Following the Village Agents Showcase at Staplegrove Village Hall on the 3rd September the Village Agents project has gained further coverage; highlighting the great work they are doing across Somerset with 15 Village Agents supporting just over a third of Somerset’s rural communities.
The Village Agents scheme aims to provide vulnerable people with access to services and information they might otherwise find difficult to obtain for themselves, the project is run by the Community Council for Somerset. See the new Somerset Village Agents film to get a flavour of what the project is all about and see some of our clients first hand – visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f4Ndmxsqns.
The Community Council for Somerset is a charitable organisation supporting action in communities across Somerset.
This initiative has been made possible thanks to funding by The Big Lottery fund, the Bernard Herridge Trust and Total Somerset via the Taunton Deane Partnership and Help & Advice Across Somerset (HAAS).
Village Agents support people by bridging the gap between the local community and the statutory or voluntary sector organisations. They provide high quality face-to-face information and support in addition to offering a facilitated signposting service to put people in direct contact with the appropriate agency. They work to identify unmet needs within their communities and help individuals to make informed choices about their future needs. They support vulnerable, disadvantaged and isolated people of all ages. The Agent lives in or near to their parish clusters so has local knowledge and understanding which contributes to them becoming a trusted dependable member of their community providing a much needed preventative care service. More importantly Village Agents don’t just visit once, they get results they research, resource and follow up checking their clients are making progress.
Sarah Aston the Village Agents Manager who runs the Somerset Village Agents project said “The Village Agents project has really made a difference to the people of Somerset, so far our agents have held 403 meetings and advice sessions reaching 5,889 people in isolated communities – which is fantastic. The project has been running for over a year now and we have had great feedback from our clients. 100% of them said they feel safer and better informed with the Village Agents support.”
Here are just some comments from our clients:
Ms Penfold said about her Village Agent Val “If wasn’t for you coming to help me, I wouldn’t know what to do! “
Mr & Mrs Walford said their Village Agent Andrea “We see her regularly now, so, if we need any help or assistance she helps us…they are great really, absolutely great, it’s a life line and she helps such a lot.”
Mrs Tucker had a problem with a leaking boiler emitting fumes into her property, she said to Andrea our Village Agent: “I was in dire straits and I was feeling ill, you took such a load off of my mind.”
If you wish to know more about Village Agents and if you want to know if there is a village agent in your area please contact Sarah Aston Village Agent Manager email: [email protected] call: 01823 331222.