Voluntary and Community Sector - invitations to bid

Sensory Impairment Invitation


The Council is seeking to appoint a lead organisation from among voluntary sector providers in Rotherham to provide a co-designed Sensory Impairment  Service commencing 1st April 2022.

The co-design will lead to a two year service level agreement to provide the Service.

A budget of £125,000 per annum is allocated.

1.Requirements of the Successful Partner

It is expected that the successful partner will be an established and experienced VCS provider, with a substantial understanding of the needs and challenges facing people with a sensory impairment.  They will have the ability to successfully provide the required service alongside their usual business and enhance the offer, over and above what is described and funded here, with additional resources and expertise.

2.The Service Overview

The Service will be user led and work in partnership with complementary services from a co-located hub (both building based and virtual), open 5 days per week, for 8 hours per day, which provides a single point of access to information, advice and services, which takes into account accessibility and support in the community and maximises mainstream and universal services and opportunities for customer facing services. 

The service should deliver a range of services for people with sensory impairments residing within the Rotherham    geographical boundary.  These services will respond to the individual needs of people           who are deaf and hard of hearing, blind, partially sighted or have low vision and        people who are deaf and blind (dual sensory impairment) and people. 

Priority should be given to people who have a visual and/or hearing impairment who are registered as disabled or are registerable as disabled due to visual and/or hearing impairment.

The service will be required to work with partners in the public, voluntary and private sector to offer a range of self-support, social and recreational opportunities to enable service users to engage in work, training, education or volunteering.

The service will co-ordinate and  facilitate the development of local, independent self-support groups whose remit is to offer support to people with sensory impairment and facilitates their access to mainstream community services.

The service will also:

  • Arrange the provision and distribution of specialist equipment paid for by Rotherham MBC
  • Provide British Sign Language Sessions as follows
  • A total of forty four, BSL Advice and Support Service sessions to delivered in each 12 month period of the SLA 
  • A session is defined as a 3 hour period and it is expected will be delivered on average four times per month. 
  • The successful partner may subcontract this provision
  • Stakeholders/groups representing/working with people with a hearing impairment must be consulted to determine where these sessions are to be held
  • Provide all staff and volunteers with clear policies, procedure and training on Safeguarding Adults and co-operate with the Council in all aspects of Safeguarding Adults under the South Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Procedures in line with Section 42 of the Care Act 2014 and additionally  Children, under the Rotherham Safeguarding Children’s Board Manual and in line with Section 11 Standards of the Children Act 2004.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of and compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and the ability to collect relevant data to inform an Equality Analysis.
  • Undertake robust and safe recruitment processes for staff and volunteers which includes the obtaining and refreshing of checks through a Disclosure and Barring Service where necessary.

3.Aims of the service

The Service will

  • Meet the requirements of Rotherham people with both hearing and sight deficit, complementing the statutory RMBC led assessment service and interface with front facing health and social care professionals. 
  • Achieve outcomes which make a real difference to the quality of life and wellbeing of people living with sensory impairment. 
  • Play a significant part in overcoming the barriers, including societal attitudes, experienced by people with sight and hearing loss. 
  • Increase life opportunities and choices by facilitating appropriate information and support that will promote a good quality of life for the service users. 
  • Be of benefit to wider society in respect of economic efficiencies achieved.
  • Promote independent living so that individuals are empowered to define the outcomes they desire based on their own aspirations to participate in society, feel valued and lead a meaningful life.
  • Support the recovery of improved mental health and wellbeing for people living with sensory impairment as they retain or develop new meaning and purpose in their life.

4.Outcomes and Objectives

To provide a single point of access to information, advice and specified services for people with sensory impairments which enable people to:

  • Live as independently as possible

  • To maintain and, where possible, improve their quality of life and well-being

  • To enjoy the same quality of life that could reasonably be expected by any resident of the borough
  • Seamless interfacing between services to avoid barriers between services for clients
  • Access a range of service options which promote independent living, avoid duplication, delay, repetition and are provided at the right time

The expected objectives of the service are:

  • To encourage people to take control of their lives
  • To promote increased confidence and prevent social isolation
  • To promote independence
  • To provide services which meet the individual needs of a person with sensory impairment 
  • To provide services to meet individual needs as identified in  a Care and Support Plan in accordance with this service specification
  • To be flexible and provide choices where possible
  • To provide service to meet the needs of a culturally diverse community
  • To raise awareness of and promote social inclusion
  • To raise awareness and promote ill-health prevention associated with sensory impairment (i.e., depression)
  • To facilitate involvement in consultation events to ensure that the sensory impaired community can effectively shape service development/the local landscape

5. Monitoring and Evaluation

The resulting service level agreement will set out the obligations of the two parties including the way in which the grant will be used and how monitoring and evaluation will take place.  If money is not spent as agreed to fulfil the service requirements then the Council will recover any monies in accordance with the agreement.

6.How to apply

Interested organisations should submit a statement (word limit 3500) that details the following:

  • Organisation Name, Name and position of person submitting the application and their contact email and phone number.

  • How the organisation meets the requirements at Section 1, including what additional value they would add to the service provision
  • Their understanding of the needs of people with a sensory impairment living in Rotherham and how they will meet the aims and objectives of the service.
  • The methodology for how the organisation will engage with the other third sector providers, people with a sensory impairment and other stakeholders in the co-design and delivery of the service.
  • Their experience in meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010
  • Demonstration and commitment of management capacity to lead both the co-design and co-delivery, including receipt and management of the grant and grant compliance matters

Statements should be sent by e-mail addressing the criteria set out above and be sent to joanne.bell@rotherham.gov.uk

Applications will be assessed by a panel of at least three Officers from the Adult Care, Housing and Public Health Directorate

The closing date for applications is 11.59pm on 24th October 2021. The panel will evaluate in w/c 25th October 2021 and applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision by 6th November 2021 or sooner.

The co-design is expected to be completed by 31st January 2022.

The co-design process is that set out in the Rotherham Compact. This is available from the Voluntary Action Rotherham website and sets out the relationship between the Council and VCS in Rotherham.

Any questions should be directed to commissioningenquiries@rotherham.gov.uk