Project Smith - Community Connectors
What is Project Smith?
Project Smith is about Lambeth residents working together with NHS Lambeth CCG and Lambeth Council, recognising that the community and people are the assets and key to good health and wellbeing. Project Smith is funded by NHS Lambeth CCG and Lambeth Council and has been running for two years, it has two workstreams - the Lambeth Wellbeing Fund and the Community Connector programme.
Overall, Project Smith has three aims:
• To support people to manage their own health and wellbeing (or condition) by having access to the right information and assistance.
• To help people avoid a crisis, or minimise it (especially for those living independently).
• To build stronger community ties.
Project Smith is about very localised work. The focus is on currently on eight wards in Lambeth covering all three Local Care Networks (LCNs).
- Vassall and Coldharbour wards in the South East LCN
- Ferndale, Larkhall and Stockwell wards in the North LCN
- St Leonards, Streatham Hill and Streatham Wells in the South West LCN
What are Community Connectors?
Community Connectors are people who link others in their local community with activities and organisations that can help improve their quality of life. This can include linking people up with wellbeing and health services, local community groups and organisations, social groups and activities that can have a positive impact on their life.
This ability to link people will help create connections that can provide a safety net of social support to help people feel better about their wellbeing and where they live.
The programme is designed to enable people who already are involved in volunteering in the community to take part and develop a new skill to complement what they do already.
Community Connectors get four days' free training, gaining a qualification – Level 2 in Suporting Behaviour Change accredited by the Royal Society of Public Health.
As well as receiving training, community connectors meet monthly for supervision sessions. This
involves going on a 'safari' to a local organisation and learning about the services offered.
Community Connectors have told us:
"I had become more socially isolated than I was comfortable with when
my children started school and I hadn't yet gone back to work. Since becoming a connector last year, I have helped others, made new friends,
feel better about myself, and even found some job opportunities through networking," Mary a Lambeth resident from SW2
"I have learned so much through the connectors programme that I feel like a walking/talking community notice board," Charlotte, a connector who also received a small grant to help run the Loughborough Farm Café, SW9.
"Since becoming a Community Connector, I have found it so much easier to approach people and be more aware of the support I can offer. Community connecting has given me the knowledge and confidence to build relationships and promote health & wellbeing within the community" Dena, a connector who is also a mentor and community activist, SW16
"I am more able to help my: family, friends and my community, with their heath and welling, connect them with network of organisation that can support them.' The experience and the skills that I have gain from this project as given me the opportunity to improve my communication, listening, and cultural identity skills. I have met some nice people on the course." Tony a connector from SW9, who received a small grant to run drumming based workshops targeted at older isolated men it the borough to help them build connections and confidence.
It's all about you! How to get involved
People from any part of Lambeth can apply, with priority given to people from the Project Smith wards. Community Connectors are given training and support to give them the skills needed to be able to talk to people about wellbeing, the things that they can do for themselves, and places to go to access help and support.
The next training dates are:
29 January and 5 February - Days 1and 2 explains more about the programme,
how you could be a Community Connector and what services are available.
6 February - Day 3 will cover wellbeing, health and behaviour change. At the end of day three you will be given the
opportunity to gain a qualification: Level 2 in Supporting Behaviour Change,
from the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH).
10 February - Day 4 the final day is about putting things into
practice and fitting being a Community Connector into your life.
Community Connectors are currently being evaluated by New Economics
Foundation. Part of this evaluation includes Connectors recording their
community connections via the secure PODIO App software. A specific
Privacy Notice is in place by the CCG, which can be found here. If
you have recently spoken to a Community Connector and had any person
identifiable information taken you can follow this procedure to amend or have
To find out more about Project Smith and the Community Connectors please contact Emma Corker at firstname.lastname@example.org telephone 07734 670300.
Page updated 21.10.19