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Village and Community Agents- Gloucestershire Rural Community Council

Lead service provider/commissioner

Name:

Gloucestershire County Council

Type of knowledge

Type of knowledge:

Project evaluation

Type of evaluation:

Survey

Prevention service description

Village Agents were launched in 2006 as part of the national LinkAge Plus pilots, with Community Agents, working with older members of black and minority ethnic (BME) communities across the county piloting as part of the scheme in 2008. A successful evaluation of the pilot has seen the scheme run ever since with now 39 Village and Community Agents covering the whole of Gloucestershire. Agents support over 2500 people every year, providing information about and signposting to a wide range of topics and services, connecting people with others in their community and particular groups and social activities, and making referrals to other organisations where necessary.

Agents are proactive in reaching out to people who may need support , visiting a wide range of community spaces- holding surgeries in community buildings, attending flu clinics in doctor’s surgeries, visiting social groups& lunch clubs, advertising in parish magazines and attending community events. Once people who might need support are identified, Agents are able to visit people at home and take the time to discover their needs, which can extend beyond health and social care to include social interaction, help with home improvements, issues with public transport and bus routes, information on paid work, and contributing to the community and village life. Agents will focus firstly on finding community-based solutions before making referrals on to other services, recording all interactions with individuals and community groups on a secure 'gateway'. From March 2013- April 2014, there over 7,500 'gateway' forms recorded. In the case of referrals to other services, Agents will follow up with them to ensure that expected outcomes have been achieved.

Intervention/service type:

Information and advice; Community capacity building

Target client group(s):

Older people; Adults with long-term health conditions


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