The Community Connector Scheme aims to do just what it says! It will support you to connect with:
• social activities, clubs and groups and like-minded individuals in this community
• the right advice and information for your local situation
The Scheme does this by offering a private face to face discussion with a “Community Connector” to explore what matters to you …and not ‘what is the matter with you?’
Together with the Community Connector (up to four appointments), you will build your own personal action plan around what is important to you and be supported to put this plan into action. That might include access to:
• Debt, benefits, housing advice
• Health and fitness groups, such as walking, cycling and dance
• Peer support groups
• Arts, culture and history groups
• Local volunteering opportunities
When and how can I see a Community Connector?
The Community Connector operates an appointment system to ensure you have personal time to explore what is important to you, to develop an action plan and review it over the next sessions.
The Community Connector has a mobile “office”, which parks up in your local village and provides a private space to have your conversation. Where it is not possible to get to the bus, it may be possible to arrange a lift to help get you there or alternatively, you may be able to have a home visit. Why not come along to the bus to find out more, talk to the team and make an appointment with the Community Connector for a future date?
What else is going on?
You don’t have to have a personal appointment with the Community Connector. You can simply turn up at the bus and have a chat, or get involved in some of the other activities and sessions that will be on offer. There will be opportunities to meet with other people working in your community, either offering advice, ideas, or new activities.
Here are some of the activities coming up soon that you can get involved in (more info to follow):
Health walk – the walk will start at The Bristol Arms at 11am. The walk will be an easy pace. It will finish back at Shotley Gate, between 12pm and 12.30pm where you will be invited to join the bus for the launch of the Community Connector Scheme at Shotley Village Hall. Please join us for light refreshments (at the village hall) before the launch and take the opportunity to meet local people.
What are the benefits of getting involved with the Community Connector Scheme?
• Improved mental health and wellbeing
• Meeting new people and developing new friendships
• Feeling healthier and fitter
• Learning new skills
• Opportunities for volunteering and employment
How much will this cost me?
The Community Connector Support Scheme is free, however, some of the groups and clubs that you might like to get involved in may have a small charge. This can be discussed at your meeting with the Community Connector.
Background to this scheme
The scheme is developed by Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Family Carers, working in partnership to assist individuals to find non-clinical solutions to improve their own health and wellbeing. This will often involve using services provided by the voluntary and community sector, and other peer networks, local groups, clubs and activities in their community. We are fortunate in Suffolk to have a strong and vibrant voluntary community sector and we will work together to invest in it.
The project is also supported by the South Rural Integrated Neighbourhood team, part of the CONNECT programme that brings together health professionals (eg doctors, district nurses, occupational therapists and mental health practitioners), social care professionals (adults and children), housing and other district council functions, police, and voluntary and community sector organisations. CONNECT aims to grow the skills and knowledge of public services professionals and staff to work more closely with local people and their communities and encourage them to think differently about the problems individuals face, bringing the necessary information together to help find solutions that work quickly, efficiently and effectively. For more information, follow this link http://www.connectsuffolk.co.uk/areas/south-rural/
The Scheme will operate first in the Holbrook and Shotley area and is working closely with the GP practice there. In time we hope to be able to cover areas like Capel St Mary and East Bergholt.