Working together to help local voices be heard
What is the Community Connectors Project?
The aim of the project is to connect communities with decision-making that directly impacts them. This is a two-year project, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.
Organisations such as councils and the NHS consult local community groups through engagement ‘pathways’ and networks. This project will enhance the connections within the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector to link communities with these networks. As a result, the project will:
- Amplify voices
- Connect communities
- Support engagement
How are we going to do this?
Community Connectors will be recruited as volunteers, supported by Area Engagement Workers, and VCSFE groups, to feed back what matters to them. This will also provide ‘a seat at the table’ for under-represented groups.
To achieve this, we will be speaking to communities to identify Volunteer Community Connectors. We also want to hear from VCSFE organisations across Cumbria who would benefit from increased connection or who feel that they are not included at a decision-making level.
Volunteer Community Connectors will be people in organisations who are passionate about their community – geographical, identity or interest. They will be someone who feels confident to speak about their community’s concerns or would feel confident following support from our Area Engagement Workers.
Not sure – want to know more? Get in touch!
What do we mean by ‘under-represented’?
Lots of community groups have strong links with the public sector and other stakeholders, and know where to go, and who to contact, to make themselves heard. But there are also many voices who are missing from those conversations.
It could be that the group represents people experiencing homelessness; that they have lived experience of autism, learning or physical disabilities and need adjustments to be able to take part; there are language or cultural barriers; that they simply do not know that such meetings and networks exist, or who to ask to join.
We want to hear from you to see how we can help.
The Community Connectors project aims to:
- Increase diversity on the key pathways and networks
- Remove barriers for ongoing participation
- Build on the skills, knowledge and commitment of individuals
- Empower and strengthen communities to enhance decision-making
- Provide a supportive network for volunteers
To find out more, please contact the Area Engagement Worker where you are:
Jess Longrigg (Allerdale and Copeland)
Call: 07458 058519
TBC (Carlisle and Eden)
Call: 01768 800350
Mary Biddle (South Lakes and Barrow)
Call: 07458 058512