Frome’s Pioneering Project

A directory of activities and services is a crucial leg on the three legged stool of Frome Compassion Project and of course Whitby’s.

In Frome it began as a prescribing tool for GP’s and health centre staff, on their desks, but also available to the wider public . It was  a crucial tool for the volunteer Community Connectors as a pocket online compendium for signposting people to help.

The story of Frome’s Project and the people involved.

Clicking the above link will open the Frome Directory on the “Befriending-Isolation” page of the Frome Health Connections  web-site. Scrolling down, relevant activities and services are listed. A GP/health worker can hit a print button and particular activities/services will be printed out for a patient.

On the right of the screen various categories of activities are listed, with some activities appearing under more than one category if relevant. There appears a heavy bias towards categories of health condition for purposes of health professionals.

Later you will see  that the approach in Whitby district is a little different because the focus is on use by Community Connectors as sign-posters to help related to how people “feel”, rather than matters of health.

The Directory is the first leg.  What are the other two?

They are the volunteer so-called Community Connectors and the individuals they encounter.

Community Connectors are volunteers with “patient compassion”.

Why patient/ Because their volunteering is not an assignment with rota and a fixed place to operate. They simply go about their day to day activities  and maybe notice or sense a person looking for a word or some help. The Connector gives some time and there may or may not be an outcome. Simple compassion.

One of the places a Connector might point to is a Talking Place (often a cafe). There more time can be spent to explore needs and hopes over a cuppa and likely a different Connector(s). That is important because the aim is not for Connectors to personally befriend individuals.

Those Connectors encounter in unplanned ways . . . .

. . . .  may well be people not in contact with professional help. They may be isolated or lonely because of some kind of a loss, have a level of anxiety they manage without formal healthcare, have been through the “system” already and have not found a social context suited to them, or maybe a carer looking for some respite.

As already mentioned, medical conditions are not able to be advised on, although maybe support can be given to connect with primary care services.

So, a three legged stool of support.

The leaflet below summarises this pictorially.

Whitby Connector Leaflet

Comments are closed.