Our Chief Executive talking on BBC to lobby for the best interests of our clients and colleagues

We are proud of our reputation to act as an effective strategic partner, where we believe that our expert experience, business acumen and personal candour is recognised and helps the wider system development and transformation.

As well as our Chief Executive (pictured above), Executive and senior leaders engaging as sector representatives in local and national forums and networks, we encourage and support other colleagues to take an active interest and participate in activities outside of Southdown.

Through all our wider engagement, we are confident that we have an acute awareness and appreciation of the issues and themes that impact on our business activities. Even though we face multiple and complex challenges, it is this depth of knowledge that enables us to take immediate actions and plan effectively for the future.

Current focus areas

Aligned to our Business Strategy for 2022-27 and our value to be a ‘force for good’, over the coming months and years we will build on our networking and lobbying activities to affect change for the best interests of the local communities we operate in.

Fair funding for fair pay

Since 2020, we have been lobbying Sussex based local authority commissioners of services for fair funding so we can pay our staff fairly for the amazing work that they do. Example, recent letters we have sent include:

Keep an eye on our news section of our website for updates on our lobbying efforts in this area.

Unfair to care

Information on the disparity of pay for support workers versus NHS counterparts is highlighted starkly in the Unfair to Care report. The report also provides a first of its kind, in-depth analysis which debunks the myth of social care as a ‘low skilled’ profession.

Development of community mental health services across Sussex

Neil Blanchard, our Chief Executive, is an elected representative supporting delivery of the Sussex Health and Care Partnership (Sussex’s Integrated Care System) Mental Health Community Transformation Programme. This aims to radically transform and improve primary and specialist community services, moving away from siloed, hard-to-reach services towards joined-up care and whole population approaches. Through this role, Neil and other Southdown senior staff, represent the Voluntary Community & Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector in Sussex wide (System) and local (Place) governance structures and task and finish groups.

Southdown also host the Brighton and Hove and East Sussex VCSE Mental Health Transformation Lead roles (Martin Dominy and Carla Hawkins) and coordinate new VCSE Mental Health Networks for Brighton and Hove and East Sussex.

Protecting future funding for supported housing

Southdown plays an active role to support the work of the National Housing Federation with our Chief Executive, Neil Blanchard, acting as a representative on the National Health and Housing Group and Jim Aspdin, our Director of Housing and Business Performance, chairing the South East Supported Housing Group.