A new service has been launched to counter social isolation and boost wellbeing in the communities of the Bristol North Fringe area.
The South Gloucestershire Community Connectors launched at the beginning of October and aims to help people in South Gloucestershire reconnect with each other and find out what’s going on in their communities.
The free service, provided by housing association Curo and South Gloucestershire Council, links with GP surgeries, the voluntary sector and local community groups from across the whole district.
Support available includes information and guidance over the phone, face-to-face or by e-mail as well as tailored help in getting people to play a more active role in their communities and setting up new groups.
Harriet Bosnell, Curo director of health, care and support, said:
“This is a fantastic new service for anyone in South Gloucestershire who wants to boost their wellbeing or feels isolated. There’s so much going on in villages, towns and communities across the district, and our community connectors are here to help people make those all-important connections, whether that’s discovering a new coffee morning, volunteering for a good cause, or joining a local group. We can even help to get something started where there’s a gap. We’re working with GPs, health workers and community organisations to spread the word and help people access this new service.”
The local community connector for Bradley Stoke, Patchway, Filton and Stoke Gifford is Sarah Grimes. She is based at Stoke Gifford Medical Centre in Ratcliffe Drive but spends most of the time out and about in the local community. Sarah says:
“I am excited to be part of a positive service aimed at enhancing the lives of people and the local community. So far I have helped people with a variety of different issues, including isolation, homelessness and connecting them with services in their local area. I can also help with setting up new community groups and supporting existing ones.”
To access the service, Sarah can be contacted directly during working hours on 07967 344661 or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
People can also access the Community Connectors service directly by calling 0300 123 2464 or e-mailing email@example.com
Alternatively, people can ask to be referred by health or support professionals such as council staff, GPs, community health and voluntary sector partners.
Photo (Launching Community Connectors at Frome Valley Medical Centre, l-r): Cllr Jon Hunt (Chair of S Glos Children, Adults & Health Committee), Vicky Elliott (Practice Manager), Robin Woodward (Community Connectors Team Leader), Sue Jacques (South Glos Council Commissioning Officer), Hilary Jay (Community Connectors Wellbeing Worker), Dr Jane Goram (GP), Claire Rees (S Glos Health & Wellbeing Partnership Support Officer), Harriet Bosnell (Curo Director of Health, Care & Support) and Dr Jon Evans (S Glos Clinical Commissioning Group).
This article originally appeared in the November 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 27). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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