Rural Development

The Community Champions Project is now being offered to the rest of the Harborough District after a successful pilot in Market Harborough. This district is the largest in Leicestershire and is predominantly rural.

At this early stage of the project we hope to increase referrals from clients living in rural communities and recruit more volunteers that can offer their time as befrienders. We also hope to develop ways that older people in the villages can get together locally, building a network of social contacts nearer to them.

So far there have been two social gatherings for clients and volunteers living in the villages north of Market Harborough, including Fleckney, Kibworth, Houghton on the Hill and Thurnby.

Volunteers and clients fed back:

‘I thoroughly enjoyed that[gathering], it is so nice to get out – I met so many friendly people’

‘My befriended was enthusing about the whole experience and she LOVED it… it was a good get together, and a perfect venue, as most people agreed and would welcome another meeting there, …………..   and I enjoyed it too !!!!’

‘I thought it worked very well, enabling everyone to participate. It was a very successful event’

‘Dad really enjoyed it; it will give him a real lift’

‘I enjoyed your little get-together so much; it was a good place to have a natter’

One of the participants particularly liked it because he could hear everything and was able to participate without background noise’

Next steps include working with local venues and facilities to develop ways people can get together locally independently of the project and networking with other services to increase referrals from rural areas.


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