Vila Veïna: local community care in four city neighbourhood

The Vila Veïna pilot project started in October in four city neighbourhoods with the roll-out of a new care model based on proximity, joint responsibility and quality. This pioneering municipal initiative means teams of specialised professionals, people who receive care and members of the community form part of a network which is jointly responsible for collective welfare.

18/12/2021 10:08 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The offices already in operation provide access to care resources and offer free community activities to strengthen mutual support networks. They are:

  • Vilapicina i la Torre Llobeta, in Nou Barris: Casal de Gent Gran Cotxeres (Pl. Carmen Laforet, 11). Times: Tuesday and Friday, from 9.30 am to 1.15 pm, and Monday and Thursday, from 4 pm to 7.45 pm.
  • El Congrés i els Indians, in Sant Andreu: Casal de Barri Congrés-Indians (C/ Manigua, 25-35). Times: Monday and Thursday, from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm, and Tuesday and Wednesday, from 4 pm to 8 pm.
  • Provençals del Poblenou, in Sant Martí: Casal de Ca l’Isidret (C/ Josep Pla, 174). Times: Tuesday and Thursday, from 10 am to 1 pm, and Monday and Wednesday, from 4 pm to 8 pm.
  • La Marina de Port, in Sants-Montjuïc: Casal de Barri La Vinya (C/ Alts Forns, 87). Times: Monday and Friday, from 9 am to 1 pm, and Monday and Tuesday, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

The activities offered by the four facilities are aimed at carers, people who need care, families and local people who take part in support networks. They promote support groups for child-rearing, groups for carers, intergenerational activities with elderly people and children, physical activity outdoors for the elderly, ageing and dependency support groups, services for carers to take time out, sitting and action to make public space a place for care too.

Analysis of the state of care in the pilot neighbourhoods

Before the Vila Veïna project was started, a survey was conducted of two thousand people from the four neighbourhoods in the pilot project, to gauge the situation with care for local people.

The preliminary study showed the following data:

  • 41% of the population are responsible for people with care needs.
  • 37% of these carers devote more than nine hours a day to care.
  • 14% feel anxiety as they can’t balance care work with other responsibilities.
  • 94% can’t participate in any support or mutual help activities in their care work.

These data highlight the need to strengthen care and community responses to guarantee everybody’s right to care and be cared for.

The Vila Veïna model

The roll-out of Vila Veïna in the city corresponds to a transformation in the social and healthcare model, where priority is given to proximity, joint responsibility and personalised care. The main change comes through conceiving care as a shared community task, not something private or individual. Because community care is better than solitary care.

What is Vila Veïna?

It is a community area with between 10,000 and 30,000 inhabitants, where all social and healthcare resources are shared with the goal of everybody having them nearby and being able to access them easily. Each unit will have a headquarters for the team of care specialists, offering advantages for carers, care receivers and local people alike. In addition, each territorial unit will adapt to the particular needs of the neighbourhood where they are implemented.

Where will it be rolled out?

Twelve more units will be established in 2022, providing service for 320,000 people, some 12% of the city’s population. The roll-out should see 115 units established in total.