Stockport Council has put out a call for volunteers to help their communities recover from the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) following the award of over £350,000 in Community Champions grants.
Throughout Stockport, the community spirit and togetherness demonstrated by organisations and individuals throughout the pandemic has been incredible. The One Stockport Community Champions approach aims to build on this. Under the One Stockport umbrella, voluntary and community organisations, working with the council and health partners, are looking to recruit and recognise individuals and organisations with a passion for bringing people together and supporting the health and wellbeing of their communities as Stockport’s Community Champions.
Stockport Community Champions are volunteers who help their communities recover from the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as helping to improve people’s health and wellbeing through sharing the latest information from Public Health and other partners. By finding out what people and communities need to help them recover and feeding it back, they can also help to shape services in the future. It is especially looking for people with a strong existing network of community connections who want to play their part in keeping those around them safe and healthy. The council and health partners will regularly share the latest information with Champions as well as connect them with other Champions.
Champions will connect with people who are most at risk from the impact of COVID-19. They’ll also encourage vaccine take-up and promote wider health and wellbeing.
The One Stockport Community Champion approach has been co-designed by voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) organisations, the council and health partners. As part of the scheme, over £350,000 in Community Champions grants has been awarded to local organisations across the borough. This is to support the work they’re doing in reaching and helping communities that have been affected by COVID-19.
The grant funding has come from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Community as part of a larger package awarded to Stockport Council to develop a Community Champions programme. Funds are also being used to develop communications materials to support the work of the Champions, to capture the lived experience of communities significantly affected by COVID-19 and to evaluate the programme’s impact.
Cllr Jude Wells, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health, said:
“Stockport really came together in the face of the pandemic, with some outstanding demonstrations of selflessness from individuals and organisations keen to look after one another and their wider community.
“Stockport Community Champions is a great way to build on some of this work whilst allowing the council to support local people and organisations by offering funding. I encourage anyone who might be thinking of volunteering to sign up – you can do as little or as much as you like!”
Cllr Amanda Peers, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Neighbourhoods, added:
“Through the Community Champions scheme we can further recognise some of the amazing work that is already taking place in Stockport. As we continue to navigate the impact of the pandemic, it is important that the right information reaches all corners of the community. We are particularly keen to hear from people who have connections to underserved or marginalised groups within the community, those who don’t have naturally formed social networks or support groups. We want to make sure all voices are heard and create a dialogue between the council and the community.”
Become a Community Champion
If you would like to become a Champion and help your community recover from the impact of COVID-19, visit the Stockport Volunteer Hub website to sign up.
Initial introductory training will be provided, as well as the opportunity to participate in further training to help in the role if desired.
Community Champion organisations encourage and support staff and volunteers to become Champions. If you work or volunteer for an organisation that may want to become a Community Champion organisation you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.