Older People’s Engagement in Dorset
Dorset Partnership for Older People Project (POPP)
Dorset POPP is primarily a partnership between Dorset County Council, NHS Dorset, the Third Sector and older people. However, the programme has developed a robust working partnership that extends beyond this and includes a range of other service providers, including Dorset Fire and Rescue, Dorset Police, libraries, community matrons, community pharmacies and others.
The vision of POPP is to build supportive communities to enable Older People to remain living in their own homes for as long as they wish by developing responsive, appropriate, services and activities at a local level. Dorset POPP is funded by Dorset County Council and Dorset NHS.Dorset has been broken down into 33 clusters to ensure local focus and delivery for all elements of the Programme.
There is one Community Champion in each POPP cluster (33 in total). They work seven hours a week, helping to build supportive neighbourhoods so that older people can maintain their independence.
Employed by Help and Care, Community Champions work with older people to identify needs within their communities. With this knowledge, they are informed and able to convey to local service providers and decision makers how services can be better developed.
Specifically, their role involves:
- Encouraging and supporting the involvement of older people in the community, including those who are hard to reach and do not traditionally participate in group activities.
- Working with older people to identify their aspirations and community needs.
- Influencing local providers of services in developing and shaping services that are centred on the needs of older people.
- Using local knowledge and experience to identify existing facilities where community resource centres can be established.
Community Champions do this by:
- Attending meetings of service providers and reflecting the needs and views of older people
- Going to local meetings of older people to share and pass on useful information.
- Identifying resources and needs within communities
- Supporting the development of new services and opportunities.
The Community Champions have supported and developed many clubs and schemes, such as:
- Voluntary transport schemes
- Computer clubs
- Lunch clubs
- Social groups
- Good neighbour schemes
- 50+ Forums
There are two Community Wayfinders in each cluster (66 in total). They work nine hours a week to raise awareness of services, give out information and identify help and support available within local communities.
They can tell you where the local lunch clubs are, how to get your toenails cut, where to go for a local yoga class, how to sign up for a course and lots more.
Wayfinders work flexibly, managing their own diary to suit what's happening in their local communities. They base themselves in convenient locations such as libraries, GP surgeries, community pharmacies or supermarkets, so you can find them easily and ask for their help.
We are delighted that the Community Wayfinders will be joining Help and Care in June 2012.