Community Champions is an exciting new project which has been launched in Fishponds, Bristol. The aim is to build up communities by supporting volunteers to create connections with groups and other local people.
Research shows that being connected in your community is good for you. The project aims to help people to be better connected by empowering them to build links and relationships. Covering Greater Fishponds (including Hillfields, Frome Vale and Eastville), Community Champions is a joint project between Bristol Ageing Better and The Care Forum. Over the next two years they will be recruiting, training and supporting volunteers across the area to be Community Champions and Considerate Friends. Both roles are aimed at ensuring these neighbourhoods are vibrant places with a wide range of social and cultural activities and opportunities for engagement.
Community Champions will contribute by finding out about all the different local activities and services available in the area, identifying any gaps and developing projects to fill those gaps.
Considerate Friends will involve volunteers in supporting premises, facilities, activities and services to be more age friendly, by visiting them and giving advice and support, helping ensure they do not present any barriers against age.
Terry Black, Oldbury Court resident, said: “I’m really excited to be supporting this project in Fishponds with The Care Forum because it will give older people an opportunity to get involved in where they live, meet their neighbours and build stronger communities. I live in Oldbury Court where there are a lot of elders but very few community activities going on for them to come to and be part of the neighbourhood. This project has the potential to make a real difference to peoples’ lives.”
Claire Littlejohn, BAB Project Officer, said: “The Care Forum is delighted to launch this project. Being based at the Vassall Centre we have been part of the Fishponds community for a long time. We are so pleased to be developing work that we hope will be a lasting benefit for older people and I am looking forward to working with volunteers and local organisations to make that happen.”
In addition to volunteering roles, The Greater Fishponds Community Champions project will be overseen by a steering group made up of local people who will guide the direction of the project. Local businesses and services also have an important part to play in signposting people to the project, by displaying posters and distributing leaflets.
If you are interested in any of the volunteer roles, or want to hear more about the project, contact Claire Littlejohn, BAB Project Officer for Greater Fishponds Community Champions, email: ClaireLittlejohn@thecareforum.org.uk or telephone: 0117 958 9325.