The Community Champions project aims to reduce loneliness for people over 60 who live alone in Harborough District.
We accept referrals from individuals, families, GP surgeries, Adult Social Care, Local Area Co-ordinators. Our referral form is here.
VASL is delighted to announce that The National Lottery Community Fund has granted VASL a further 3 years funding until 2025, you can find out more about the extension to the project here. There is no charge for participating in the project. The volunteers are paid travel expenses but give their time freely.
Our new Next Steps course encourages clients to develop their agency and try new things to make local and online connections. To find out more about Next Steps sessions click here, we aim to run the course three times a year.
Volunteer with us
We recruit and train volunteers who contact their client on a regular basis, with visits, phone calls, emails, and letters. To find out more about volunteering with us please ring 01858 439262 or email. We interview all of our volunteers and take up references for them. We match volunteers to suitable clients based on shared interests and similar life experiences.
These are our current volunteering opportunities.
Building a project community
We encourage people to come along to our monthly gatherings and learning/social events on zoom or face to face, which helps them to become part of the project community.
Our volunteers can support people to join groups and activities so that they make local connections.
We work with a wide variety of partners, including local schools to encourage intergenerational dialogue.
Have a look at our Community Champions Newsletters which give you more of a flavour of what we get up to.
We offer digital support for people to get online and run a monthly book club and a mini gathering online.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
We were able to participate in research by Sheffield University on how loneliness affects Black and Minority Ethnic people, the toolkit they have produced is available online.
Community Champions (CC) is a project about reducing Loneliness and connecting people. We know that anyone can become lonely, and we also know that we can all be part of the solution.
The CC project welcomes people from all backgrounds as volunteers, clients or staff. We aim to provide an excellent service to everyone and do not discriminate in the support we offer on any grounds eg, race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, marriage status etc
We will do our best to make sure everyone is included and respected. We hope that you will also embrace our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion so that together we can build positive relationships and connect communities across all types of diversity.
VASL has set up an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group which will help us develop best practice in this vital work.
Nine months into the pandemic we asked our clients what loneliness means to them, their words are read by our volunteers and they were recorded using Zoom.
What loneliness means to me
This is how I deal with loneliness
This is the difference that Community Champions has made.
Any of us could be affected by loneliness and this article talks about ways to cope if you are feeling isolated.
Contact Community Champions
Available across Harborough District
Telephone 01858 439 262
Address: Community Champions, VASL, Torch House, Torch Way, Market Harborough, LE16 9HL