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Community Agents Essex

Lead service provider/commissioner


Community Agents Essex

Type of knowledge

Type of knowledge:

Project description only

Prevention service description

The partnership was formed in 2013, when it became clear that a new approach was required if the increasing numbers of older people in the county were to receive adequate care and support. The Rural County Council of Essex had been successfully running the Village Agents scheme for four years in Mid Essex. In 2014, the Rural Community Council of Essex, the British Red Cross, Age UK Essex and Essex Neighbourhood Watch combined forces and with further funding from Essex County Council, formed the Community Agents Essex partnership. Across the county as a whole, the Rural Community Council of Essex and the British Red Cross jointly employ around 32 Community Agents. Community Agents are recruited from a range of backgrounds and their training and experience coupled with their in-depth local knowledge enable them to provide a high-quality service to their clients. Community Agents are based locally and work flexible hours; and although they are not social workers, all agents are DBS checked. A team of volunteers help to promote the service in the local community.

Key to the success of the scheme is the time available to Community Agents to meaningfully engage with their client, and work with them to identify solutions that draw on their own strengths as well as local resources. Although these conversations can sometimes be difficult, staff have found that their clients generally feel more comfortable talking to them than a social worker.

Intervention/service type:

Support at home; Information and advice; Community services; Low-level support; Carers support; Self-care

Target client group(s):

Older people; Carers

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