Community referral organisation Connect Well East Kent has seen a huge surge in people needing its services during the covid pandemic.
The project has spoken thousands of people, with 12,000 in just a four week period, many of whom needed support to access essentials such as food and medication.
In response to this need, Connect Well East Kent has partnered with other organisations in East Kent with teams of volunteers picking up and delivering food shopping and prescriptions. As communities pull together during this unprecedented time, volunteers are playing a key role in supporting this need.
One woman who has been helped by the service said: “I got myself in such a state over my medicine and food as you take it all for granted. I would normally collect my medicine and food but due to my COPD and heart condition I cannot leave the house.
“I am so grateful that they managed to help me as they have probably saved my life. I thought I was forgotten about as I have no family or friends. Thank you so much”
Contract manager for Connect Well East Kent Jack Packman said:“Our approach is very holistic and the support we provide is very much person-centred. It is all about what the person wants and what the person needs to try.
“Our approach has meant that we have responded to the need in our communities and we hope to be able to support people by providing whatever is needed in this desperate time such as food, prescription deliveries and much more.”
Connect Well East Kent evolved from a National Lottery Funded pilot run by the Ageless Thanet project. The value of the pilot was recognised by Kent County Council which awarded funding to Social Enterprise Kent to expand the pilot to cover East Kent.
On average Connect Well East Kent supports 4250 adults each year to live happier and healthier lives.
Connect Well East Kent is working closely with other Social Enterprise Kent projects, such as the Employment Support programme and Ageless Thanet. The Employment Support programme has helped hundreds of people in Kent get back into employment, focusing on those with long term health conditions or those who are over the age of 45. Staff are currently working with people to improve their CVs and signpost them to online training opportunities.
Ageless Thanet is working to try and reduce loneliness. Instead of their usual face to face activities in the communities, they are operating a telephone befriending service which matches people with volunteers who have similar interests.
The Life Planners are also working with people who need support over the telephone, whether that is for advice on topics such as financial issues, problems at work, housing and family matters.
The service is available to all residents aged over 55 years, regardless of whether they are receiving any other services from Adult Social Care or not. It is also available to those under the age of 55 years with complex needs.
Get in touch
Connect Well East Kent – 0300 302 0178
Employment Support – 01227 200 120
Ageless Thanet Telephone Befriending – 01843 210 005
Life Planning – 01843 808685 (please leave your name and telephone number and one of the Life Planners will contact you).