Ninety-nine others also supporting vulnerable residents across Kent have been using the service to refer their clients directly to the help they need since it launched in September 2022.
Funded by KCC’s Helping Hands Scheme, it encourages partnership working across the voluntary sector and local government, including schools.
It is designed as a simple and secure collaborative online referral system, streamlining referrals (1,000 to date) to a wide range of support - from debt to mental health to wellbeing.
Beam, an organisation commissioned by Maidstone Borough Council, is number 100. It supports residents who are struggling with homelessness to find jobs and private rented homes.
Kat Illsley, delivery manager at Beam, said: “Beam’s casework team shared how wonderful it has been to have a resource which allows them to instantly signpost a client to another service if for any reason Beam can’t help. This collaborative approach is really comforting for both Beam’s caseworkers and service users. Beam is excited to become an established ReferKent partner and is looking forward to accepting referrals from the ReferKent community in all the Kentish councils we are working with.
“Signing up to was really simple. The team offered plenty of support with completing the forms and beyond signing some paperwork, all Beam had to do was send our logo. I then completed the training, an easy to attend 20-minute online session which explained the platform and left plenty of time for questions.”
Leader of KCC Roger Gough said: “These are challenging times for many people and what is most important is that those seeking help get it as quickly as possible and are supported by the right organisation at the right time.
“ReferKent is already proving to be an effective way of signposting people who need help by referring their needs directly to the correct place without unnecessary delays.
“ReferKent is also proving successful in ensuring that people don’t miss out on crucial additional support that they may not already be aware of.
“It is great to see that this excellent example of collaboration and partnership working. Feedback already shows that people in Kent feel that they are being listened to and supported with their issues.”