Purpose of Neighbourhood Network Schemes

The aim of Neighbourhood Network Schemes (known as NNS) in Birmingham is to help older adults in Birmingham to lead healthy, happy and independent lives in their own homes and communities.

Birmingham City Council has developed and funds NNS and BVSC currently provides support.

For a short introduction, the video below explains the aims and impacts of NNS.

Adult Social Care

Adult Social Care is the department within the City Council which focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of adults and older people in Birmingham. It has embraced some key changes in the last few years which have meant that the social work teams and commissioning teams work with citizens and community and voluntary organisations in new ways.

In 2017 Cabinet approved the Prevention First Strategy which provides an outcomes framework and is aimed at citizens leading “healthy, happy and independent lives in their own homes and communities.” The Cabinet Paper is here and the appendices can be seen under the Reports tab on the City Council’s Committee Management website here.

Adult Social Care also developed the Three Conversations® framework which requires social workers to get to know the citizens they are working with and better understand what they and their families or support networks are capable of and what they would like. It requires social workers to develop a good understanding of what community, voluntary and faith organisations locally offer and recognise that citizens can benefit from this local, community-based support.

There is a good introduction to the Three Conversations model here.

What are Neighbourhood Network Schemes?

Adult Social Care developed Neighbourhood Network Schemes across Birmingham in 2018 and 2019 and now each constituency has a Neighbourhood Network Scheme which works closely with community organisations (“assets”) and the constituency social work team. The Neighbourhood Networks’ role is to strengthen local communities so that neighbourhoods become better places to grow old in. The purpose of NNS is to ensure that as many citizens over 50 as possible can access community-based support which can promote well-being and a better quality of life. NNS aims to do this through better coordination of community-based prevention & early intervention services. They develop partnership work between voluntary, community and faith organisations and the public sector, in particular Adult Social Care and health.

This report by Birmingham City Council sets out the development of NNS in the city and how NNS is aligned to other services within Adult Social Care.

Adult Social Care also funds 44 voluntary organisations to support the Prevention First agenda with “Prevention and Communities Grants”. Details of these can be seen in the prospectus here which is currently (September 2021) being updated.

The diagram below summarises NNS on a page. (click here to open the image)

The diagram below shows the ten building blocks of NNS. (click here to open the image)

Each constituency has a lead organisation or partnership which develops the NNS. In eight of Birmingham’s constituencies, this is a voluntary sector organisation. In two constituencies, Selly Oak and Perry Barr, the City Council’s Neighbourhood Development Support Unit is the lead facilitator. The map below shows the current lead facilitators in each constituency.

Download the NNS Lead Facilitators Map here.


Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet agreed that NNS would be extended for a further five years (with the option to extend by two more) on 27 July 2021. The new NNS contracts started on 01 April 2022.

The key Cabinet paper is here and further appendices can be seen on the City Council’s committee management system here.

As background in August BVSC hosted an NNS Briefing at which Emil Prysak, Commissioning Manager and Marie Kennedy, Manager, Corporate Procurement explained about what the City Council needs and the next steps. A recording of the Neighbourhood Network Scheme Pre-Procurement Briefing is available to view on Zoom here. Click through for the slides which are here and to the questions here.

The key Cabinet paper is here and further appendices can be seen on the City Council’s committee management system here.

On 18 August BVSC hosted an NNS Briefing at which Emil Prysak, Commissioning Manager and Marie Kennedy, Manager, Corporate Procurement explained about what the City Council needs and the next steps. A recording of the Neighbourhood Network Scheme Pre-Procurement Briefing is available to view on Zoom here. Click through for the slides which are here and to the questions here.

New direction from 2022

A number of new developments have been incorporated in the NNS approach from April 2022.

The expansion of NNS from April 2022 include adults with disabilities and long term health conditions as well as older people. In particular citizens with physical and sensory impairment, poor mental health, learning disabilities and nurodiverse (autism and ADHD).

NNS Connected Communities is being developed to develop community assets for dispersed or underrepresented communities across the City. NNS Connected Communities sits alongside, and compliments, the work of constituency NNS teams who are also actively involved.  There will be some grants to support this, but these will be developed by the NNS Connected Communities Steering Group for projects and activities that will benefit dispersed communities and interest groups that constituency NNS’s cannot reach. Following a gap analysis carried out by BVSC Research the priority groups currently are Gypsy, Roma & Traveller, LGBTQ and Deaf citizens

NNS Digital will be established in September 2022.

Birmingham has achieved Compassionate City Charter Status and NNS teams will be supporting this.

Finally, NNS teams are developing an asset based community development (ABCD) approach to enable communities to drive change themselves.

Celebrating NNS

Before the new contracts came to an end in March 2022 the NNS teams and many of the assets came together to celebrate the journey of NNS since 2018. More details are here - https://www.bvsc.org/Blog/neighbourhood-network-schemes-celebrate-achievements

In July 2022 Birmingham’s Neighbourhood Network Schemes were shortlisted in the Health and Social Care category at the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards, the most prestigious award in local government.

Representatives from Adult Social Care, each of the ten NNS teams, BVSC which supports the voluntary and community sector and the Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Scheme were all invited to the LGC awards in London. Competition this year was extremely tough in the Health and Social Care category with the judges commenting on the tenacity and sheer excellence demonstrated throughout the entire shortlist. Unfortunately Neighbourhood Network Schemes did not win this year, but judges commented that they demonstrate: “An impressive change management approach at scale, developing community strength through community power.”

Younger Adults

The NNS model was developed with the intention that, if the model was successful for the over 50s, it would be extended to support younger adults aged 18 to 50 years, who have a long-term disability or are likely to have a care or support need in the future. Adult Social Care teams were keen to support this and plans were developed with NNS Leads and Adult Social Care team in two constituencies, Hodge Hill, and Sutton, to pilot this during 2021/2022. The pilots extend the model to people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health difficulties, sensory loss or impairment, and autistic people. The pilots will provide learning about what support is needed by citizens with these additional needs, which community organisations or assets are providing support, and how the NNS model will need to be adjusted to meet these needs. The Cabinet decision in July 2021 was to extend NNS to include these specific groups of younger adults across all constituencies, subject to funding being secured.


BVSC Research has undertaken an impact Assessment of NNS and the summary can be found here.

Other learning from the programme includes:

Digital inclusion - Digital inclusion-exclusion and digital poverty - NNS and PC

Support for Ethnic Minority Groups - Ethnic Minority Groups Supported by NNS and P&C Grant Holders

Lessons Learnt from Covid-19 Support - Covid-19 - NNS Learning Response - full version and summary version.

NNS Grant Allocations

Prevention Newsletters

The Prevention & Communities commissioning team and BVSC have been working on a regular Prevention Newsletter showcasing the way in which the third sector is working with the Council to enable citizens to lead healthy, happy and independent lives in their own homes and communities.

These newsletters include information on Neighbourhood Network Schemes and Prevention and Communities Grants. In addition, the grants distributed due to Covid features too – Vulnerable Adults Grants and Emergency Food Programme. Each newsletter focuses on a constituency as well as highlighting some of the city-wide prevention activity. The newsletters produced so far are below.

If you would like to receive these when they are sent out email [email protected]


December 2020 - Prevention Newsletter Northfield

Feb 2021 Prevention Newsletter - Ladywood

March 2021 Prevention Newsletter - Erdington

May 2021 Prevention Newsletter - Hodge Hill

Prevention Newsletter - Edgbaston

Prevention Newsletter - Selly Oak/ Perry Barr

Prevention Newsletter Yardley October 2021

Prevention Newsletter Hall Green November 2021


Prevention Newsletter - Sutton Coldfield - January 2022

Contact Details

Contact details for NNS Lead Facilitators are here.


Lead Facilitator: Age UK Birmingham 

[email protected]


Lead Facilitator: Witton Lodge Community Association

[email protected]

Hall Green

Lead Facilitator: Green Square Accord

[email protected]

Hodge Hill

Lead Facilitator: Pohwer

[email protected]


Lead Facilitator: Birmingham Settlement

[email protected]


Lead Facilitator: Northfield Community Partnership

[email protected]

Perry Barr

Lead Facilitator: Neighbourhood Development Support Unit

[email protected]

Selly Oak

[email protected] 

Sutton Coldfield

Lead Facilitator: Age Concern Birmingham

[email protected] 


Lead Facilitator: Disability Resource Centre

[email protected]

Birmingham City Council

[email protected]

[email protected]


[email protected]