What is a community champion?

GNP Community Forum are actively seeking Community Champions to join their team of volunteers. Community Champions work with local organisations to promote services and provide support and advice to local people.

Community Champion Role Description
– Community Champions are local people who work on a voluntary basis to promote the health and wellbeing of local people, and help them access local services.
– Some are bilingual and all reflect the diversity of the local population.
– Community Champions behave in a professional manner, both as representatives of the Community Champions Programme and in abiding by the policies and procedures of their host organisation.
– Community Champions work with local organisations, such as member organisations of the Northolt Initiative and other local authority departments and the voluntary sector.
– They talk to people informally as part of their daily lives, provide support to individuals and help organise or lead health groups and activities.

Community champions are individuals who:
– have an interest in promoting health and wellbeing
– have an interest in supporting local people
– are confident, outgoing, enthusiastic and energetic
– have good communication and listening skills
– have good boundaries and understand how to behave professionally
– are good at networking and making connections to others
– are able to, or are willing to learn how to, use Microsoft Word, the internet and email
– live, work or study in or very close to the local area in which the Community Champions project or hub is based
– are keen to develop their own skills and experience

They offer the following services:
Health Promotion – Champions communicate important health messages to groups and individuals whom health professionals struggle to engage with – especially those that are isolated or marginalised
Financial services promotion – Champions communicate important messages to groups and individuals who may not have access to advice, internet or support, once trained, they can share simple money saving techniques, welfare benefits or signpost people to the advice services available
Employment services promotion – Champions communicate important messages to groups and individuals who may not be in training, work or employment, once trained, they can share information about the services available and introduce them to the services.
Insight – Gathering Champions gather insight on a number of issues to help commissioners understand deep-rooted attitudes, behaviours and perceptions
Signposting – Champions use their unique position within the community to signpost friends, neighbours and community members to appropriate health, social care and children’s services

Main tasks
– Making contact with people living in the community. This could be through friends and family, through attending meetings of local groups and associations or even setting up a small group of your own
– Listening to people to find out their needs, especially in relation to health and social care e.g. healthy eating, physical activity, mental health and emotional well-being
– Outreaching to the community e.g. through door knocking exercises to promote uptake of services within the local area
– Gently encouraging people to take up healthier or more active lifestyles , helping them to access job clubs or adult learning etc
– Signposting people to services and making referrals e.g. exercise classes, employment services, local events, counselling services
– Providing feedback to local service providers such as the Northolt Initiative, council and neighbourhood forum; on how they can improve their services based on your experience of volunteering
– Undertaking campaigns/projects to promote health awareness and other campaigns , collect findings on specific health issues affecting your area

Involvement in the Community Champions programme also offers an opportunity for participants to progress their careers if this is desired by individual champions. By volunteering, you may receive some or all of the following benefits:
– Free training leading to recognised qualifications at Levels 2 or 3 in health promotion and other areas such as money mentoring – ideal for anyone looking for a career in these areas
– Work experience in health and social care services
– Develop skills in community development and community engagement through outreach work and community consultation
– Gain a stepping stone for careers in health promotion, social care, mental well being and event organising if this is desired
– Networking and partnership working with a wide range of professionals and partner organisations within your borough and further afield
– Coaching and support from a line manager / volunteer co-ordinator
– Opportunities to share your volunteering experiences with people all over London
– References for future employment

We want every Community Champion, to have a good experience of volunteering with us and we do our best to ensure this through investing in your support, supervision, development and training. Based on our experience of working with volunteers we believe that you and the Community Champions programme will benefit most if you are able to offer a regular time commitment each week. We emphasise though that hours would be flexible and dependant on your availability. We ask that you:
– Offer at least 4 hours a week for 8 months or more – flexible depending on the task e.g. outreach or events. Some of the time may be during evenings and weekends where you are available
– Attend regular group meeting with other champions e.g. 4-6 weekly
– Attend regular 1:1 meetings with the volunteer coordinator / line manager e.g. 4-6 weekly
– Volunteers should be able to plan their own time and fit the tasks around other commitments such as childcare and work.
– We will ask you what your availability is when you first get involved and you can keep us updated if this changes. We only ask that you inform us 2-3 weeks in advance of any planned breaks or holidays to ensure we are able to cover sessions for which you may have been scheduled to volunteer.
– Community Champions volunteers will be required to keep records of some of the work completed. This is so that we are able to record and report accurately to funders and other partners on the work of the project.
– Your line manager will explain what these requirements are. It is important that any paperwork or administration is kept as up-to-date as possible and that you return any paperwork completed on time.