Skip to main content
Partners and Councillors outside Morven Park

Vulnerable Adult Support Scheme hailed a success

A multi-agency team established to support vulnerable people and divert them away from crime and anti-social behaviour is making a huge difference to Ashfield residents.

The Vulnerable Adult Support Scheme (VASS) is an inter-disciplinary support team designed to address and prevent serious violence, abuse, crime and exploitation across the District.

The team aims to support residents and families that have complex needs and underlying concerns such as mental health, substance misuse, financial challenges and housing needs, who are involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.  The team have created bespoke packages of support enabling residents to find opportunities and make a positive contribution to their community, and help them to live a well-balanced and self-sufficient life. So far, 56 residents have been intensively supported through the scheme and Complex Case Team over the past year.

In one case, a male was ‘sofa surfing’ and involved in anti-social behaviour and shoplifting in the local area. These behaviours were having an adverse impact to the local community and his health and wellbeing as his criminal activities were undertaken to help fund his drug use.

The team supported him to seek help for his drug use, found him suitable accommodation and helped him access training courses so he could rebuild his life. To date the individual has not returned to shoplifting and is grateful for the support he has received.

The resident said that "without the support of the team, I would not have found the strength to make a change and get out of this rut."

Cllr Helen-Ann Smith, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Community Safety and Crime Reduction at Ashfield District Council, said:

“This is just one example of many examples of a resident being helped. It is fantastic to see the resident make a positive change in his life thanks to the initiative. The team are providing such a vital service for our most vulnerable residents and are making a real difference to the lives of residents across the District’’

Antonio Taylor, Community Safety Manager for Ashfield District Council added:

“We recognise that many vulnerable residents experience issues that are multi-faceted, who often end up contacting multiple services to get the help and support they require.
The team simplifies the way residents access support by acting as a single point of contact, and as a result we are seeing residents engage who would not ordinarily do so.’’

Inspector Jon Hewitt from Nottinghamshire Police said:

“We know that some our most vulnerable residents are the least engaged with services. Feelings of being passed between services can perpetuate further disengagement and over time individuals become increasingly vulnerable with feelings of low self-value."
The Vulnerable Adult Support Scheme is supporting individuals who may be victims of domestic abuse, they may have succumbed to drug abuse following trauma or been abused in their childhood. It is important that the partnership shows individuals who find themselves in these circumstances that we are invested in them and will support them with a bespoke package to engage with services, their community and ultimately increase their feelings of self purpose."