The Community Connector Project, based within Sefton CVS, is aimed at people aged 18 or over who are feeling lonely or are at risk of being socially isolated, with low-level mental health needs, and not meeting eligibility criteria of Adult Social Care.
Upon referral a Community Connector will make initial contact and arrange a home visit. A loneliness questionnaire and mental wellbeing questionnaire are completed as well as asking the client questions such as what would improve their quality of life, what would get them out of the house and what have they always wanted to try.
They are paired up with a Community Champion (volunteer) who aims to help the client to achieve these aspirations by engaging with the local community has to offer. Slowly, the Community Champion will take a step back from their duties enabling the client to do more for themselves now that their social circle has increased.
“Many lonely and isolated people call upon emergency services in times of need, and this is not always necessary. They are likely to then be referred to Social Services when they do not necessarily meet their criteria,” explains Gina Harvey, Community Connector Coordinator.
“We hope an early intervention and prevention project such as Community Connectors can increase a person’s capacity and social circle so they can call upon new found friends as well as having the confidence to ask family and neighbours in times of need, to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and referrals onto Adult Social Care.
“Ultimately, we’d like our clients to become Community Champions to help others achieve the same results they have achieved! For more information ring 0151 920 0726 or find us on Twitter: @SCVSConnectors or via the website https://seftoncvs.org.uk/communityconnectors/ “
Sefton’s Community Connectors are supporting the ‘30 Days of Sefton In Mind’ Campaign – to spread the word about local services and activities available to people in Sefton to improve their mental health.