Minister for Civil Society visits Community Navigators project

Posted on 13th March 2015 by

Yesterday Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson MP visited the Community Navigators project at one of our participating surgeries. Benfield Valley Healthcare Hub is a site where one volunteer (pictured below) has provided navigation to at least 25 clients since the beginning of the project in autumn last year.

Minister for Civil Society meets Community Navigator

From left to right: Jenny Moore, EPIC Project Development Manager; Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Civil Society; Bunty Bateman, Volunteer Community Navigator

Community Navigation involves Impetus recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to work in GP surgeries, where they meet with patients and listen to their needs. Navigators offer one appointment initially but can continue for up to 6 sessions, alongside phone calls and sometimes even home visits, all depending on the client’s need.

Community Navigators are trained volunteers who listen to patients and help them to assess their non-medical support needs. By finding out the individual’s needs Navigators provide useful information and help them access non-medical services, groups and activities that can make a beneficial difference to their lives.

Here’s what the Minister had to say about the project:

“I am delighted to be in Hove to see the impact of this exciting new work. We know that volunteers have a huge impact on people’s lives and the Community Navigator project is developing new ways for volunteers to tackle the challenges that face the Hove community.”

Comments from clients include:

“I didn’t know about that group, or that so much happens in my community”,

“I like seeing you, you really listen to me”, and

“Thank you, I am feeling ten times better already”.

The volunteers also have a positive impact on GPs and other surgery staff, helping them to deal with the high demands on their time by providing an easy way to refer patients to community support services.

Community Navigators is a project being developed by Impetus in partnership with Age UK B&H, part of the EPIC project funded by the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund. Find out more on our Community Navigators page.

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