Projects in Devon

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As of April 2017, these are the projects DCRF is aware of

  • Healthwatch Devon are also running a simple survey of people’s experience of loneliness, which churches can participate in. More information from either joanie.harris@exeter.anglican.org or take a look at the Healthwatch Devon website page which contains further information and useful links
  • You can access a map of high risk areas for loneliness and social isolation here
  • The Farming Community Network offer pastoral support for farmers and their families, who often experience both working and social isolation, and have been involved in research and practical action to help support those suffering from dementia in the countryside. The FCN is also arranging training in suicide prevention. For more information on any aspect of the work of the FCN in Devon please contact our Devon coordinator joannejones.farmer@gmail.com
  • The Mothers’ Union have identified tackling rural isolation including the impact on farming communities, the elderly, access to services, loneliness, young families etc. as one of their main three priorities in the diocese. This is a “watch this space” item as plans develop – but if you would like to get involved, or find out more, please email
  • We are exploring with the police how church and community pastoral and befriending schemes may enable them to support people with whom they are in contact who may have been victims of crime, or may be suffering from loneliness or anxiety but who do not have ongoing policing issues.
  • Devon Communities Together have a new project called “Community Unity” which is focusing on three pilot areas in northern Devon – Holsworthy, Lynton and Lynmouth and South Molton. Part of this project is to look at ways to support the lonely and isolated within their communities. If you are in these pilot areas, or would like to know more, please contact Elaine Cook  at elaine@devoncommunities.org.uk or Mike Felstead on Mike@devoncommunities.org.uk
  • With a much greater emphasis on Care in the Community Devon Adult Social Care are also working with voluntary and community groups to explore how people can be supported through befriending and pastoral care and a pilot partnership involving the churches and community sector in Barnstaple is in the early stages of development. If you have a Pastoral Care Team or a befriending project, and you would be interested in exploring the possibility of receiving “referrals” of people in need of friendship in your communities, please contact Penny Dobbin – on penelopedobbin@outlook.com. Though churches are in contact with many people in our rural communities, it is sometimes possible that someone is suffering and unknown to us. Working with other agencies on a referral basis may help bridge this gap where it occurs and help us to reach out to the hardest to reach in our communities. We also have an offer from Devon County Council for people from their re-ablement team to meet with church and community befrienders/pastoral care teams to talk to them about early support measures or sign posts that can be accessed that may help keep people better and more able for longer without over burdening informal volunteers. Let me know if your church might be interested.

 

This is a snapshot of what is going on – and of course – our churches and communities are already doing a huge amount to support people in our rural communities both through formal projects and activities and informal loving care. You can help by letting us know about the work you are already doing – tell us via the website or email if you have a lunch club for example, so we can build a more complete picture of the support and help available, and enable the various agencies involved to access this to find a particular activity in a particular community, to which they could refer someone, without needing to begin a new project.  


Loneliness and Social Isolation
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