Community Connector

Community Connector – Blackpool
Posted by British Red Cross
Salary £18619 per annum
Location Blackpool, Lancashire
Job Description
21 Hours per week
2 Years Fixed Term Contract
GBP 18,619 (pro rata salary GBP 11,171)

About the role
Could you help people in your community who are lonely or isolated?

The Community Connector will work with people affected by social isolation and loneliness, to help them gain confidence and reconnect with their community.

Working alongside Volunteer Community Connector’s, you will provide short-term, practical help, positive encouragement and emotional support, tailored to the individuals needs and be available to all sections of the community. You will be responsible for developing effective working relationships with all partners, stakeholders and local organisations in order to create social networks and local activities that can be sustained long-term.

This role is home based with travel to the British Red Cross offices as appropriate. You will be required to travel throughout the local area. The Community Connector will report to the Service Manager and you will be part of the Area Independent Living Team.

The Community Connector will:

* Support lonely & socially isolated service users.
* Keep up to date with local community services appropriate for our service users, with support from the Community Connector Manager.
* Listen to people’s needs, aspirations and concerns and co-create a ‘step plan’ to ensure the service user meets their aims.
* Support individuals to attend local community services and clubs suitable for their needs.
* Help identify other activities in the area and accompany the service user to help build their confidence.
* Maintain contact with the beneficiary to monitor progress against goals until loneliness and social isolation is alleviated.

About the organisation
The British Red Cross helps millions of people in the UK and around the world to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies, disasters and conflicts.

Their volunteers and staff help people in crisis to live independently by providing support at home, mobility aids and transport. They also teach first aid skills.

They are part of the global Red Cross and Red Crescent humanitarian network. We refuse to ignore people in crisis.

About the team
In the UK, their health and social care work offers valuable time-limited support for individuals vulnerable to crisis. For people experiencing social isolation and loneliness their service enables people to access services and support to lessen the associated impact and reconnect into their communities.

About the person
They keep the service user at the heart of what they do, working to understand their needs and the differences they can make. The successful applicant will have:

* Good interpersonal skills, diplomacy, communication and teamwork skills.
* Sensitivity when working with people affected by social isolation and loneliness, whilst maintaining an interest in their well-being and developing pathways out of loneliness.
* Consideration regarding maintaining service user confidentiality.
* An understanding of how to improve service quality for the benefit of users.
* An ability to provide patient, positive encouragement with the aim of helping people to help themselves.
* Good understanding of community groups and networks in the local area with an ability to develop lasting partnerships.
* An ability to work independently and as an effective member of a team.
* Ability to travel with service users to local groups and events. (This may include using your own car to drive the service user and possibly their children).
* Educated to GCSE level (or equivalent by experience)
* Full Drivers Licence and access to a vehicle.
* IT literate.
* Willingness to work flexible hours.

[Please click here to view the full job description and person specification for this position.]

[Please click here to view the full job description and person specification for this position.]

Closing date for applications is (23:59), Friday 31st March 2017.
Interviews will take place on Tuesday 11st April 2017.

They offer a wide range of staff benefits, these include:

* 36 days holiday (including Bank Holidays)
* Up to 6% contributory pension
* Childcare vouchers

Should you have any questions on this role please email Hazel Smith or quoting reference REQ0000012WE

The British Red Cross is committed to being an inclusive employer with a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from people from the widest possible diversity of backgrounds, cultures and experiences – including disabled and ethnic minority candidates. This is to contribute to the breadth of experience we need to respond to people in crisis.

As part of its recruitment and selection process the British Red Cross may undertake DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)/ PVG checking of all individuals who regularly work with or have access to children and vulnerable adults.

The British Red Cross, incorporated by Royal Charter 1908, is a charity registered in England and Wales (220949) and Scotland (SC037738).

Follow us on Twitter @RedCrossJobsUK and on Linked in – British Red Cross, to hear about our latest job vacancies.

Refusing to ignore people in crisis.

Apply here

Mentoring Officer

Posted by Shelter
Salary £20,503-£21,528 pa + excellent benefits
Location Blackpool, Lancashire, North West
Job Description

Closing date: 02 April 2017

Shelter are looking for a proactive individual with broad experience of support work relating to housing law, to join them as a Mentoring Officer and play a vital role within a Transforming Rehabilitation service aimed at reducing re offending.

Shelter has been working across the North of England to deliver the Transforming Rehabilitation Service since 2015. Here in Cumbria and Lancashire, the service consists of a mentoring service designed to support long-term reduction in risk of reoffending through replication of desistance model. Put simply, it will empower individuals to move towards independence through positive relationships. In addition to this the service also operates a Community Integration Team offering advice on accommodation, finance and debt to offenders both in the community and in HMP locations.

Benefits include 30 days annual leave, the possibility of flexible working and significant opportunities for learning and development.

Your key responsibilities:

Delivering professional, impartial, pragmatic and outcome focused support to clients with complex needs post release from HM prisons, or offenders on community orders
Helping ex-prisoners and offenders to integrate into their community, ensuring their housing, finance and debt related support needs are met and dealing with practicalities to achieve independent living
Advocating on behalf of, and supporting clients with issues which may include homelessness, tenancy support, domestic abuse, relationship breakdown, welfare & benefits, debt, employment and child/adult protection
Collaborating with Shelter resettlement workers, CRC responsible officers, mentoring volunteers and wider Shelter services to ensure that seamless support is provided.
And what you’ll need:

A proven track record in support work, specifically in housing law, with some knowledge of welfare benefits and debt and experience of advocacy on behalf of clients
Experience of working within a safeguarding framework and preferably experience of working in the criminal justice system and knowledge of the prison system
Ideally, experience of supporting and coaching volunteers
Commercial awareness, a collaborative, results-driven and customer focused approach, good typing skills and the ability to use a case management system and Microsoft Office applications.
Shelter is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of clients, in particular children, young people and vulnerable adults, and expects all staff, workers and volunteers to share this commitment.

At Shelter, they welcome and encourage applications from everyone regardless of age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. We are facing diverse problems, so need diverse people to tackle them.

Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through their advice, support and legal services. And they campaign to make sure that, one day, no one will have to turn to them for help.

They’re here so no one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own.

Shelter does not accept unsolicited CVs from external recruitment agencies nor accept the fees associated with them.

Apply here

Peer Support Officer

Peer Support Officer – Transforming Rehabilitation
Posted by Shelter
Salary £20,503-£21,528 pa, plus excellent benefits
Location Preston, Lancashire, North West

Job Description

Closing date: 02 April 2017 (Midnight)

Shelter are looking for a client-focused individual with a good knowledge of employment interventions, housing and debt advice, to join them as Peer Support Officer and recruit, train and mentor Peers in custody.

Shelter has been contracted to deliver housing, employment coordination, finance and debt advice in HMP Preston. This service consists of a Resettlement Team based on site delivering advice via the new Resettlement Planning process. This will involve close working with both the prison and CRC staff to create an effective and efficient resettlement planning process for each offender that comes into custody at a Resettlement prison. You’ll play an integral part in this.

Benefits include 30 days annual leave, the possibility of flexible working and significant opportunities for learning and development.

Your key responsibilities:

Support the peer and volunteer programme within HMP Preston
Deliver a continuous programme of training to the Peers that support the delivery of Peer Advice Programmes to offenders within custody
To work in partnership with Resettlement Workers to ensure an inclusive customer focused service delivers effective Resettlement Planning and Pre-Release interventions
Provide low level advice and support the Resettlement Team when required.
And what you’ll need:

Experience of managing volunteers and developing peer support services, including delivering training and facilitating group work
An understanding of the main issues affecting unemployment, homelessness and offenders, with experience of working with offenders within the criminal justice system an advantage
A proactive, collaborative and results-driven approach, great relationships building skills, respect for others opinions and the ability to deal effectively with change.
Good typing skills, proficiency using Microsoft Office applications and, ideally, a full driver’s license, access to a vehicle plus relevant insurance.
For further information about the role and the benefits of working for Shelter please visit their website.

At Shelter, they welcome and encourage applications from everyone regardless of age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. We are facing diverse problems, so need diverse people to tackle them.

Shelter is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of clients, in particular children, young people and vulnerable adults, and expects all staff, workers and volunteers to share this commitment.

Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through our advice, support and legal services. And they campaign to make sure that, one day, no one will have to turn to them for help.

They’re here so no one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own.

Shelter does not accept unsolicited CVs from external recruitment agencies nor accept the fees associated with them.

Apply here

Six ways charity boards can make their workload manageable

Is your board super busy? Top tips on sharing the burden: bring in specialist expertise, include more junior staff and work with service users.

By Leon Ward; Guardian Voluntary Sector Network

People on voluntary sector boards have heavy workloads – so what’s the best way to share the burden? Sub-committees may not seem exciting, but, used properly, delegating tasks will help your board to be brilliant.

Here are my six top tips on how to get the most from your sub-committees:

1. Let them delve into detail

Charity trustees often want to get involved in the nitty gritty. But in a busy board meeting, with a tight agenda, that can sometimes be a pain in the neck.

However, executives and trustees will still want to work together from time to time, to delve into detail. Sub-committees are the way to do this without taking precious time away from the primary board meeting. It’s a great way for charity staff to engage with trustees and vice versa, enabling trustees to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day issues affecting the charity while offering their own expertise.

2. Bring in specialists

If your board is proposing something new, controversial or risky, setting up a sub-committee is a clever way to use people who can bring in particular expertise but who, for whatever reason, do not want to or cannot be a full trustee.

It is also a good way to test whether people come up to scratch in terms of their style and expertise, giving you a bigger pool to choose from when recruiting for your main board.

You should also consider the “internal” outsider: someone already on your main board who is interested in a particular issue but is not an expert. They can be used as a sounding board (pun intended) and this is often a great way to test a proposal before presenting it to the rest of the board.

3. Don’t let sub-committees linger on pointlessly

It’s important to close any committee when it has run its course. For instance, you may set one up for a digital needs review and then close it when the review has been done. But committees can also evolve. Something that starts as a review of digital needs could turn into a committee that monitors the implementation of an organisational IT strategy, for instance.

4. Set boundaries

This is perhaps the most important element of committee working. To ensure good governance you must be clear on which, if any, powers the board has granted its sub-committee. That way you can ensure the reins of responsibility remain in the correct hands and avoid a situation where the committee ends up undermining the board, or vice versa. This does not have to be cumbersome – usually a one pager does the trick.

5. Engage junior members of staff

Developing staff is critical for any organisation. Boards offer an opportunity for staff to develop their skills by working with the organisation’s trustees. It also helps to build trust with staff when trustees are visible and, as a trustee, it can be eye-opening to work alongside the people managing the work you are scrutinising.

This about moving the voluntary sector from its traditional hierarchical management structure to a more egalitarian approach. We say we value our people; this is a quick way of showing that.

6. Involve service users

One of the most powerful messages the voluntary sector can send is demonstrating that it is guided by those it serves. Boardrooms are not always the most appropriate way of engaging with service users, but committees can help. If you are working on a specific piece of work it might be an idea to bring those it most directly affects into the fold. Committees can be more informal than traditional boards and, with the right guidance and frameworks in place, it’s possible to work together to solve problems.

Leon Ward is a consultant, charity chair and advisor.

Talk to us on Twitter via @Gdnvoluntary and join our community for your free fortnightly Guardian Voluntary Sector newsletter, with analysis and opinion sent direct to you on the first and third Thursday of the month.


Fully Funded Phd Studentships

Fully Funded Phd Studentships working on resilience-based practice with Angie Hart and colleagues

Are you passionate about social justice and the kind of collaborative resilience research that Boingboing focuses on? Would you like to do a fully funded Phd in this area that will have lasting practical benefit?

Do you have a suitable background for Phd research? Fancy joining a community of enthusiastic resilience researchers, including lots of Phd students already working on exciting projects?

Able to do a fair bit of travelling over the next few years between Brighton and Blackpool? If so, then read on….

Two University of Brighton Phd studentships are being funded by Blackpool HeadStart.

This is a £10 million Big Lottery funded programme implementing co-produced, social justice resilience approaches in schools and local communities to support the mental health of 10–16 year olds.

Much of this initiative is based on the work of Prof Angie Hart and collaborators at the University of Brighton and beyond.

The precise focus of the PhDs will be decided in collaboration with the supervisors and Blackpool Council, depending on applicants’ experience and interests.

Possible foci:

  • Building Resilience through applying Resilient Therapy in Blackpool: an ecological perspective
  • The effectiveness of Community-based Resilience Coaches in applying Resilient Therapy: a mixed methods study
  • What is the effectiveness of applying the Academic Resilience Approach in Blackpool: a mixed methods co-productive study
  • The use of Resilient Therapy within a whole systems resilience intervention
  • A mixed methods study of Friends for Life, a resilience-based intervention to support young people in foster care
  • Social enterprise to support mental health resilience: a mixed methods study of Boingboing Blackpool
  • Resilience building through volunteering: a co-productive study of Blackpool HeadStart.


Find out more about these studentships and how to apply by following the link here (if clicking on it doesn’t work just paste the link into your browser):

But don’t delay. Applications need to be in by 19th April and you’ll need to do a fair bit of research before then to do a good job on it. Start by studying the Boingboing website in detail ( and the Getting Hold of their Stuff and Blog sections will give you a real flavour for what they do, including more information on their work in Blackpool.

Check out any recent academic publications from their group too, but they won’t tell you where to find those.

This is your chance to put your research skills into action. Enjoy.

Guinness world record attempt

Imagine if every child, adult and older person on the Fylde Coast could have the opportunity to be a Guinness World Record holder in a sports related activity?

In the UK 9.1% of children in Reception, (aged 4-5), are obese and another 12.8% are overweight; this figure rises so that by Year 6, (aged 10-11), 19.1% of children are obese and a further 14.2% are overweight. These are worrying statistics both nationally and locally where Blackpool has 21% obesity in Year 6 children and Fylde and Wyre has 16.5%, (2012-13 to 2014-15 figures).

The implications for the future health of the population are significant and yet it is know that many long term conditions can be prevented. It is also known that taking part in regular physical activity and connecting with others brings significant benefits to people’s physical, emotional and social wellbeing.

As joint stakeholder partners in the local population’s health and wellbeing, the CCG’s aspirations to provide the opportunity for increased healthy life expectancies can only be achieved by working together and they would like to invite you to work with them in achieving their ambitious plan to break the Guinness World Record of the highest number of people simultaneously exercising to a music video.

If you think this is something your organisation would like to be involved in please contact the CCG on 01253 956400.

As the workshop is on Thursday 30th March 2017 in Wrea Green you are advised to contact them asap.

Lancashire Victim Services launching soon

Lancashire Victim Services will be launching the new service on 1st April 2017 which will bring together, for the first time, services for victims of hate crime, young victims, sexual abuse and domestic abuse as well as victims of more general crime types and of repeat ASB.

The Domestic Abuse element of the service, which provides support for victims in the Lancashire 12 area, has been commissioned on behalf of Lancashire County Council and the 12 District Councils. Following recent discussions with Victim Support we are confident that all domestic abuse cases that are currently “live” will be transferred from the present providers on Friday 31st March. A trial sample of data is being transferred earlier during next week to confirm that the data transfer systems are robust.

Further details of this service will be available in the the next few weeks

Lancashire Happiness Survey 2017

Lancashire Mind and Blackpool Council are currently sharing a survey to get a snapshot of happiness across the county as part of their work to create a happier Lancashire.

We all want happiness, for ourselves and people around us. Yet happiness or mental wellbeing has not improved in the UK for over sixty years. As Lancashire Mind, they want to improve mental wellbeing so people are happier and healthier. This short survey creates an annual snapshot of happiness in Lancashire to inform current and future activity to make a happier and healthier Lancashire.

Please feel free to share the link or paper copy attached with family, friends, colleagues and people you are working with.

The online link to the survey is:



Blackpool residents encouraged to have their say on clinical policies

NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working in partnership with the other seven CCGs in Lancashire to review clinical policies across the region.

The eight CCGs across Lancashire have all agreed that there is a need to review their policies in order to; ensure a consistent and fair approach, develop a set of principles and policies against which decisions about care and treatment can be made, update current policies in accordance with National Guidelines and best clinical practice and develop collaborative policies across the eight CCGs in Lancashire.

These clinical policies, inherited from Primary Care Trusts, although broadly similar, have offered different approaches and rules. The CCGs recognise that this can lead to confusion and potentially unintended differences in services across the area.

As part of this ongoing process, six draft policies are now available for patient and public engagement and feedback.  These policies are:

·         The surgical treatment of Carpel Tunnel syndrome,

·         Tonsillectomy,

·         The surgical release of Trigger Finger,

·         Endoscopic Knee Procedures,

·         Male Circumcision


There is also an entirely new draft policy on (diabetic) Insulin Pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitoring devices. The CCG is working with Diabetes UK in order to get their feedback and to arrange opportunities for Type 1 diabetic patients to discuss the policy at group meetings and forums.

Blackpool residents are therefore invited to read the draft policy documents and provide their feedback and comments by completing the relevant survey(s). These can all be accessed by visiting

Dr Amanda Doyle, a Blackpool GP and Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Blackpool CCG, said: “Blackpool CCG is responsible for commissioning a wide range of clinical services, including secondary (hospital), community and mental health services and for paying for those services, for and on behalf of, the local population.

“We need to ensure this is done in an open, fair and transparent manner but in so doing we must take into account the limited resources we have.

“A key role for the CCG is to develop clinical policies that help us make decisions about the use of those limited resources. We have done a lot over the last year to talk to patients about our policies and there is clearly a large group of people who take an interest in this. We have a specific page on our website where current clinical policies that are under review can be found and people have a chance to give their feedback on those whenever they are ready for review.

 “I would encourage any resident with an interest in these policies to visit the CCG website and have their say.”

The policy harmonisation page which lists all the policies under review can be found at

For the new policy on insulin pumps and glucose monitoring devices any diabetic patients, or in the case of a child or young person, any parent or carer, who does not have access to the online survey and/or may struggle or not wish to attend any group discussions can make arrangements to discuss the policy by contacting the Communications and Engagement Team of the Commissioning Support Unit on 01772 214244 or emailing [email protected]uk

URPotential’s urban gardening group

URPotential hold an urban gardening group at Cherry tree allotments on Wednesday afternoons, this allotment is a community garden where people can come to relax, volunteer and grow produce for the community. They want to make the allotment bright, colourful and inviting for volunteers and users. Currently the allotment does not meet the needs for disabled people especially wheel chair users as there is no available access. They have plans to make the allotment more accessible by laying paved access enabling the whole community to get involved in volunteering with them.


They lack the resources and funds to start this work and are putting a request out there for the following items to make the allotment accessible to all:-

  • Pathing slabs or slate, broken or not
  • Wood in various sizes and conditions such as, pallets or fence panels
  • Garden benches or tables
  • Garden ornaments such as gnomes to brighten up the allotment
  • Wellies in various sizes
  • Outdoor paint in various colours and gardening tools

They can paint can repair any garden furniture so condition is not a problem

If you are able to donate any of the following they would be very grateful, if you would like to donate or get involved with the gardening project contact.

Louise Harrison for more details on 01253 344398 or email at [email protected]