Community Connectors - Supporting clients through lockdown and beyond

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Community Connectors works in partnership with GPs in Hastings, Rother, Eastbourne, Seaford and Hailsham to help people aged 16+ access local services and activities that can help individuals who are experiencing issues affecting their mental health and wellbeing.

The impact of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions has left many people feeling more isolated, particularly for those who cannot use digital platforms to access the community groups and activities that have gone online. Following the lifts in restrictions across the UK, we have already seen an increase in people’s anxiety about going back out into the community and people are coming forward about their fears in returning to ‘normal’ life. 

Our clients have shared their concerns on… what are the current government guidelines? …why do they keep changing? …should I go out? …what if I am shielding?  It is important for clients to be able to speak about their anxieties with us and to have a neutral person that can listen and give advice. We encourage clients to take the correct safety measures to go out and without any judgement should they be anxious or resistant to this. People have felt out of control during lockdown and now that restrictions are relaxing, it is important for people to feel empowered and to regain control around the pace in which they choose to re-engage in life outside of their homes. NHS England has identified that social prescribing will be crucial in helping people recover from the impact of Covid-19. 

Community Connectors have been supporting clients to identify their wellbeing goals and gain confidence by taking a step at a time approach. We talk with clients about how safe they feel to go back outside, what they need to support this, how they can break this down into manageable steps and any aids they can use to help. For example, listening to music, time limiting themselves or using something to help them feel grounded. Throughout lockdown we have continued to promote the 'Five Ways of Wellbeing' by encouraging clients to keep healthy, eat well, exercise, connect with others and engage in things they enjoy. We provide advice and guidance on self-care, relaxation techniques, stress management and activities to help keep your mind occupied in a positive way. Clients can also access our Buddy Scheme where a Volunteer provides 1-1 peer support to help them move closer towards their goals & accessing activities for their wellbeing.

If you would like more information or to refer someone, please contact us on 01323 340151, email social.prescribing@nhs.net or click here to see our webpage.