Following on from the recent Captains Blog…Star date 26.09.14…..
“Compassion: that’s the one thing no machine ever had. Maybe it’s the one thing that keeps men ahead of them.” –DR. MCCOY, Star Trek
I’d like to tell you a little about my role as Community Link Worker.
This post was created as a direct result of the successful Community Engagement and Resilience and Health Service Development project, led by the Annandale & Eskdale Health Improvement Team.
My post gives me the opportunity to;
- Engage with people to identify what is important to them in life,
- Support them to achieve agreed outcomes and live their lives to the full.
- Link people with existing services, day centres, support groups, local activities, training or volunteering opportunities.
- Identify gaps in services and empower people to take an active role in the development and delivery of self help interventions (bringing groups of people together which was something requested in the community surveys).
Our team is part of the Safe and Healthy Action Partnership (SHAP), working with communities and other statutory and 3rd sector organisations. This co-production has enabled us to create a calendar of activities and opportunities which we update quarterly
Activities have included
- Ipad training sessions (Silver Surfers) – supporting people to learn the basic functions of an Ipad/tablet – reducing social isolation, enabling people to access additional information
- Health Walks (Annan, Lockerbie, Langholm)
- Art Group (Annan)
- Craft Group (Annan)
- Living Life to the Full (Annan)
- Tea and Tennis (Annan)
During the short time the project has been running, we have received 158 referrals which has led to the expansion of the project and the creation of another Community Link Worker, Darren Bryan is now in post.
A significant part of our role is as part of the Forward Looking Care Team, focusing on preventative approaches to care. As well as Darren and myself
the FLC team is made up of:
Denise Fallon, Care Co-ordinator Social Services, Forward Looking Care Team works with people who currently have social service involvement or packages in place to ensure more joined up working avoiding duplication.
Dr’s Grecy Bell and Fiona O’Brien, General Practitioners support patient’s and their families to identify ways to improve their quality of life and self-management by encouraging patients to have a Forward Looking Care plan.
The changes that people have been supported to make have had a huge impact on those that have been involved. Some quotes from participants are shown below along with a poem written by Meg who goes to the Craft Group in Annan.
“Attending the group is one of the highlights of the week” Craft group participant
“I am able to live in my own home which means the world to me” FLC participant
“through this discussion my family are now aware of what I do and don’t want to happen to me” FLC participant
“I enjoy the company and learning new skills” Craft group participant
Do you sit all day just quiet and alone, no knock on the door, no voice on the phone?
Well we are here to talk to you; we will find you something you can do,
You can sew or knit, or sing a song,
If we know the words we’ll sing along,
Or you can just be quiet or free to have a chockie bickie and a nice cuppa tea,
Cardboard Jane she sorts us out, Gobby Meg just has to shout,
Christine is the quiet one, you hardly know she’s there,
Sandra gives us all a hug to show how much she cares,
Amanda had her hair cut it makes her face look round,
She loves to make her bracelets and sell them for a pound,
Julie and Heather are in charge, they make us tow the line, but they make a good cuppa tea so that’s all fine,
Sue is the clever one, she does sums in her head, she’ll sort out all your cash complaints especially if your dead,
Gillian too is quiet and a member of the clan, she really likes to crochet but does what she can,
Bridie’s thing is to crochet so if you don’t have a clue of how its skill is really done she’ll show you what to do,
Agnes our newest member doesn’t care for crafts, but she’ll join in all we do and join in all the laughs
By Meg Little
As my manager Elaine ‘Captain Kirk’ Lamont says in the forward of the SHAP Annual Report – (she is) “beginning to wonder if there will ever be a time when…(sic)…we are not in a period of change”. Being involved in a ‘test of change’ our team feel that rather than shying away from the challenge of new ways of we are ready to…
“…boldly go where no ‘service’ has gone before!”
Julie Robertson is a Community Link Worker in Annandale and Eskdale Health Improvement Team