0300 111 3303

Community Development

Our vision is to build supportive communities that enable all adults to remain living in their own homes for as long as they wish.

Early Help & Partnership for Older People Programme (POPP)

Originally Dorset POPP was for older people aged 50 years plus, but since 2016 it changed to Early Help for adults of all ages (18 years plus). 

As well as providing support for individuals, Help & Care has as long history of working with community groups, statutory and voluntary organisations to support community development. Dorset Early Help/POPP aims to build supportive communities that enable adults of all ages to remain living in their own homes for as long as they wish, by developing responsive, appropriate services and activities at a localised level.

The programme has a person-centred approach and it is led by the needs, desires, and aspirations of Dorset's adults. Dorset Early Help/POPP aims to support people in communities by achieving the following outcomes:

  • Have housing that is suitable individual needs

  • Be socially integrated and not feel isolated

  • Make a positive contribution and experiencing fulfilment as a result

  • Feel secure and safe

  • Feel free from discrimination

  • Feel financially secure

  • Be in good health in mind and body

  • Have dignity, choice and control throughout their life, especially towards the end

This service is available to people across Dorset, excluding Bournemouth and Poole.

To find out more about Dorset Early Help/ POPP, please visit www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/popp

Wayfinders and Champions

Our Wayfinders and Champions are living and working in communities across the county and are best placed to equip people with advice and support so that they can continue living independently, reduce social isolation and make the most of opportunities in the local area.





The Dorset Wayfinders’s role is to work closely with individuals to help them access services and opportunities that will ultimately improve their situation and help maintain their independence.

They will offer guidance on everything from local lunch clubs, exercise classes, toe nail cutting services and transport schemes to finding the right people to support you with your housing concerns, finance and benefits challenges, personal care matters and appropriate healthcare provision.

The Wayfinders also work collaboratively with Dorset Early Help & POPP Champions and Community Development Workers to help identify gaps in service provision.  This may lead to the development of new and innovative services in direct response to your feedback and experiences.



The role of Dorset POPP Champions is to challenge and change the way services are provided to Dorset’s adults and to support the development of new services that enable them to remain living in their own homes for as long as they wish to. They do this by:

  • Listening to older people’s concerns

  • Engaging with local services and providing feedback from community groups

  • Working collaboratively with providers to improve existing services

  • Developing activities with local organisations

  • Working alongside Dorset’s adults to find innovative ways to develop their own services and to provide advice and support, resources and funding for new projects.

Champions are in close contact with local people and help them to set up new activities and resources within the local community, such as lunch clubs, voluntary car schemes, computer groups, and carers’ groups – whatever the people in the local community have identified as a need.

To find out more about the work of Dorset Early Help & POPP or to contact your local Champion please call Help & Care 0300 111 3303 and ask to speak to one of the POPP Team or email to poppadmin@helpandcare.org.uk

Read our stories…

Early Help/POPP supporting single parents in Dorchester

Early Help | POPP (Partnership for Older People Programme) supported a single mum to organise a support group for single parents in Dorchester.Read more.

Couple awarded Council Tax Support thanks to Help & Care

MMs Evans is in her late 70s and has been caring for her husband for the last three years because he’s living with dementia. Thanks to Early Help & POPP, the couple managed to claim benefits and improve their economic situation.Read more.

Stefan's story - Supporting the homeless people in Christchurch.

Stefan, Help & Care POPP Champion, joined the overnight sleepover in Christchurch to highlight the plight of the homeless and to raise money to support their care.Read more.

Heather’s story - Supporting the West Moors community

Nearly 50% of houses in West Moors were occupied by pensioners. Poor transport links in the rural area is often why people stay in hospital for longer than necessary. Heather, POPP Champion working at Help & Care, helped to set up a transport scheme.Read more.

Frank's story - Helping Corfe Mullen to become a dementia-friendly community

Frank is one of the Champions in Corfe Mullen. Frank visited St Nicholas Church, where the Vicar and a congregation member had raised concerns regarding the lack of support for people with memory loss.Read more.

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