The role of Community Developer
Community focused case study – outreach community work
Here at Konnect Communities we have a dedicated team of professionals working on a variety of different projects across Cornwall and Devon. What unites all these projects is a core focus on improving the lives and prospects of people within our local communities.
One key role, the community developer, underpins much of the work we do by helping us to ‘connect-the-dots’ between ourselves and various complimenting local agencies/support services.
In this blog we ask Amanda (Konnects Community Developer on the People Hub project) to talk about her first four months in this newly formed role and what she has been working on.
This is what Amanda said…
Since joining Konnects People Hub Project as a Community Developer I have been focused on developing local connections and raising awareness of our work.
My initial focus has been on the community of Helston and started by meeting with the Mayor of Helston, Mr. Tim Grattan-Kane. We discussed what Konnect Communities does and how it supports individuals, Tim was very supportive of our project and gave his approval to promote our organisation within the community.
I spent some time working alongside the Helston Community Larder and learning all about the amazing essential service they deliver from Helston’s Family Hub including how they are tackling food waste by diverting over 400kg of food destined for the bin and putting it into the hands of over 500 people in need1 – these are often the same people that benefit from our support.
Next, we took a market stand at the Monument Market, Helston. Armed with cake and face paints we met face-to-face with the locals to talk about what we are doing in Helston. We were joined by Wo and Josh from Hi9 who were on hand to talk all things tech and explain how their work is helping clients with ‘Artificial Intelligence’ in the form of ‘Debbie’ (a chatbot) who constantly sits ready on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Google assistant to help people with questions they have around support and help with completing forms to accessing specialist support. Hi9 also offered Smart Speakers as part of a fun competition on the day!
Nadia and Emma from Cornwall Development Company came down to our promotional event as did a couple of the local councillors, which has now lead on to the potential to roll out the same approach in the neighbouring town of Porthleven…i.e., market stall promotion and coffee morning to sign people up for our Konnects Life Choices, to deliver at Porthleven Methodist Church. I am meeting with Porthleven Town Council mid-October to start the ball rolling.
The team and one of our volunteers (who had completed Konnects Life Choices course at the YMCA in Penzance in June/July) were on hand to answer questions and encourage individuals to attend the upcoming coffee morning we are holding at Helston Methodist Church in August.
The aim of this coffee morning was another promotional event for potential clients to learn more about Konnects Life Choices and see where we would be delivered (Helston Methodist Church). The event was hosted by Rev Daniel Reed whom we have an excellent collaborate working relationship with.
During the coffee morning we were visited by some local prescribers who were interested in learning more about what we are doing and have now started referring to Konnect – which is amazing as we can support even more individuals.
As a result of all this work we are very proud to say that we now have 5 clients signed up to complete Konnects Life Choices which started on the 28th September.
So, what’s next…?
I met with Your Voice an organisation offering essential support to women affected by Mental Health issues. I am in the process of discussing delivery of a bespoke Life Choices course for the local Helston group of ladies and the possibility of working collaboratively with their organisation. I am also meeting to discuss an on-line promotional event which can be available to other local communities of Your Voice as well as the Helston area.
There are a few other things in the pipeline also, including working with The Mustard Seed in Helston. This is a café and food bank for the local community, which also reaches the vulnerable, unemployed and economically inactive. The café is still currently closed, but upon re-opening, I am able to attend on a bi-weekly basis as a Hub and contact point for Konnect to support, signpost or enrol members of the community with one of our dedicated Mentors.
We’d love to hear from you…
The impact of our community developer has been so successful we have appointed a second Community Developer to cover the east of Cornwall! The two Community Developers will enable us to link in with even more organisations.
If you want to get in touch and chat about your project or work with local communities, we’d love to hear from you and talk about how we might collaborate together.
Contact: 01736 339277