In October 2018, we set up the Winter Champions scheme to enable employees to spend a day volunteering and helping out in the community whilst sharing information and materials to groups to help attendees stay well this winter.
Employees across the six south west London Clinical Commissioning Groups, SWL Alliance and SWL Health and Care Partnership are given the opportunity to volunteer with a local community group of their choice or one that has been identified as a key target group by the local engagement teams. The Winter Champions has been running since October 2018 and will end in March 2019.
The benefits of the Winter Champions are:
- Opportunities for personal development
- Increased understanding of the local health and social care environment
- Personal satisfaction and improved well being
- Sense of contributing in a practical way to relieve pressures in the system and to help vulnerable people stay well over winter
Staff volunteering as a winter champion are recognised with a ‘winter champion’ certificate and a personal thank you from their managing director/accountable officer/chair
The winter champion scheme will help to alleviate demand on services by sharing messages around the flu jabs, how to access pharmacies, sharing information on the GP surgeries extended opening hours and promoting NHS111 for urgent care needs.
Community organisations have been keen for members of staff to come out and lend and hand. So far, we have had over 20 members of staff from across Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Sutton, Richmond, Wandsworth CCG and from across the SWL Alliance and Health and Care Partnership attend community and voluntary groups. There are plenty more planned up until the end of March.
Examples of groups visited are: Day centres for older people with dementia, mother and baby groups, Church groups for older people, homeless community.
Groups have been very appreciative to receive an extra pair of hands and the staff who attended groups really valued the time spent talking to people and getting to know their local community.