Call for more Covid Community Champions as Somerset cases remain high

 

Call for more Covid Community Champions as Somerset cases remain high

 

As Covid-19 cases remain high in Somerset, there is a renewed call for people to step forward and become Covid Community Champions.

 

The Covid Community Champion Network has been going from strength to strength since it was first launched in October last year. There are now well over 100 trained Champions across Somerset, sharing messages about Covid-19 and how to stay healthy, happy and safe with their friends, family and work colleagues.

 

The Covid Community Champions scheme is funded by Somerset County Council and delivered by a partnership between Spark Somerset and the Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP).

Covid-19 is very much still with us, and it is important for Somerset residents to have the right information and advice as we head into the challenging winter period.

 

After attending a short online induction, Covid Community Champions can help their workplace, family friends and the wider community to understand the latest guidance around Covid-19 and signpost them to other health and wellbeing support.

 

One of Somerset’s Covid Community Champions said: “The main benefit is understanding the best ways to prevent Covid-19, being able to share this with my work colleagues and their families. By becoming a Covid Community Champion, I was perhaps able to help stop the spread of the virus. Learning about vaccines, tests and the science behind the virus has made it much more interesting and understandable. Everyone at work is much more confident, as they have knowledge, anxiety has reduced, the biggest contributor was the unknown.”

 

Covid Community Champions can attend regular meetings which will allow them to get to know the other Champions, keep up to date with the latest information, and feedback about how things are going where they live and work. They will also receive weekly emails with the latest information.

 

Professor Trudi Grant, Somerset Director of Public Health, said: “Somerset has seen a significant rise in Covid cases in recent weeks. With the added challenges of winter and the shortage of social care staff, it is important we all take steps to try and reduce the spread of Covid-19. Covid Community Champions have already done a lot of good work in helping raise awareness on how to limit the spread of the virus and have an important role to play as we head into the winter months.”

 

Cllr Clare Paul, Somerset County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “I would like to thank our Covid Community Champions for their excellent work in supporting their local communities over the past year. As people head back into their work settings, it would be fantastic if we could recruit more Covid Community Champions to represent their workplaces and help keep their colleagues up-to-date with the latest information and guidance.”

 

Helen Fielden, Covid Champion Coordinator at Spark, said: “The existing Covid Community Champions have done such a great job of helping to keep their communities happy and healthy over the past year. I’m really proud to have been a part of their work. Anyone is welcome to join the team, as long as they are caring and able to share information from the regular updates. It doesn’t matter whether you share with two or two hundred people; every bit helps”

 

Jane Knowles, SASP Chief Executive, said: “SASP are keen to support the recruitment of Covid Champions so anyone within the community sports club sector who wishes to keep their clubs and members really well informed would be really welcome to join.”

 

If you, or someone you know might be interested in becoming a Covid Community Champions, you can find out more and sign up for the next training session here.

 

For more information, please contact Helen Fielden, Covid Community Champion Coordinator by emailing helen.fielden@sparksomerset.org.uk or call 07535 800944.

ENDS

For more information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk.

 

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