Gosport charity's volunteer service helps point residents towards organisations to combat isolation and improve wellbeing

VOLUNTEERS are signposting Gosport residents towards helpful services in a bid to combat isolation and uncertainty.

By Belinda Dickins
Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 2:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 2:58 pm

In December, Gosport Voluntary Action’s Community Compass service developed from the charity’s previous Surgery Signposting Project.

This free community service is currently available by telephone and is for anyone in Gosport who needs to speak to someone who has the time to listen with compassion.

Many are unsure what services are currently available for them to access, as the majority of support services are only available remotely.

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Gosport Voluntary Action's Community Compass and its dedicated team of volunteers offer free confidential signposting consultations for those in need. Pictured: Volunteer Elaine Nash at last year's Volunteer's Week

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Community Compass is proving valuable during Covid-19 by helping people with anxiety and depression improve their health and wellbeing.

Angela Gill, project manager, said: ‘Now more than ever GVA’s Community Compass is needed to help local people at one of the most challenging and frightening times in many people’s lives.

‘The social and mental health support needs will be there long after lockdown ends.’

Gosport Voluntary Action's Community Compass and its dedicated team of volunteers offer free confidential signposting consultations for those in need. Pictured: Coordinator Angela Gould with an anonymous client

The original and unique partnership project started with Clinical Commissioning Group funding. The service was based within the Willow Group to provide support for patients across all Gosport’s surgeries.

More recently, financial support has been provided by Gosport Borough Council and by some of Gosport’s Hampshire county councillors to ensure the service continues during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Adrian Federico, clinical practice pharmacist at The Willow Group, said: ‘As a clinician it is hard to know exactly what is available locally, or we don’t have the time to properly discuss these in an appointment.

‘The signposters offer their expertise in this and their valuable time, which is a great way of supporting people to help themselves and really get them to connect with the local community and local services which can sometimes be hard. I really don’t know what we would do without this service now.’

Community Compass volunteers listen and signpost to many local organisations including for those who are socially isolated at this time.

This includes befriending or practical older persons’ services, bereavement support, Citizens Advice, Solent Mind or Age Concern Gosport.

Volunteer Alex Bone said: ‘I enjoy trying to point people into the right direction and unravelling the complex needs they’ve got.’

To access the service either use the referral form at gva.org.uk or email Angela Gould on [email protected]

You can also phone 07578 509079 Monday to Friday from 9am to 2pm.

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