Vanclaron is a social enterprise, with a mission to empower individuals and communities to take control of their health and break out of the perpetuating cycles of socioeconomic inequality. Vanclaron provides health and wellbeing services to marginalised communities, including group workshops, CHATS (Community Health Awareness Training) and one to one meetings. Vanclaron works in partnership with organisations like the Red Cross to benefit wider society by improving quality of life, reducing the number of people presenting at crisis level and reducing strain on the NHS.
Our CHATS Connected Communities (CCC) project is set up to tackle social isolation and loneliness, improve mental health and overall wellbeing. Connection, learning a new skill, and giving to others are three of the evidence-based 5 ways to wellbeing.
We intend to run a series of virtual activities which will bring people from these communities together. They will work collaboratively and safely online and build relationships. The planned activities are:
- WeCook – online cooking activities
- PenPal – joining up people using letter writing.
- Bakealong- Online group baking sessions
- RMPS Journal group – articulation of wellbeing activities each participant has undertaken in the previous week to share and discuss with others.
We have adapted to the pandemic by moving our support and services online via zoom and other virtual media, but many of our clients have no/limited access to digital device or data, making them unable to receive our support virtually. Where necessary we will cover the costs of client’s data/broadband and/or lend them phones/tablets to enable them to participate.
The project will run as a pilot first, then we will review achievements and outcomes, and future requirements in the light of the pandemic restrictions at that time.
Our aim is to provide our target communities with the support, opportunities and understanding to tackle issues relating to isolation and loneliness and mental well-being in a culturally competent faith-sensitive way during the pandemic.