Community Wellbeing Champions excel during Covid crisis

Our Community Wellbeing Champions (CWCs) deliver social prescribing through the Community Referral Social Prescribing service (CRSP).

We have 22 CWCs covering Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough, who continued to support their existing case load of clients, as well as accepting new referrals from existing pathways during the Covid crisis. The challenge has been one that the team have faced head on and excelled at.

Kate Ellis, Community and Wellbeing Service Manager, said “We knew we would have to change our usual working patterns quite quickly to meet the needs of service users during this crisis. They adapted to the changes in service and did it with a smile, supporting each other and quickly adjusting to an online home based service.”

As well as providing their core service, the CWCs also:

  • Supported 1,652 residents referred to CRSP for an ‘Ongoing support and Wellbeing call’ by both CBC and BBC Community Hubs
  • Supported the Primary Care service for NHSE to contact the shielding population – 1,762 in total, 881 hours of support
  • Helped connect food deliveries and local volunteer groups such as GNS to collect prescriptions
  • Recognised the growing need for Wellbeing Support and created Active Minds, an online 6-week workshop which connects people online and offers them strategies to support themselves to have better wellbeing, focus and motivation.
  • Met clients for a Walk & Coach session (all CWCs are also trained Health Coaches)

All calls with those referred and needing prescriptions were in depth and the CWCs shared the NHS guidance with the patients to ensure they were able to safely shield at home.

Mostly, the team connected with those receiving the support talking to them about how Covid was affecting them and what they were missing most; their loved ones, restaurants, freedom. CWCs also offered follow up calls and the support of connecting them to loved ones and friends via video calls, as lots of people they spoke to had the means but not the confidence or skills to connect.

In addition, a printable activity pack was produced for those who couldn’t connect digitally, enabling friends to connect via the telephone to complete a word search or do other activities together.

They also launched online bingo and played each week. One client in particular had never used a video call platform before was quoted as saying, “It’s amazing I’m here. I’d have never done this a year ago. Lindsay has been amazing for me. Fab!”

Kate Ellis, continued, “To help keep us connected, Bill created the Virtual Cardington Kitchen for us to pop into for a cuppa and a biscuit from home. It was a safe space for us to share how we were feeling, have our daily briefing and for me to allocate calls and update them on the latest Government guidance as new restrictions were announced.

It’s just one way in which they’ve all pulled together to champion this. They are a great team and I’m very proud of what they’ve achieved to help those most in need. They really did step up to the mark.”

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