Community Champions Partnership Working

Community Champions Partnership Working

In January 2018 Neil O’Brien MP invited Rohini Corfield, Community Champions Manager to attend a Jo Cox Loneliness Reception at number 10 hosted by the Prime Minister

Community Champions works proactively with a range of national and local organisations for mutual benefit.

As part of our bid for funding in 2022, we asked some of our stakeholders their opinions of the Community Champions Project.

National Partnerships

The Connection Coalition is a network of 600 organisations all sharing ideas about how to increase social connections among people.

Befriending Networks is a charity encouraging best practice in befriending through offering training, information and guidance.

The National Lottery Community Fund provide financial support to a variety of loneliness projects, and share learning between projects

Local partnerships

Leicestershire County Council Communities   share resources about how  individuals and communities  can tackle Loneliness  and build vibrant cohesive communities

Harborough District Council sits on the Community Champions Steering Group and runs Dementia Friends training for us

Leicestershire Adult Learning Service offers sociable group learning for our volunteers and clients eg, Effective Communication, Assertiveness, Reducing Plastics, Sugar and Salt

Leicestershire Libraries enable monthly Digital sessions run by CC Digital volunteers to take place at Market Harborough and Lutterworth Libraries (hoping to recommence 2022)

We have good links with Harborough and Oadby and Wigston MP Neil O’Brien, who is a former Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group ( APPG)  on Loneliness

VASL publishes a fortnightly blog in The Harborough Mail and our Charity Manager is on  local radio Hfm every fortnight updating our communities about VASL news

Intergenerational Dialogue

Community Champions encourages contact between people of different generations so that they can learn from  each other’s  life-experiences. Such dialogue also encourages greater community cohesion and an empathy for the challenges faced by different generations.

So far the Community Champions project has developed links with:-

  • Welland Park Academy who have hosted Community Gatherings for us – students served seasonal refreshments to Community Champions clients and volunteers, sat and talked to them, and put on a special Christmas concert with musical performances. “That was the best Community Gathering I have been to – when are we coming back here?” asked one client.
    We also have Community Champions volunteers emailing students, a form of communication that has been particularly appreciated during Covid.  “I have been so uplifted with the youngsters who have written to me with their news…letters were full of Hope.. Positivity.. Resilience.. Happiness.. Some sadness.. Family.. Caring and Positivity.
    There was H.. making himself a shed.. making bird boxes and mowing grass for people alongside his quest to take a mower engine to bits.. school work and family and how they made a veggie plot.
    A ..well.. took a big piano exam after lots of practicing.. and got a merit and looking forward the year 8 after the hols.. So excited about a camping holiday in Cornwall.
    Then C.. whose writing has improved over the year. Totally loveable as his family are very close.. 2 dogs.. I have a picture on my door. Missing his school pals but excited about his video games and his uncle. Honestly….no words can tell them how special these letters have been.
    Amazing young people who care enough to write to a stranger to help with loneliness. A most amazing idea. Not once did they grumble which did surprise me…..Surprised by the entrepreneurial skills of H….full of ideas…C..full of love…A….full of enthusiasm…. 
    They made a huge difference to my world”

Birkett House School – we have Community Champions volunteers who write letters to students at Birkett House, a co-educational special school.
A volunteer says “I like contact with enthusiastic young people;  student P in particular reminds me of learners I used to teach with her style of writing. Student A is more sophisticated, write a charming and often witty letter. It has pleased me to hear how busy they are and all the things they do at school. They are very thoughtful, always asking what I have been doing and how I am”.

Ullesthorpe Church of England Primary School –  students have made 60 Christmas cards for our clients with special messages which were really appreciated. “What a lovely idea – this has really brought a smile to my face. Thank you so much for organising this.”

What our partners say about us:

Contact Community Champions

Telephone 01858 439 262
Email champions@vasl.org.uk
Address: Community Champions, VASL, Torch House, Torch Way, Market Harborough, LE16 9HL