Two smiling people sat opposite each other at table, one is taking notes and has a laptop open. Photo depicts a support session.
Service Type: Mental Health and Employment Support
Service Location: East Sussex

Community Connectors

Contact Details

Community Connectors - General enquiries

01323 340 151

About the service

Community Connectors is a Social Prescribing service, working in partnership with GP Practices across Hastings & Rother, and Eastbourne, Seaford & Hailsham, supporting you to improve your health and wellbeing. We help you to develop personalised and practical solutions to everyday issues.

What is Social Prescribing?

There are times when we all need support to address life’s challenges. Knowing how to access available support locally can make a big difference. Social Prescribing helps you to explore services, groups and activities that can support you to improve your health and emotional wellbeing. Addressing difficult issues needs extra time and support.

Our team of Community Navigators can help by:

  • Giving you the time to explore and identify what is important for your health and wellbeing and the issues you’d like to address
  • Providing support and encouragement to connect to services, groups and activities that can help
  • We can speak with you on the phone or meet face-to-face. And, we will work with you to create a personalised plan to help you to connect with services in your community.

Areas we can support you to connect with include:

  • Healthy lifestyles and active lives
  • Arts, music, outdoors and creativity
  • Befriending, counselling and other support groups
  • Housing, benefits and financial support and advice
  • Employment, training and volunteering
    Education and learning
  • Getting involved in local groups and activities
  • Accessing specialist services and support

Our Community Navigators are:

  • Someone you can talk to confidentially
  • Someone who is practical, helpful and who will not judge you
  • Someone who can help you decide what you’d like to do to improve your health and wellbeing
  • Someone who can find you support and activities that will suit you
  • Someone who can give you support along the way

In this short video, Paul explains the support Community Connectors can offer:

Where can I meet a Community Navigator?

We currently run clinics in a range of GP practices and Communty Centres (by appointment only) – click here to view locations.

“I would like to say ‘big shout out’ to the Navigator and this amazing service.  Every session she has listened, found me support in various ways and been a professional at all times.  I seriously doubt whether I or anyone else I know could do this.  Whether I was up or down, had a good or hard week, she listened, gave me a different outlook and ideas on how I could help myself.  It has made such a difference to me since my very first meeting.  I was lost but now am fighting back to wellness. I won’t give up.  So…Thank You” – Client

Am I eligible?

The service is available to people living in Hastings & Rother, Eastbourne, Seaford & Hailsham areas, aged 18 and over, who are experiencing issues affecting their physical or mental health and wellbeing.

How do I access the service?

A member of your GP Practice team may suggest a referral to Community Connectors. They can send a referral directly to us, with your consent, or you can self-refer by completing our online referral form here.

We will be in touch within seven days of receiving your referral.

Buddy Scheme

As a client of Community Connectors, once we have worked together to identify your priority needs for your wellbeing, if you need support to help you access a service or activity in your local community, we can match you with a Buddy Volunteer who can support you to attend.

If you are a student of the Sussex Recovery College (East Sussex Campus), we also have Buddy Volunteers who can support you to attend a course.

Buddy Volunteers are selected and trained to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to support people who might be daunted by some of the obstacles they face when accessing things in the community.

For example, your Buddy Volunteer might:

  • Help you access public transport
  • Provide peer support to you if you are isolated or lack support and confidence
  • Ring you in advance to remind you of appointments and help you to be motivated to attend your appointments/courses
  • ​Signpost you to other organisations/services that might help you

In time, it is hoped that you will gain more confidence and skills to enable you to independently access community resources in the future.

“I would like to thank everyone involved in this service for helping me get to a new course when my confidence was very low. The volunteer allocated to me was wonderful and friendly and I don’t think I could have done any of it without your help. Thank you. I would definitely recommend, brilliant service, a very happy client” – Buddy Scheme Client

In this short video, Lily the Volunteer Coordinator for Community Connectors tells us more about the support Buddy Volunteers can offer:

Becoming a Buddy

Maybe you’d like to become a Buddy Volunteer and support others?

Volunteering and helping others can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated and provide you with a sense of purpose. If you have 3-4 hours a week to spare you could join our Buddy Scheme and:

  • Become part of a fun, committed and friendly team
  • Receive comprehensive training and support to help develop new skills and enhance existing skill
  • Gain knowledge of the groups, activities and services in your local community and at the Sussex Recovery College
  • Have the opportunity to make a positive difference to someone’s life

Our Outreach Coordinator recruits, trains and supports volunteers for the Buddy Scheme. Once trained, you’ll be matched with clients to support them as outlined in the Buddy Scheme details above.

“After going with me for a couple of weeks, the student managed to go to the course on her own this week, she was so pleased with herself it’s lovely and I’m thrilled” – Buddy Volunteer


Health and Wellbeing Service

The Health and Wellbeing Service is a social prescribing service, working in partnership with GP practices across East Sussex and Brighton and Hove and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The service supports people aged 18 or over who have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and psychosis, to improve their health and wellbeing following their free annual Physical Health Check (PHC) appointment. In East Sussex we will also support people to attend their PHC.

Click here to find out more about Southdown’s Health and Wellbeing Service.