For the last 10 years Voluntary Centre Services has worked alongside the Gainsborough and West Lindsey communities, to support development of new community organisations, signpost volunteers, deliver training, draw vital grant funding into the district and champion the voice of the voluntary sector. In that time, we have spoken to well over 500 individuals per year who offer their time to local groups and organisations that need time and energy from these essential volunteers.
Over the last 10 years we have also seen a number of people who simply need some more support around them in the community. This could be because they are lonely, need mental health support, have young families, or are simply new to the area and don’t really know what’s out there. That’s why, in 2017, Voluntary Centre Services launched a new service, in partnership with local health and social care providers, to connect you better with your community.
The Connecting People for Wellbeing service, has been established within the existing Volunteer Centre at the Guildhall and we are offering an impartial conversation, with any individual who would like to connect with their community, or who would benefit from accessing local activities. This type of service, sometimes described as ‘Social Prescribing’, has proven benefits, including reducing the need for some individuals to access clinical support services.
Professionals, relatives and individuals can all refer to the service, where we talk to individuals to identify what will make a difference to their lives. Referrals could include everything from arts groups and lunch clubs, to activities that involve physical exercise, such as gardening and dance. The service is open to anyone over the age of 18. Some individuals may even wish to access volunteering advice, which remains available.
In addition to offering services at the Guildhall, individuals are also welcome at our regular ‘community surgery’ sessions at John Coupland Hospital. Every Tuesday our advisors will be available for a drop-in session at Morton Suite, from 10.00am to 12.00pm. On the last Wednesday of the month we host a free community café at the venue, also from 10.00am to 12.00pm, and residents are welcome to pop in, regardless of whether they are using the hospital.
VCS is always looking for new community groups and organisations that are looking for more participants for their activities and need support to develop their projects. We’d love to find out more about what you do and how we can work together for our communities.
If you’d like to find out more about our Connecting People for Wellbeing project, or would like advice about volunteering, pop in to the Guildhall, Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough DN21 2NA, call 01427 613470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.voluntarycentreservices.org.uk.