Whilst it’s been a tough 12 months, with continued funding cuts to services and increasing numbers of individuals and families struggling and living in crisis situations, the personal accounts of how the support we’ve provided has made a difference is something we should all feel very proud of.     

Everything we’ve achieved, from the services we’ve provided to the funding we’ve protected and the new contracts we’ve secured, has been a result of great partnerships, committed colleagues, client involvement and a lot of hard work.  

Some of the organisations we’ve been proud to work alongside include the Department for Work and Pensions, the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Clinical Commissioning Groups across Sussex, City and County Councils across Sussex, local District and Boroughs, NHS England, Homes England and a wide range of local voluntary and community sector organisations.

In particular, I’d like to say a big thank you for the support and contributions we’ve had from people who have accessed our services as well as, of course, all of my colleagues working across Southdown. Your input, hard work and expertise has been invaluable.     
   

Protecting services 

Like many organisations dependent on public sector funding, after over a decade of austerity measures and a time of increasing demand for our services, Southdown faces considerable challenges ahead.

Now that we have a new government, we are keen to work with Sussex’s elected MPs to address the housing crisis and homelessness. Adequate adult social care funding for learning disability services and mental health support is also vital to protect invaluable services and to ensure nobody is left with nowhere to turn when they need support the most.         

Going into 2020, we will continue to be solution-focused and work constructively with all of our stakeholders to protect services for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

In the meantime, festive best wishes to you and your loved ones and a happy new year!    

Yours sincerely, Neil.    

Neil Blanchard,
Chief Executive, Southdown 

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