In the lead up to Christmas, Village Agents (VA’s) are focussing on loneliness and being able to join in. Supporting vulnerable people in their communities, loneliness is an issue they frequently encounter, often speaking to people who find themselves isolated or unable to have regular contact with other people. They are helping people feel less isolated and more involved in their community, encouraging people to get involved in interesting local activities.
this, the VA’s have created something unique for Somerset – event listings for rural
Somerset, with lots of opportunities for everyone, but especially helpful to
those who may find themselves alone over Christmas.
Keeley Rudd, CEO for the Community Council for Somerset said:
“It’s truly humbling to see so many wonderful events going on across Somerset – from volunteers spending their Christmas day cooking for others to ensure they are not on their own over the festive period, to Carol Singing and Christmas Bingos and Quizzes – there is so much choice, there really is something for everyone!”
CCS’s Village Agents can support people to find transport solutions to access events in their areas, which can be such a barrier in rural communities. They are excellent at providing the vital bridge between individuals and the services they need to access, from helping with their Doctors appointments, to allocating Winter Fuel grants.
People across Somerset are finding the VA’s work vital, client’s feedback showing just how important they are:
“Thanks again for all your help. I do feel a little more hopeful now. Before I met you I was beginning to feel a little discouraged and worried about my whole situation but now, hopefully, things will start to move forward”
“Enormously cheering and supportive it is like having a return to the traditional family doctor who knew and understood the whole situation within each home”
“The service is has opened up a lifeline for myself and my husband, cutting through the tape to get access to help desperately needed”
“At last someone who I felt was truly listening and who was recognising and taking into account all my needs”
“You've been an absolute Godsend to me and my sister. You really have made our lives easier. It's great knowing there's somewhere we can go when we don't know where to turn.”
Christmas listings for Mendip, Sedgemoor, West & South Somerset and Taunton Deane can be found here http://somersetrcc.org.uk/somerset-village-agents-project/.
This Christmas if you are lonely and would like someone to talk to or information on local organisations that can help - visit Somerset Choices: www.somersetchoices.org.uk and search 'loneliness'.
Keep up to date with CCS news – find us on Facebook & Twitter @RuralSomerset