During the last year Karen Spooner (Volunteer Cornwall, Smartline Community Development Manager) and Dr Tim Walker (University of Exeter, Research Fellow) have developed a discussion technique called a Guided Conversation which is being used to identify wellbeing needs, aspirations and goals.
The technique was developed as part of the Smartline project which is an exciting research project led by the University of Exeter with Coastline Housing Ltd, Volunteer Cornwall, and Cornwall Council.
Smartline is working with 300 project participants within Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth to see how technology can be used to help us live healthier and happier lives. One facet of this is to improve community cohesion with the support of volunteering activity and smart technology.
Driven by the feedback from Guided Conversations, Volunteer Cornwall have supported local communities to re-establish coffee mornings to help tackle social isolation and to enhance the feeling of belonging within the community. Community members in Camborne were invited to armchair exercise classes in order to improve their health and wellbeing and to support the development of the community in which they live.
A budding community group has been formed within Coronation Avenue in Camborne to build a new green space for residents. Plans are underway which will see an attractive green space created that will encourage residents to come together and spend time outdoors.
Over the last 6 months Smartline has given tablet computers and IT training sessions to project participants so that they can gain confidence in using electronic devices to support their health and wellbeing.
Mrs Kent from Camborne said “This has been really good for me and my life. I have learnt how to read books online and I can now do my Tesco shopping online”.
Alongside all of this work, Smartline has also supported several local organisations and community groups to access grant funding to develop their ideas.
Smartline is a three year project funded by the European Regional Development Fund with additional funding from the South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN).