Valuable and Vulnerable

6-month project with a focus on the positive – working with people who were formally or informally shielded and their supporters in 6 areas of the Midlands and South.

We want to shine a light on what makes people valuable and challenge the rhetoric around being vulnerable. The project will help people explore their passions and talents and find creative ways to make a positive difference, while physically distanced. Things like:

  • Connecting with neighbours and organising a Covid safe outdoor Christmas get together
  • Setting up a telephone friendship circle – ringing other older people who don’t get out much
  • Setting up a social group that brings together ‘stuck at home’ lego lovers like you (or quizzing, baking, jigsawing, reading, chatting lovers come to that)
  • Starting a virtual choir

Could this be you or someone you know?

  • Do you live or work in Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire or Birmingham?
  • Have you been shielded or very distanced from other people over the last few months?
  • Would you like to do something interesting or positive but need some help to get started?

Or

  • Do you work or volunteer for an organisation that links with shielded people or those who have been very distanced?
  • Would you like some help or training or advice or information that might enable you to support these people to connect and do something positive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we would love to have a conversation with you! We can offer our time and expertise, design and run workshops for you or your group or team or help in whatever way you need. Our time is funded so it won’t cost you a penny – we even have a small budget we can use to fund any extra expertise you might need. This is a real opportunity for anyone that is up for a positive challenge in quite negative times.

Get in touch at valuable@communitycatalysts.co.uk or ring 07876 836317 for a chat about how we might help you or someone you know.

Background

This project, funded from the Government’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund and distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund, builds on work already undertaken by Community Catalysts under the name of People Doing it for Themselves.

As the Covid challenges progressed we decided to use what we had learned from People Doing it for Themselves. We recognised that many people are formally or informally shielding from society and that the national focus on ‘vulnerability’ and the ‘needs’ of people has created a division in which the skills and strengths of millions of people are overlooked in a way that also puts their mental health and wellbeing at risk. We recognised that these people have huge strengths and skills that their communities and the country needs. This project is focussing on Covid-19 and people who are shielding. It is doing two things:

  • Acting as a catalyst to unlock people’s passion, skills and talents to help them actively contribute to their community, while they are physically distanced. Finding and connecting with people to help them plan and act on their strengths.
  • Work with people to actively challenge and influence local perceptions, narratives and policy, by capturing stories and using them in social and mainstream media – to shift thinking away from people’s vulnerabilities towards people’s assets and strengths.

This new project is being co-produced with our excellent group of people with lived experience of shielding.

Work is taking place in Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Birmingham.

Contact us on valuable@communitycatalysts.co.uk