Could you be a Community Champion? The search is on across the Great Yarmouth borough
Great Yarmouth Borough Council is on the search to find helpful people within local communities right across the borough to become Community Champions - a new important volunteer role supporting healthy communities to thrive.
The Community Champions' Programme aims to develop new networks of trusted local champions who can help support those most at risk from COVID-19, building trust, communicating accurate health information and ultimately help to save lives. This includes ensuring the right information is available at grass-roots level to help boost vaccine take-up.
The Community Champions will tap into their local networks to provide advice about COVID-19 and vaccines in the first instance, and longer term will help promote healthy lifestyle information supporting GP practices, Primary Care Networks, the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group and Norfolk Public Health. Specifically, the Programme aims 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.
The council is keen to hear from anyone aged over 18, who lives or works in the borough and can spare some time to help out. Through the Community Champions' Programme, a network of trusted "go to people" across the community will be supported by the council and health partners to make a difference by helping to share the latest trusted health and well-being information with their local community, via friends, family and neighbours.
With the support of Norfolk Public Health and the NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG, the council secured funding from the Government's Community Champions scheme, via the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to enhance its COVID-related community engagement and communications work with all communities.
As well as helping to ensure important advice reaches as many people as possible, Community Champions will also be invited to participate in regular "Community Check-ins" - virtual community information-sharing sessions, where they will have the chance to speak with the Communities Team and those leading the COVID response locally.
Find out more and sign up at www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk/community-champions. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Great Yarmouth Community Helpline on 0808 196 2236 if you would like help to apply or to discuss the role further.
Cllr Andy Grant, chairman of the housing and neighbourhoods committee, said: "Community Champions will become a key voice in your local community and will help to support healthy communities to thrive, initially by sharing COVID-related information with your contacts though in future you will likely share a wider range of community-related information.
"You will get health and well-being information and materials to share with your community - this could be through conversations, social media or WhatsApp groups. In addition to helping to keep people safe, you will also have the chance to ask questions and share your ideas and feedback for supporting healthy communities.
"You don't need to belong to any groups or clubs to become a Community Champion. If you are in touch with friends, family and people in your community or workplace, and you're happy to volunteer some time, then please get in touch. For those who wish to go beyond information-sharing to undertake hands-on volunteering, we are also offering the expanded role of Community Champion Plus."