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Age Well Community Connector

Supporting people to maintain good health, mental wellbeing, and their independence as they get older is a priority for the Stafford and Surrounds’ Health and Wellbeing Group. The last Census (2011) recorded 7100 older people living alone in Stafford, and significant growth is expected in older people, equating to 5,600 additional residents aged 85 and over by 2024. Almost 24,000 people in the Borough currently have a limiting long-term illness (LLTI) such as high blood pressure, obesity, or diabetes; this is also expected to increase given the ageing population and increase in unhealthier lifestyles. Almost 1500 people are recorded with depression on GP registers (people aged 16 and over) with recent evidence suggesting that loneliness can be as harmful to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Currently the dependency ratio for older people in the Borough is 34 older people for every 100 people of working age which is higher than the England average. Health and Social Care services are not equipped to cope with today’s demand and resources are not available to do more. So the National Health Service, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Authorities are asking the public to make better use of resources available to help themselves in their communities such as Pharmacies, Community and Voluntary Groups and advice and guidance on the internet or phone lines. They are asking people to take control of their own health and wellbeing and live in an active and healthy way so that the limited resources of the NHS and Health and Social Care can be used on those in critical need.

What is the role of a Community Connector?

The aim of Community Connectors is to engage isolated older people in the Stafford Council Wards of; Eccleshall, Barlaston, Seighford & Church Eaton and ‘connect’ them with services and support available to them which would improve their health and wellbeing.  However if you do not live within these areas we will still support you to carry out the role within your local community.

It is a volunteer post, however Community Connectors will receive full training on local support services and how to access them, but this role is about connecting people with professional support not giving advice or guidance.

What is Involved?

A list of requirements for the role is below, as a volunteer you can choose how to deliver them in a way which fits in with your lifestyle, we would however be asking each Community Connector to engage with 20 people every three months (per quarter) or 80 people a year.

Role Requirements

A commitment to support one of the listed communities for a minimum of one year

To attend the half day Introductory session

To promote your role with the community you are working

To complete assistance forms with everyone you help

To send the completed forms and a feedback form completed by you to us every three months (per quarter four times in total)

To provide receipts for equipment purchases and travel expenses

To attend an evaluation session

Support and benefits

Volunteering is very rewarding whether you are new to the area and want to meet people, want to give back to the community, or want to enhance your CV and learn new skills. The Community Connectors will have access to ongoing support, advice, and guidance from the Borough Council. You will also be connected to Health and Wellbeing Community Steering Groups in the areas who can assist you promote the role and find out about isolated people who need help most of all.

We are looking for a minimum of 9 Community Connectors initially who will have access to a bursary for equipment and expenses.  

We hope that this role will help older people improve their general wellbeing, reduce isolation and loneliness, improve knowledge and understanding and improve confidence and self-esteem.

What do I have to do to apply?

To apply all you have to do is complete the expression of interest form and send it to:

Email - Stafford Borough Council, Health and Wellbeing Community Development Officer, Richard Upton; rupton@staffordbc.gov.uk

Post - Richard Upton, Environment and Health Services, Stafford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Riverside, Stafford, ST16 3AQ

The deadline for completed forms is Friday 24th March 2017

Please contact me on 01785 619675 if you have any questions

Once the deadline has passed all the forms received will be reviewed by representatives of the Stafford and Surrounds Health and Wellbeing Strategy Age Well Group and you will be contacted.

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Stafford