What is Community Navigation?
The Community Navigation Scheme is an information giving and signposting project, which shares many characteristics with what is known as Social Prescribing. Our Community Navigation Officers link you up to social or physical activities in your community
The scheme is for anyone of any age from the Wokingham Borough. For example, you could be anyone from a young parent looking for peer support and different activities in your area to an elderly person looking to find support with managing a health condition or looking for new social networks to join.
Community Navigation can make a huge contribution to an individual’s health and wellbeing.
People can access the service through a referral. This may be from a GP, social worker, family member or a self-referral. We will put any clients in touch with one of our Community Navigation Officers who will explore a range of options for the individual to engage with. They will encourage and help support people to attend groups, activities and services that can help them meet their needs.
Our Community Navigation Officers are not counsellors or experts at dealing with particular issues and they are not going to solve a person’s problems for them – but they will help and guide the individual to discover “what’s on in their community”.
We aim to provide an essential link between health services and local voluntary and community provision…
Our CN Officer’s relationship with the client is empowering and short lived. They will encourage and enable, but not create dependence. Our CN Officer’s are DBS checked, do not have access to people’s medical records and try to be on the end of phone to help support people throughout the week.
Our Community Navigation Scheme Officers always try to be in the office from Monday till Friday, working 9:30am – 4pm. If someone from the scheme is not available though due to holiday time off or lunch breaks, you can leave your contact details with a member of the involve team if you want and wait for a call back, or you can fill in a referral form.
So how does it work in practise? Here’s an example scenario…
Sam is a man living on his own, he has mobility problems following a knee operation. He has difficulty getting out to do shopping, attending appointments and struggles to do his gardening. Sam goes to his local surgery feeling quite down and in a bit of pain. His doctor prescribes pain killers to assist with Sam’s physical condition but feels that Sam needs more help that goes beyond medical needs. The doctor completes a referral to the Community Navigation Scheme.
A CN Officer gets in contact with Sam and they discuss the situation. They find a local volunteer gardening service to tidy Sam’s garden, a befriender service who can pop in for a cup of tea and a chat as well as help with shopping. They also locate a mobility scooter service and volunteer drivers who will take Sam to medical appointments. On top of all this, Sam has a passion for playing chess. and they manages to locate a local chess club.
Sam now gets out and about, is meeting people and enjoying his hobby. He can get out to his garden and can get to his medical appointments with no problems. He feels much more positive about life. He is looking after himself better and his health has improved. He had no idea that all these organisations were available and wouldn’t have really known where to find them.
If this sounds similar to your situation, feel free to get in touch.