Voluntary service has been connecting the community with wellbeing for 10 years

Heather Arnatt, area co-ordinator for Voluntary Services Centre in West Lindsey
Heather Arnatt, area co-ordinator for Voluntary Services Centre in West Lindsey

For the last ten years Voluntary Centre Services (VCS) has worked alongside the Gainsborough and West Lindsey communities to support development of new community organisations, signpost volunteers, deliver training, draw vital grant funding into the district and champion the voice of the voluntary sector.

In that time, it has also seen a number of people who simply need some more support around them in the community.

That’s why, in 2017, VCS launched a new service, in partnership with local health and social care providers.

The ‘connecting people for wellbeing’ service has been established within the existing volunteer centre at the Guildhall and it is offering an impartial conversation with any individual who would like to connect with their community, or who would benefit from accessing local activities.

This type of service, sometimes described as ‘social prescribing’, has proven benefits across the country including reducing the need for some individuals to access clinical support services.

Professionals, relatives and individuals can refer to the service, where we talk to individuals to identify what will make a difference to their lives.

Referrals could include everything from arts groups and lunch clubs, to activities that involve physical exercise, such as gardening and dance.

The service is open to anyone over the age of 18.

Some individuals may even wish to access volunteering advice, which remains available.

In addition to offering services at the Guildhall, individuals are also welcome at the regular ‘community surgery’ sessions at John Coupland Hospital.

Every Tuesday our advisors will be available for a drop-in session at Morton Suite between 10am to 12noon.

On the last Wednesday of the month there is a free community café at the venue, also from 10am to 12noon and residents are welcome to pop in, regardless of whether they are using the hospital.

VCS is always looking for new community groups and organisations that are looking for more participants for their activities, or need support to develop their projects.

If you’d like to find out more about the project, or would like advice about volunteering, pop in to the Guildhall in Gainsborough, call 01427 613470, email westlindsey@voluntarycentreservices.org.uk or visit www.voluntarycentreservices.org.uk