The Community Visitors pilot project started in 2012. This was a project designed to explore a new way of working with volunteers in care homes.
The Community Visitors pilot project started in 2012. This was a project designed to explore a new way of working with volunteers in care homes. Rather than focusing on residents alone, the Community Visitors make a commitment to become members of the care home team and a regular and routine presence in the Home.
Community Visitors work with managers, staff, with residents and with their families, to help make the home as good a place as it can be for all who live there. They can support residents when they most need it; for example, when they are newly admitted or going through a difficult time and they can work with staff and residents’ families to promote the well being of residents. Above all, they can offer a listening ear and make sure residents are able communicate some of the wishes, comments and concerns that may be very important to their quality of life, but which they are reluctant to share with staff. Even in the best of homes, the details that matter so much to individual residents can get lost or overlooked in the effort to care for everyone’s needs.
The Community Visitors project has been formally evaluated by Essex University, who have published a report of their findings. You might also like to read what one Community Visitor, Lisa Carpenter, has written about her experience.
Although the pilot is finished, the Community Visitors continue their work and the project will be extended to other homes as part of the FaNs programme.
All our Community Visitors have found this a challenging, but immensely rewarding experience. Would you like to join them?