More than 30 community organisations have signed up to support the council’s work in encouraging residents to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and to look after their health and wellbeing more generally.
Local groups will coordinate ‘health champions’ from their vast contacts and networks across Croydon to engage with their friends, family and wider community about Covid-19 vaccinations, reaching out to those who remain concerned about them.
The champions will also promote other health campaigns in Croydon, signposting them to further information and support services as required.
We know that everyone engages differently, and having trusted health champions across our borough will assist in spreading vital messages about health and wellbeing to all our communities .
Croydon Council received approximately £368,000 funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to take forward this local initiative in this phase of the Covid pandemic to help us all to live safely with the virus.
Anyone in Croydon can become a community health champion. To better understand the role, the council has organised two free information days where residents can find out more and sign up. Click here to attend the event on 15 July or click here to attend on 20 July.
Both sessions are 9.30am – 1.00pm at The Wellness Centre, Whitgift Shopping Centre, first floor, Croydon CR0 1LP.
The community groups were recruited for the council by Croydon’s four large voluntary and community sector infrastructure organisations – Croydon Voluntary Action, Croydon BME Forum, Asian Resource Centre of Croydon and Croydon Neighbourhood Care Association.
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon, said: “Community health champions are a vital thread in the ongoing work to reduce health inequalities in Croydon. We want to ensure people have the information they need to live and maintain healthy lives. We really appreciate the support of our residents, community groups and those who work here, to help us to reach out to those who need more details about the Covid-19 vaccinations and information about essential health and wellbeing services.”
Rachel Flowers, Croydon’s director for public health, said: “Croydon’s community health champions will support those who remain most at risk from Covid-19, boost vaccine take-up, and help people who may have questions about other health and wellbeing issues they are facing. The champions are trusted members of their communities who will receive training to help with communicating accurate information to people they know. We hope that many more residents will become a champion and have these very important community conversations.”
Katherine Wynne, chief executive at Croydon Mencap, said: “We are really pleased to be one of the local groups in Croydon helping to further support our community’s health and wellbeing. We will now be able to reach out to more people to have conversations about the Covid-19 vaccinations and other issues or concerns. We hope our additional support, along with the other local organisations, will help more people to look after themselves, prevent severe illness and protect others.”
Tom Goddard, head of social inclusion and support services at Mind in Croydon, said: ‘’Mind in Croydon is really excited about this innovative project, that will give Croydon residents the opportunity to come together to share lived experiences and thoughts about the Covid-19 vaccine, while making art. We hope to engage with people who are vaccine hesitant and those that are not. Being both fun and informative, participants will enjoy learning through drawing, painting, and collage.’’