During COVID-19, GVA’s Community Compass listening and signposting service allowed local people to have a free, confidential telephone consultation for up to 40 minutes, with a trained/experienced Community Compass volunteer. The volunteer listened, helped to identify the information needed and contacted the appropriate voluntary and community support services available during COVID-19.
GVA’s friendly Community Compass volunteers helped with social, health and welfare issues that were compounded during COVID-19 such as:
- Social isolation
- Coping with long-term conditions such as Dementia, Arthritis or COPD
- Family issues
- Debt or housing issues
- Food poverty
- Accessing welfare benefits and entitlement to statutory allowances
GVA’s successful Surgery Signposting Project was developed with the Fareham & Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group as part of Gosport’s ground-breaking ‘Better Local Care’ partnership initiative, latterly supported by Hampshire County Council and Gosport Borough Council. Sadly, after over 5 years of developing volunteer expertise and systems to save GP/clinical time and support hundreds of local people (many in desperate need of social and well-being support), the funding for this innovative Social Prescribing project came to an end on Friday 27 November 2020, when this unique volunteer delivered local project closed.
However, to meet the needs of Gosport’s vulnerable and increasingly socially isolated adults (many with a range of mental health related issues including anxiety, depression, bereavement and isolation) during the COVID-19 pandemic, GVA launched Community Compass. Similar to Surgery Signposting, this was a free community listening and support service available to assist all Gosport residents in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The way community support is currently provided has changed, but local services are still there, to reduce social anxiety, improve health and well-being, to offer support and training after losing employment, help for those with financial/housing issues, and particularly for those experiencing bereavement.
This volunteer-delivered service has now ended, and social prescribing has moved to Gosport Central Primary Care Network. To access this support, please visit https://www.thewillowgroup.nhs.uk or call 023 82311034.