W3RT CVS forum; change of approach
On 11th September W3RT CVS gathered online with the “Covid-19 Support Groups” network across the Watford and Three Rivers area to discuss how communities can work “more closely together” in order to drive positive change in light of the ongoing pandemic.
The Covid-19 Support Groups shared updates on the activities they had been doing for their community since the group last met in August. The sharing of ideas and information with other participants is part of W3RT CVS networking, allowing other groups to benefit from the knowledge. This forum focused on engaging the community more in the projects groups are working on, such as a community foodbank like the “STEP IN.. TAKEAWAY” project, that the South Oxhey and Carpenders Park Covid-19 outreach group have set up, together with ASCEND.
Attendees heard from Lynne Misner, CEO & Founder, of “Small Acts of Kindness” (SAOK), a charity that provides gift bags to recipients who may need them in preparation for the winter season.
Lynne was invited as a guest speaker due to SAOK’s experience close to the some of the most vulnerable in the community, asking those in the forum who would benefit from “Warmer Bags” which contain blankets, hats, gloves, socks, leg warmers, hot drinks and SOAK “Purple pages”. Purple Pages are information packs that contain a wealth of carefully sourced literature about services and activities for older people, and very often have things that recipients hadn’t even previously known or thought about. SAOK are now actively looking for volunteers to join them.
A change in how we network to get results
It was then agreed that working closer with W3RT CVS on shifting the focus of forums, from the community’s response to Covid-19 to a more long-term community development, could help share proactive solutions on how networks can work much closer with the community going forward.
After the meeting Lynne said that she was grateful for the support of W3RT CVS and individuals from the community for sharing her request for volunteers and hopes that the connections made will enable her organisation to support more individuals in the community this winter.
Alex Murray, CVS Lead said:
“The majority of the community groups that formed in response to the pandemic are wanting to continue to support their communities in some form going forward. As W3RT believe in an asset-based approach to community development, we are looking to continue to support these groups going forward.”
W3RT CVS are planning on hosting the new community development forum on the 9th October to continue supporting individuals in their own communities. If you would like to join the discussion or interested in additional information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.