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Transforming Health & Social Care

A lot of the work Volunteer Cornwall undertakes revolves around the health and care agenda. And although we do deliver some services ourselves, such as "Welcome Home", much of our work is "behind the scenes" - working with voluntary and public sector colleagues to try and join up some of the gaps in the system between health and care, adults and children or physical and mental health services.

We believe that there is a role for both individuals and communities in a joined-up health and care system and our three "Community Makers" are tasked with trying to make that a reality.

Recently, the respected health think-tank, "The Kings Fund", has produced a couple of reports recently which support the work we have been doing:

Read more: Transforming Health & Social Care

So, just what is a Social Entrepreneur?

well, the definition from the dictionary is 'a person who establishes an enterprise with the aim of solving social problems or effecting social change'.  However, when the Transform Ageing programme launched and people started talking about this, many didn't understand the definition.  In fact, participants - including people in later life - questionned what it was. Many of us assumed that it was referring to someone like Richard Branson or some kind of 'wide-eyed' whizz kid with pots of money and a brilliant idea but no, the social entrepreneur comes in many guises and more recently includes people like the lady behind the Junk Food project for example.

In applying that to the Transform Ageing programme, we had some people in later life who never thought themselves as 'social entrepreneurs' but equally had the passion and drive to follow an inspiration in wanting to effect change and so, we had our Transform Ageing Social Entrepreneurs!  Following the 'call for bids' back in October 2017, on Monday of this week the panel interviewed our first set of entrepreneurs for their pitches. 

Read more: So, just what is a Social Entrepreneur?

Mapping - only part of the solution

Recently I undertook some mapping work for the NHS. I was mapping some of the charities, community groups and social activities in South Kerrier (roughly speaking the geographical area covering Helston and the Lizard). I was also trying to identify 'community connectors' - more of this later. The reason for doing this piece of work was to kick start a wider mapping exercise in the area, which will ultimately populate a website/database that health care professionals have access to, enabling social prescribing.

Read more: Mapping - only part of the solution

The 'Older' person 2018

I recently attended some ‘Falls and Frailty’ workshops run superbly by Marie Prior and Kerry Crowther from Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The main reason we are considered an ‘older’ person these days is because we are living longer but not necessarily in a healthier way.

So, by 50 we could, due to unhealthy life choices begin to develop certain conditions that may become quite complex if we don’t change our ways. I recently heard that the conditions that we, in the developing world are suffering with today such as obesity, diabetes, heart and lung disease are the diseases of the ‘Elite’ Although of course there are circumstances out of our control such as inherited conditions or diseases but if we make healthy life choices we can learn to manage these conditions and stay relatively healthy and strong. The whole point of the workshops was to raise awareness of care and prevention. Prevention being our personal life choices.

Read more: The 'Older' person 2018

Major Tom to St Columb Major Community Health Day

Community Health Day – Major Tom to St Columb Major

Saturday 23rd September saw the first Community Health Day at the Columba Centre, St Columb Major, organised by a member of the Patient Participation Group at St Petrocs Surgery, Pat who also runs the Oasis centre. I was contacted by Pat to see if we could get representation from organisations and support groups that offer help and support for people to stay connected to people experiencing similar health issues.

The enthusiasm of the voluntary sector to attend on a Saturday armed with leaflets, banners and displays together with acupuncture and massage therapists from St Columb Major was testament to the fact that there is a real willingness and desire to connect to the GP Practices and the communities they are a part of to ultimately support the health and well being of the people.

Read more: Major Tom to St Columb Major Community Health Day