Community Agents Essex
Community Agents Essex is a locally-based voluntary service that provides ways and means of helping older people build their confidence and manage their own lives, staying living independently and safely in their own homes, for as long as they are able.
It provides its clients with a free, confidential and personal service to help them with, amongst other things:
- Mobility – where equipment and adaptations are needed in the home or to support travel, independence, social interaction and/or physical activity to help improve health and well-being.
- Practical Living Skills – support after a significant life event, such as bereavement or hospital stay, to gain or regain skills, such as paying bills or needing care in the home: personal care/shopping/housework, taking medication or getting to appointments.
- Social Inclusion – connecting people with clubs, activities or with friends, either through social media or by traditional face-to-face conversations.
- Healthy Living – support with preparing meals, linking people with care providers who can home-deliver food or a community activity such as a lunch club.
- Helping Carers – practical support, information and advice for those new to caring or who have been caring for a while and are struggling to cope with their changing role; providing access to support, information and advice and connections to peer support groups, if required.
- Individual Resilience – advice and support to ensure people have the correct entitlement to benefits/pension credit and any other matters that require addressing to improve their quality of life.
Community Agents are trained to Occupational Therapy Level 2 and work part-time, between 10 to 20 hours a week; the service they provide is free to access and confidentiality is assured, so clients have the freedom to use it in whatever way supports their individual needs best.
Community Agents Essex can be contacted simply by calling the Help Desk:
08009 775 858 or 01376 574 341
and speaking to a fully-trained member of staff, who is equipped to deal with all enquiries in a confidential, relaxed and sensitive manner. This gives people wanting to use the service reassurance and peace of mind, knowing that their issues are being listened to and will be dealt with appropriately – no question or request is ever too small or insignificant.
Some people may only need to have a discussion on the phone for them to be able to move forward with their lives, but others may need more active support. This may require Community Agents to discuss a client’s situation with other organisations/ service providers on their behalf. These organisations – carefully selected by Community Agents Essex – offer a wide range of complimentary support services across the county, and relevant personal information may need to be shared with them in order to provide clients with the appropriate level of support they need.
That is why everyone, on becoming a Community Agents Essex client, is asked to sign an agreement permitting their information to be shared. This allows the Community Agents to deal with any appropriate personal issues/needs on their client’s behalf and confirms that the client is happy for those issues/needs to be discussed only with the relevant service providers, who can then look at the best ways to offer/give support.
In order to make the service work efficiently, everything about each client is recorded on the Community Agents Essex secure computer system – personal information, phone calls, home visits, help and assistance offered, aid provided and by whom and, particularly, the outcomes.
Note: Clients can, at any time, withdraw their permission for the use of their personal data by just phoning the Community Agents Essex Help Desk.
Friends of an older person/couple, or members of a family who are worried about older loved ones, and who would like some information on how to deal with particular issues/needs caused by ageing, can always call the Community Agents Essex Help Desk for advice.
However, the Community Agents will need to know that the older person/couple in question is/are aware of their friends’/family’s concerns and, wherever possible, will ask that they make contact with the service personally. This is to ensure that the people who require and will be receiving assistance feel in control of the situation and are able to make informed decisions for themselves.
Even if the initial contact has been organised by a friend/member of the family, unless the client has given their consent for the friend/family member to be present during the Community Agent’s home visits, the nature and content of all discussions, and any decisions mutually agreed, will remain confidential – it is solely for the client to decide what, if anything, they tell to whom.
Great Maplestead’s own Community Agent is Jayne Laken.
She can be contacted via the Community Agents Essex Help Desk,
by phone: 07540 720 607
or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about Community Agents Essex can be found here
Client data is kept for up to 3 years after their last contact for support, and is used anonymously for providing statistical and/or analytical purposes for when Community Agents Essex are re-applying for funding, or to show what the service has been doing over any given period. Personal data is not disclosed or sold on to third-parties or used for canvassing, cold-calling by phone or for making unannounced home visits.
Community Agents Essex’s processing of clients’ personal data is governed by legislation which applies in the UK, including the General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR) and other legislation such as the Human Rights Act.
The service is being delivered through a voluntary sector partnership between four of the largest voluntary sector organisations in Essex: Rural Community Council of Essex, British Red Cross, Age UK Essex and Neighbourhood Watch. It is being fully funded by Essex County Council until March 2021 and part-funded for a further two years while it seeks other funding sources.