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Priority 4: Community Resilience

In this video, Health and Wellbeing Board member Scott Williamson, Chief Executive Officer at The Megacentre Rayleigh, explains what we mean by community resilience and why we have chosen this as a priority in our strategy:

The actions in our action plan will support our communities to adapt. We aim to encourage residents to support and empower each other. This will include cross generational and inclusive working; everyone can contribute something to someone, regardless of age or background.

Impacts of COVID-19

COVID-19 affected the way we all live, learn and work. It impacted on jobs, finances, education, families, caring responsibilities, and social life and has placed immense pressure on essential workers. Some groups have been affected more than others. Health inequalities have widened too as a result. This means we need to focus more of our efforts towards those whose needs are greatest.

VCFSE sector groups have been impacted and had to adapt what they can offer. We have also seen closures of shops, pubs, and restaurants, resulting in changes to social behaviours and more isolation.  Through this experience we have learned that a resilient community benefits from a flexible, system-wide approach. This helps to ensure it can continue to support the needs of its residents. Sustainability is crucial to ensure services are fit for the future.  

COVID-19 created an opportunity to do things differently. The collective response helped to lessen the impact of coronavirus. It saved lives and supported the most vulnerable. It was an example of true collaboration that made the best use of the resources available. The existing connections our organisations had with our communities meant we could create a “Local Hub” approach. This ensured that wherever possible, support was available from a single point. People were connected to the organisations best placed to help. This is something we want to build upon as we move forwards.

People are now more aware of their community and the part they play in it. There is a greater interest in caring for other people. We want to nurture this so that people keep supporting one another and continue giving their time. This might be as a volunteer or acts of goodwill.

Doris, 90, lives in a bungalow in Canewdon. Throughout lockdown she didn’t see a soul most days as her son lives in Lincoln and couldn’t travel to see her. Her neighbour started taking shopping and meals round and stopped for a doorstop chat. When lockdown lifted, Doris did not see her neighbour as much, which made her feel lonely. She was referred to RRAVS befriending service with the help of her son, which has made Doris feel a lot happier. The befriender has been taking Doris to Church, and Doris has been teaching her befriender how to knit.

It is important to us that people are involved in the decisions that affect their lives.

Ben, 16, lives on Canvey and doesn’t feel there is enough to do nearby for young people. He was disengaged with education and left school without any qualifications. He has recently been drawn into anti-social behaviour and has been cautioned by the police. He wants to make better choices but doesn’t know how to.

Ben went to one of Yellow Door’s outreach sessions at Waterside Skate Park. He found out about Yellow Door’s job club, offering practical help to access training and employment opportunities, and Achievement Through Football, which teaches life skills through sport.

In this video, Health and Wellbeing Board member Sarah Mills, Interim Head of Transformation for Castle Point & Rochford Clinical Commissioning Group, speaks about what community resilience entails: