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What Is SP?

The Supporting People programme aims to help vulnerable people to have a more independent, better quality of life, by planning and funding Housing Related Support services.

'Supporting People' was launched nationally on 1st April 2003, although work started many years before that to ensure that the programme took off smoothly.

This is what Surrey Supporting People aims to do:

'Working in partnership to offer vulnerable people the opportunity to improve their quality of life. We aim to do this by providing housing related support services, which enable them to have greater independence and control in making choices within their lives.'

These services are funded by central government money. The government passes this money to local councils (Administering Authorities) who then pay for the services. But ‘Supporting People’ is not just the about the council – It is a partnership programme. In Surrey, the Supporting People Partnership is made up of Surrey County Council, Surrey Primary Care Trust (Health), the Probation service and the 11 districts and boroughs. There are also a number of other organisations who have an interest in the programme, not least, those who provide Supporting People services to vulnerable adults and other voluntary agencies who have an interest in housing and support.

Frequently asked questions or enquiries

Select an index below to go to a section within this page:
1.Who can Supporting People Help?
2.What is Housing Related Support?
3.How can I find Information about Supporting People Services in Surrey?
4.Do I have to pay for these services?
5.Can I get help to pay for long-term services?
6.Are there more services than the ones listed on the website?
7.Does anybody check on Supporting People services?

1.Who can Supporting People Help?

The programme helps a wide range of vulnerable people including:
  • People who have been homeless
  • Ex-offenders or people at risk of offending or imprisonment
  • People with a physical or sensory disability
  • People who have experienced or are at risk of domestic violence
  • People who have mental health issues
  • People with drug or alcohol problems
  • Teenage parents
  • Older People who have support needs
  • Young People at risk
  • People with HIV or AIDS
  • People who have a learning disability
  • Travellers

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2. What is Housing Related Support?

Housing related support aims to help people to learn to, and continue to, live as independently as possible in their home and to maintain this independence. Here are some examples of the types of services that Supporting People funds:
  • Sheltered housing for older people
  • Refuges for women fleeing domestic violence
  • Services where staff ‘visit’ people in their own homes for short periods – called ‘Floating or Outreach Support’
  • Home Improvement Agencies – services which advise people on home improvements that will help them to stay in their home, and how to access grants for this work.

The type of support that these services might give include:
  • Helping people to get the right benefits
  • Helping people to budget their money, so that they can remain where they live
  • Helping with social skills so that, for example, people do not cause a nuisance to their neighbours
  • Supporting people to get services they need e.g. doctors, dentists
  • Helping people to develop skills such as cooking and cleaning
  • Helping people to be involved in their community and social activities

Sometimes the housing related support service will mean that you have to live in a particular place and the support is based on the fact that you live there e.g. sheltered housing for older people with support needs.

There are also services called ‘Floating Support’. These services do not need you to live in a particular house or flat (although it may only operate in a particular area). It means that somebody could visit you in your own home, and you would not need to move in order to get support.

Housing related support is about supporting people to do things for themselves and not doing things for them. It is about activities that help people to stay living where they are, and not, for example, having to go into hospital or residential care. It’s about helping people to become independent and get the most out of life.

There are some things that Supporting People cannot pay for. These include:

  • Personal Care e.g. help with washing and dressing
  • Registered Care Homes
  • Things which do not have an emphasis on housing e.g. education , holidays.

If you need these services, which Supporting People cannot pay for, a good place to look for help first of all is Surrey Adult Social Care. You can get information about Adult Social Care by visiting, or you can telephone the Contact Centre on 03456 009009.

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3. How can I find information about Supporting People services in Surrey?

There is a directory of the Supporting People services available in Surrey on this website – click the link on the left ‘Service Directory’. Initially the directory shows the service provider name in alphabetical order. But you can change this to show the services by type or by the type of people they support (client group). If you click on a provider it will show you the services that they have. If you then click on one of the services it will give you more information about what they do.

Please be aware that for some services you may need your social worker, or an organisation such as Probation, to contact the service on your behalf. The service will tell you this when you contact them to find out more.

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4. Do I have to pay for these services?

There are Supporting People Services which are ‘Short-term’. This means that people will only use them for up to 2 years and then they will move on to other accommodation or won’t need the service any more. All of these short-term services are free.

An example of a short-term service is a hostel for women fleeing domestic violence. People will stay there for a short time and then move to another place that they want to live. This service is free, and this does not depend on any income or savings that you might have.

There are also ‘long-term’ Supporting People Services. This means that you will need support for more than 2 years. There is a charge for these services, and the support provider will tell you how much this is.

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5. Can I get help to pay for long-term services?

If you receive Housing Benefit you will not have to pay for the cost of your support. When you enter the service, your support provider will (with your permission) tell the Supporting People Team. The Supporting People Team will then pay the cost of your support directly to your support provider.

If you do not qualify for Housing Benefit, you may still be able to get help to pay for your support. You will need to have a ‘Fairer Charging Assessment’. Your Support Provider will be able to help you to do this. The Fairer Charging Assessment looks at things like what Benefits you get and savings you have. It is more generous than the assessment for Housing Benefit. The Benefits and Charging Team, who carry out the assessment, will also give you advice about what other benefits you might be able to claim. If you want to contact the benefits and charging team please click here for their details.

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6. Are there more services than the ones listed on the website?

There are many other organisations in Surrey that may be able to provide the support that you want.

If they are not listed on our website, this means that we do not have a contract with them to provide this support. If we do not have a contract with them it means that Supporting People will not be able to help you to pay for the service.

It also means that Supporting People do not make checks to see if the service does what it says it does.

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7. Does anybody check on Supporting People services?

The Supporting People Team in Surrey check that the services meet a certain level in the way that they give support. This includes talking to staff and to people who use the service. If they do not meet this level, we ask the services to tell us how they are going to improve and to do that within a particular time scale.

We also check on the way that the service is used. Every 3 months we ask our services to tell us things like how many people are in the service, how many joined the service, who left the service and why. This helps us to see if the service is doing a good job or not.

We are also involved in planning services for the future. We carry out research to see what services are needed and what services are now less popular. In this way we can make sure that we are putting money into services that people want to use.

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