A network of community champions is being established across Bolsover District in an effort to inform local people about important health and community information.
We have been awarded £188,833 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to employ the Community Champions who will help and assist local people navigate relevant support and services.
The Champions will be accessible and available in places where people gather safely such as supermarkets, schools, GP’s, business parks and outdoor recreation/parks so they can cascade information such as Covd-19 vaccine updates.
In addition to informing the general public, the Champions will also target community groups, employers and hard to reach groups so they can share the information amongst their networks.
Council Leader, Steve Fritchley said, “It is vitally important that we continue to try and get the important messages out into our community and provide accurate information about COVOD-19 and the vaccines to everyone. This grant will assist us in helping to spread the word about important issues and stopping fake news that people pick up from social networks and hearsay.”
The pandemic has created issues around isolation and mental health and the funding will also help develop relationships in the local community through the process of making, writing and recording music and sound to express emotions and tell a story.
The Community Champions will initially be based around the four town centres of Bolsover, Clowne, Shirebrook and South Normanton but will expand into neighbouring villages once established.
The funding is specifically targeted at areas with plans to reach groups such as older people, disabled people, and people from ethnic minority backgrounds who according to the latest evidence are more likely to suffer long-term impacts and poor outcomes from COVID-19.
Councillor Fritchley added, “Working with community leaders will enable us to reach more people and accelerate a range of initiatives aimed at engaging and supporting our communities now and in the future. I have reiterated on numerous occasions that we have a serious problem with people feeling isolated, so anything we can do to help people connect with others and start to be part of a community again can only be good news.”