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Community Champions Next Steps Posted on Monday, 28 November 2022

One of the aims of Community Champions 2 is to encourage people to become more involved with their community and a Next Steps course has been planned to encourage people to do this.

First Course Autumn 2022

Eleven people, clients and volunteers completed the first Next Steps course facilitated by Wendy. This course encouraged everyone to think about how loneliness is affecting them, and encouraged all to do an experiment to try something new which could result in more social connections. The group really embraced the challenge! One person has started the radio broadcasting course at Hfm, another has joined the Leisure Centre, 2 people are going to volunteer at the Christmas Day lunch, and a client is going to set up a group to play card games. One volunteer took 3 clients out for lunch, and another client has invited all to join her for tea and plans to cook a Christmas meal for anyone on their own in her residence.

Most people had faced setbacks but had adapted their experiments eg. it turned out that no one knew how to play whist, so now the person is going to set up a group to play any sort of card game. The group discussed how to deal with setbacks and to keep their momentum going through using motivational tools like their reflective diaries, inspiration jars and each other.

There is a report by Wendy here which appeared in the Harborough Mail.

The group has formed a What’s App group to stay in touch, and organise social events with arrangements for those without a smartphone.
“Thank you so much for this course it has really helped give me ideas and meet new people. Life has setbacks, but don’t give up, everything has cracks, but they let the light in!”

Second Course Summer 2023

Seven people (5 clients and 2 volunteers)  took part in the second Next Steps course, led by Wendy, which explored how to build a social fitness plan to reduce loneliness. The group were inspired by Diana, who talked about how doing the first Next Steps course gave her and Annie the confidence to set up a card playing group. This time people’s experiments led to them meeting a new person for lunch, being taken out to a garden centre by neighbours who were doctors, and re-considering joining the U3A (University of the Third Age). Some people who had health, emotional and mobility challenges shared how difficult it was to  get out and try new things.

At the last session certificates were presented to celebrate all that people had learnt and contributed. All fed back  about how much they enjoyed Wendy’s input and the company and contributions of all group members.
To my surprise the course has had a transforming effect on my life, it was  something that Wendy said; If you are lucky enough to have climbed step by step to the top of your ladder the challenge is not to try even more challenges, but not to fall off and accept as the years go by you may have to go down a step and perhaps try and do more for other people”.

The third course will take place in November 2023

Members of the first Next Steps course receiving their certificates.