Funding Community Companions Workshop
Eden Project Communities
A workshop outlining availability and access to Community Companion funding and its purpose
About this Event.
Community Companions Workshop
This workshop will prepare you to create a community companion project and seek funding up to £1000. Note only workshop attendees may apply for funding.
The workshop will outline the journey and learning of the Community Companions project so far. It will explain the funding on offer and look at the way Community Companions has evolved and how this evolution meets the demands of reducing social isolation and loneliness of older people within communities.
The workshop allows you an opportunity to test if an idea qualifies and to discuss what has worked elsewhere.
Please do not book your place until you have read Community Companion guidelines to know if this workshop is of interest and the funding is of use - see guidelines below and then
Guidelines to help you identify if Community Companions could be of use to you.
Thanks to UK funding from Asda Foundation Trust, Royal Voluntary Service is in a position to support community companion activity in Northern Ireland.
We define such activity as championed by volunteer led groups looking to help reduce social isolation and loneliness within older people through the support of local volunteers. Such initiatives allow local people to support their own community through actively providing companionship and activity based ideas that help people re-connect with their communities and feel less alone.
The strength of Community Companions is the volunteer led approach, allowing for each community to tailor its focus to best fit its local need. No two Community Companion groups are the same – but the focus usually includes providing one to one companionship either through home visits or by providing support for small groups of people to come together for a regular meet up - with plenty of tea and chat and companionship at their heart.
Working with Eden Project Communities to help manage this activity on the ground in Northern Ireland, it is anticipated that the Seed fund will encourage the growth in the number of people taking up Community Companion style activity in Northern Ireland and that through this volunteer support, enable some of the most vulnerable older people in their neighbourhoods to feel more connected to their communities.
The Seed Funding available will be for a maximum of £1,000 and be open to all though to avail of funding you will need to be or get constituted with bank account in the name of the group who wish to undertake activity that has a focus on reducing loneliness and isolation amongst older people in their local community.
The anticipation is that after an initial investment, the group can be largely self-sustaining and, unlike many traditional “befriending” type schemes, volunteers can visit and support the people they are helping for as long as the person needs it and the volunteers are able to provide it.
Community Companions volunteers can provide a range of support depending on the needs of their communities and the individual people they are visiting. Examples of the activities they may undertake are:
• Visiting older people at home to watch a film, do some crafting or just have a chat over a cup of tea.
• Making sure that older people can carry on doing the things that are important to them – whether that’s getting out in the garden, watching the local cricket team or going to a faith group.
• Helping people to get out to the shops or to visit friends or family, enjoy a meal together, either at home or at a local café or pub
• Providing companionable transport to health appointments or help with picking up prescriptions.
• Helping older people to find and get to a social activity that they enjoy.
• Letting people know what other help is available in the community and then actively supporting them to get that help. For example, a volunteer may help the older person to contact an organisation which provides home adaptations, make sure they know when the appointment is and even be there on the day to check everything goes smoothly and the older person feels happy and comfortable.
This guide provides full details of what the Royal Voluntary Service Community Companions Seed Funding can fund - who is eligible to apply, any restrictions and what you need to provide with your application.
It is important that ALL applicants read this guide as it gives additional information to that contained within the application form. ALL applications must be made on the Application Form ONLY available from your Royal Voluntary Service / Eden Project Communities contact - and submitted with the specified supporting documentation.
The Community Companion Seed Fund is administered by Royal Voluntary Service in partnership with Eden Project Communities who can answer any questions and give assistance and/or advice to potential applicants to ensure the best possible outcome.
Objectives of the Community Companion Seed Fund:
All applications must address at least one of the three objectives:
• Reducing loneliness and isolation
• Improving health and wellbeing
• Supporting connectivity and participation
Is the Community Companions Seed Fund right for you?
• Do you need up to £1000 for community activity that benefits local people in Northern Ireland?
• Are your activities in line with Royal Voluntary Service’s and Eden Project Communities approach to Community Companions groups (as laid out on Page 1 above)
• Is your group run and co-ordinated by un-paid volunteers for the benefit of your members?
• Do you have a UK based bank account in the name of your branch and financial procedures that require at least two people who are unrelated and do not live at the same address to sign cheques or make a withdrawal?
• Is your group willing and able to sign our Conditions of Funding document?
• Will your group be able to provide proof of expenditure and demonstrate how the money has been spent?
If you answered YES to all these questions, then the Community Companions Seed Fund could be right for you. please book a place at this workshop.
This is the only workshop in Belfast
There is one in Derry Sunday 6 October which can be booked here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/north-west-community-companions-funding-workshop-tickets-73266810001
If you can not attend either please send your details to Grainne McCloskey who will notify you when other areas go live.
- Community development
- Community relations
- Health and wellbeing
- Older people