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What does a Village or Community Agent do?

During the COVID-19 emergency, CCS Village & Community Agents supported over 40,000 people in Somerset, carrying out over 70,000 community support activities. They are a valuable tool to help everyone in your community.

CCS Village & Community Agents provide confidential, practical, community-based solutions for you, wherever you are in Somerset. Village & Community Agents work where they are most needed, delivering critical personalised support for individuals and communities. They offer free, confidential practical support and refer or signpost to relevant agencies and service providers. They can give advice on benefits, housing, transport, care needs, local activities and so much more. Village & Community Agents have links with local healthcare surgeries and outreach services such as Health Coaches and independent living services and can be contacted directly or by referral through your doctor's surgery. Community Agents work with people following a referral from Adult Social Care. They can only be contacted by referral agencies.

Who are their clients?

  • Unpaid Carers who look after others (no matter how informally) and need a little help and support? They can also offer meal respite packs for you and the person you care for
  • People who live alone, have a problem and not know who to turn to?
  • People struggling as a young person, an older person or as a family and need advice and spport?
  • People who have a problem that can be fixed by accessing the right information, services or agencies, but are unsure of where to begin?
  • Community support: does your community have a collective problem that needs a kick start to solve?
  • People struggling to afford food, or would benefit from pre-cooked frozen meals, especially if you aren't able to cook.

Grant funding.

Every year Village & Community Agents distribute grants to vulnerable older people through the surviving winter scheme – the money comes from older people who can afford not to use their winter fuel allowance, so the money is recycled to help people in need.

It is managed by the Somerset Community Foundation – more information can be found here. Village and Community Agents are one of the ways people get to know about the money.

Talking Cafes

Talking Cafes provide a local place where you can just pop in for advice or support from a local Village Agent on anything that may be worrying you, or if you would just like a friendly chat. Talking Cafes operate in many of our local towns and villages.

Care for the Carers

Carers can receive support from Somerset Carers for free if are over 18 and you look after someone in an 'unpaid' caring capacity (not employed or self employed as a Carer).

The person you look after could be a loved one, friend, partner, parent or child (it doesn't matter if they are under or over 18) on a regular or irregular basis.

Village & Community Agents will do their utmost to ensure you receive the right support you need in your day-to-day life, by working with healthcare providers, and other local services to create a tailored, integrated package of care that works for you.

Funding

Agents get their funding from many different sources including the NHS and local councils. All Agents are paid and employed by CCS – they are not volunteers!

Crisis Money

Agents rely on local Parishes and organisations and members of the public to make donations into our crisis fund. This money allows them to help those in desperate financial need. Find out how you can help here.

For more information you can visit the Somerset Agents website here, where you can also find the location of your nearest Talking Cafe.

CCS is currently recruiting 2 agents. If you'd like to learn more about the roles and whether you could help, click here.

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