The Community Connectors Project has been set up following a local pilot project. It consists of a team of 4, compromising of a Coordinator and 3 Community Connectors, who are based in Southport, Bootle and Maghull.
The overall aim of the project is to help those aged 18+ who are at risk of loneliness and/or isolation, who have low level mental health needs and may well access Adult Social Care for help with these issues. We hope to reduce the load of these cases on Adult Social Care by introducing them to our project and helping them before it becomes a ‘crisis’ case.
We can help people with accessing local groups and organisations, befriending, helping with every day tasks which have become a burden. We can assign a Community Champion to the person who can help then to do this, with our continued support throughout.
Background to the Community Connectors
There are over 23,000 people over the age of 65 living alone in Sefton. We know that many of these people experience isolation and loneliness. Often these people have low level mental health needs. With limited social networks relatively minor situations can quickly escalate to crisis e.g. debts, illnesses and problems with neighbours. When in crisis many people are likely to contact public service agencies such as Adult Social Care (ASC) and the Police
This project builds upon work developed in 2 small pilot areas and also tested more widely in Bootle, by establishing a small team to use the learning and tools developed to expand the pilot throughout Sefton. These workers will establish linkages that will enable ASC staff to signpost people to the full range of VCF offers, relieving pressure on ASC frontline, whilst delivering better outcomes for service users
Meet the team!
What happens when I am referred?
You will be assigned to a Community Connector based on the area where you live. They will contact you to arrange a meeting which can be at your own home, or at their workplace in your local community.
What happens during the meeting?
The Community Connector will take time to talk to you and find out what we can help you with. They will identify your needs and will find you groups and local organisations that you can attend to help improve your social skills, well being, and digital skills. You may be introduced to a Community Champion to who can help you take those first steps into the unknown, and support you whenever needed.
Who will I be meeting?
Allow me to introduce you to the team…
I’m Hannah, Community Connector for Southport, Birkdale and Ainsdale area, based at Southport Community Centre. I’ve worked in community based settings for over 20 years now, including welfare to work, advice and guidance and community development activities. Prior to joining Sefton CVS in June 2017, I spent 10 years working for Sefton Council on projects to promote public transport, walking and cycling and improve access to employment, education and other opportunities. I worked with individuals, schools, businesses and community organisations/groups to provide advice and information such as personal journey planning, which led to creating a mobile app, SeftonTravel, and practical support for people with disabilities to enable them to travel independently on public transport, establishing Sefton’s Travel Training programme.
I will be working with the community connector team part-time covering the Maghull and Lydiate area. My previous role for 11 years was with Sefton Carers Centre initially as the disabilities advocate part time, then increased to full time as the north Sefton Link worker, eventually managing the Family Carer support team. I took redundancy in 2015 but went back to the Carers Centre part time to be involved in the Government pilot with Sefton at Work supporting informal carers who were also employed. My previous experience has been in health, working as a nurse (way back in 1978) and within GP surgeries and GP out of hours services. I have two adult children and have one grandchild who I look after one day per week and have another grandchild expected in February/March 2018.
Conal, the Community Connector for the Bootle area, based in Strand By Me. His background is in youth work and community safety. He has worked in Scotland, St. Helens, Liverpool and Belfast before retiring from public service and working in the voluntary sector with the Whitechapel homeless service. Conal joined Sefton CVS in November 2015 as a Community Asset Officer based in Bootle, and will continue to be based in the Bootle area for this project.
Get in touch
Community Connector’s Project Lead
Phone: 0151 920 0726
If you would like more information on the Community Connectors project, or would like to refer someone, please complete the contact form below.