Background and Aims

Connect My Community NHS is a project delivered by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust Community Asset Development Team. This project was put in place to sustain and develop a peer network across Central Lancashire, by connecting groups, projects, initiatives and individuals with other local assets in their community. COVID-19 presented a challenge, as lockdown restricted the usual points at which people find and engage with valuable community peer support groups. The service adapted provision during COVID-19, using a social media platform to overcome these challenges.

Solution

The team developed an online version of the service utilising Facebook. A platform was set up for groups, projects and initiatives to share what they are doing other people locally. The group consisted of individuals from the community as well as organisations and representatives. Before developing this resource, the team linked in with local stakeholders, professionals and individuals to see if this would be a useful asset to develop online and if it would be utilised well. The page is a rolling co-produced resource as all the content is generated both by the team and local groups, projects and individuals.

Outcomes and Benefits

In the initial six months of the project, 592 people had joined Connect My Community NHS online, with 70 organisations and/or representatives. The post reach and shares by the group are over 90,000. As a by-product, community asset development talks have developed out of the project and these have engaged 200 people covering topics around suicide, Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community experiences of mental health, drugs and alcohol, digital inclusion, hoarding, autism and learning disabilities. The project aims to have 2000 members and 250 groups/organisations by the end of 2021 with aspirations for face to face versions in local areas.

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Content last updated: 03/03/2021

If you have an example of innovative work and / or good practice that you would like to share with us, please e-mail: Contactus@zerosuicidealliance.nhs.uk