The Care Forum: Projects Update April 2020

Background
During the COVID period, The Care Forum has committed to using our resources, staff teams and volunteers to support essential service delivery across our areas of operation (Bristol, B&NES, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Swindon).

We’ve made this commitment to our funders, and have also committed to working in partnership with our Civil Society partners: https://www.thecareforum.org/morgan-daly-ceo-the-care-forum/west-of-england-civil-society-partnership-woecsp/

Healthwatch in B&NES
Our Volunteer Support Officer is helping to staff the hub phone lines in B&NES, in partnership with the Volunteer Support Centre, 3SG and Virgin Care. We will be dong our bit to help local people to access vital support.

Healthwatch in Swindon
We’ve had to close our Swindon office and are currently working from home. We are unable to carry out face to face meetings and engagement work, so our team is now offering hours to staff the Community Resilience Hub phone lines in Swindon, in partnership with other organisations including Voluntary Action Swindon and Swindon Borough Council. We will be doing our bit to help local people to access vital support.

Well Aware
We were proud to be awarded the Information, Advice and Guidance contract for Bristol and South Gloucestershire in early 2020. We recognise that during this re-launch period, we have an opportunity to make use of this tool to help the Local Authorities save lives by getting information to people who need it.

  • We’re mapping services across the region, and saving them on the Well Aware website. This includes things like prescription services.
  • We’re collating up to date information on things like mental health services, prioritising services most likely to be needed by local people at this time
  • As part of this mapping, we are documenting information such as support for specific population groups
  • We’re working with our Civil Society partners to look at capacity within services to try and ensure that members of the public are able to access what they need

Dialogue, Bristol and South Gloucestershire
Our Dialogue project ensures that health and care services are informed by the views and experiences of health and care VCSE organisations, which are mainly based in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

We are working to support emergency response across BNSSG with a variety of partners.

Voice and Influence and Bristol Join Up
The Voice and Influence Partnership has been set up in Bristol to improve engagement of communities across the city with Council consultations.
https://www.thecareforum.org/voice-influence-partnership/

Bristol Join-Up is seven organisations working together to engage people within 6 different communities. These projects include social activities, volunteering, peer support, befriending and getting your voice heard. We are funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.
https://www.thecareforum.org/bristol-join-up/
We are highlighting support for our partners, including financial aid. We’ve worked together to draw up plans to continue to support the people of Bristol remotely as we deliver these projects.

Advocacy and Social Prescribing
We are still providing our social prescribing Ways to Wellbeing service. Our support will be different as we are following government guidelines and are not meeting people face to face, however, we are working creatively to support people during these difficult times. We are collating resources and services that can be accessed online or over the phone.