Community Connectors

See how we are
fighting loneliness

Community Connectors

Community Connectors provide short term support (usually about 6-8 weeks) to help individuals take the first steps towards getting out and about in their community. See how the service has helped local residents get involved in the community.

See how Community Connectors helped Mrs X beat loneliness after bereavement

Mrs X is a 79 year old lady living in Southsea. She moved to the area after 15 years away to be closer to family. She found that she was spending most week days alone at home and experienced a great amount of loss after the death of 9 friends / family members in the past year. Spending time alone was difficult for her and she felt very low in confidence.

 

She was referred to Community Connectors by a friend and after meeting with one of the team and having a discussion, she made a list of goals. These were around meeting new people and being more confident, being more active, being part of a group, going out for dinner with new friends, being busier, happier and more independent. She also wanted to use the buses and get some help with exploring benefits and around the home with odd jobs.

 

The Community Connectors were able to give her information on local groups and the bereavement centre. They were also able to refer her to the handy man service and the Age UK information and advice service. One of the Community Connector volunteers also accompanied Mrs X to Southsea Seniors social club, St. Jude’s Lunch Club and Personal Choice Lunch Club to build her confidence.

 

Mrs X now independently visits Southsea Seniors Group every Tuesday and she has achieved her goal of going out for dinner when she attended an evening meal with this group. She also visits the Personal Choice group on Thursdays and has been invited along to another social group by some of the members. Mrs X is much more confident and does not need as much support. She is walking more to improve her health, as well as using buses to access the city. She is now much happier with her life.

See how Community Connectors helped Mr Y become more independent

Mr Y is a 41 year old gentleman who lives with his parents. He lives with OCD and is currently supported by the Learning Disability Team for social and emotional support. He works part-time, but is very reliant on his Father for transport and tends to go with his parents on holidays and to social groups. He says that although he has work colleagues, he has no friends and feels socially isolated.

 

Mr Y self-referred to Community Connectors and after meeting with one of the team he made a list of goals. These included meeting new people, being less reliant on his parents, being more motivated, improving his IT skills and increasing his self-esteem and confidence.

 

The Community Connectors introduced Mr Y to the John Pounds centre gym and they attended an induction session with him. A volunteer accompanied him to a drop in IT session at the Learning Place and they helped him with the local bus routes. The team also encouraged him to talk to his work colleagues about his new interests outside of work.

 

Mr Y continues to use the gym weekly which he says makes him feel great. He has also spoken to colleagues at work about coming along to the gym with him. He is more independent and takes the bus to places. He enjoyed his IT session and is waiting for dates for an IT course and a Walking Football group. Mr Y also said that he feels less frustrated about living with OCD and he now has more confidence and feels more motivated.

See how Community Connectors helped Mr Z get back into the community

Mr Z was very isolated following losing his job after being bullied and separating from his wife. He experienced problems with alcohol and anxiety and was hospitalised after a mental health breakdown.

 

When he met with one of the Community Connectors team he had very little contact with people and wanted to build more social connections. He wanted to learn to make picture frames, explore gardening and cooking options, go back to his computer course and share his own skills and experience .

 

The Community Connectors provided Mr Z with information on social activities and opportunities that catered to his interests. They accompanied him to Milton community allotments and introduced him to the project leader. He was also accompanied on a visit to Men’s Shed where he could learn to make photo frames and share his own skills. He was supported on numerous occasions via phone and face to face visits to build his confidence.

 

Mr Z is now more aware of the social options available to him across the city and independently visits the community allotments and the Men’s Shed. He is learning to make picture frames and has arranged to teach some of the other men his skills. He has attended courses and the Highbury College computer drop in and he also made contact by himself, with the Chop, Cook, Chat group which he now also attends. He said he is much more confident in himself and is managing his anxiety better.

How can we help?

If you or an adult you know, is experiencing loneliness and want to get out in the community but lack the confidence to do so then Community Connectors may be able to help you.

The service is about empowering people to do things for themselves. A Community Connector will spend some time getting to know you, your interests and what you would like to achieve to stop feeling so lonely. This could be pursuing old interests, visiting a friend, attending a social group or activity class, using public transport – the list is endless and really does depend on your personal preferences.

Everything that is put in place has to be self-sustainable so that you are able to continue on your own after the Community Connector has moved on.

How to take part

If you think that you would like to take part and get some help from a Community Connector then you can self-refer and contact us using the details below.

We have just two eligibility criteria: you need to be over 18 years old and be able to get out of your home independently.

Contact Us

For further information please call 023 9284 1762

or email communityconnectors@portsmouthcc.gcsx.gov.uk

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