Village and Community Agents have been working across the county for 11 years and helped thousands of older people and communities gain better access to services and information as well as providing support and assistance to those who need it most. Over the past four years, social prescribing has offered GP practices and other healthcare professionals a mechanism for referring patients to a range of local non-clinical services.
The service has been extended so that anyone over the age of 16 living in Gloucestershire, or registered with a Gloucestershire GP, can access Community Connectors. Referrals can be made by a health or social care professional, a voluntary and community group, members of the community as well as via self-referral.
The service can offer one to one support for individuals and can also signpost or refer people to activities and groups available in their area. Community Connectors on the ground will have extensive local knowledge and will be able to facilitate local activity.
It can be helpful for people:
- in times of change, for example after redundancy, health issues or retirement
- in times of emotional hardship, such as after a bereavement
- who are worried about debt or financial issues
- who don’t know where to turn for support
- who would like to volunteer in their community
A poster and local leaflets will be available soon in GP surgeries and elsewhere.