Grant of over £1m will make a huge difference to vulnerable residents in Cornwall who have stopped shielding

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A range of projects in Cornwall helping residents who had to shield during the Covid-19 pandemic return to a ‘new normal’ have received funding of almost £1.5m.

The Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) Grant, which is delivered by Cornwall Council, offers a diverse range of much-needed support for people across Cornwall who now face the difficult process of returning to normal life after months of shielding.

The projects will offer a range of services designed to improve physical and mental health, increase confidence and enable vulnerable people to become more sociable in a safe and positive environment.

The grant funding of £1,423,055 has been awarded by the Minister of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to enable Cornwall Council to support those in the local CEV community who need it the most.

Cllr Dr Andy Virr, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, said: “The grant will make a huge difference to help those vulnerable people who have been cut off from society receive much-needed physical, mental and emotional support to rebuild their confidence as they return to a ‘new normal’ way of living.”

Among those sharing the CEV grant is Active8’s Acceler8 project, which provides residential weekends away for young people aged 13 to 18 without their families to promote independence.

Person wearing a VR headset sitting in gaming chair holding a steering wheel

Lindsey Cooper, Active8’s project co-ordinator, said: “During the Covid pandemic we have had to move the activities online, so the CEV grant will ensure we can extend the two-year project so the young people can grow their confidence in going out in public again and enjoy activities such as rock climbing and abseiling – the sort of events they have always been told they can’t do, but we show them they can but in a different way.”

Another project benefiting from the CEV grant is Health for Homeless, which is providing health coaching for clinically extremely vulnerable homeless people in Cornwall.

Dr Kerry Bailey, GP lead for Health for Homeless, added: “The project encourages people to engage with personal and health coaching who may otherwise find accessing mainstream services difficult. Coaching is effective in improving physical and mental wellbeing among clinically vulnerable homeless people who may have diabetes, hypertension and other health issues. It really enables them to take control of their own lives and helps with everything from losing weight to giving up smoking.”

In addition to the CEV grant, continued supported work through Age UK, Volunteer Cornwall and Inclusion Cornwall has continued to support 3,400 CEV households with travel support so they receive their Covid vaccine and booster jabs, help with shopping, medicines and household repairs – for example, fixing blocked toilets – all of which help to keep people safe and well during the ongoing situation

Cornwall Council has surveyed CEV households and initial results from 3,000 responses show that around 50% continue to shield and isolate “unofficially” and demonstrate the need and value for this continued support.

The ten projects sharing the CEV grant are:

Active Cornwall

Active at Home: To develop a free to access bitesize e-learning module to deliver basic training support for frontline workers who come into daily contact with CEV people.

Active8

Acceler8 Project: The residential weekends away will provide activities such as surfing and filmmaking, designed to develop teamwork, listening and a range of other skills. They also work with members on a 1:1 basis.

Age UK

The Rejuvenate Programme: To initially operate out of community hubs, providing a monthly session to engage and support older people who are digitally disconnected and offer a place to get online plus a range of physical, mental and emotional support including carer and memory groups.

Community Energy Plus

Cold Homes Relief Fund for Cornwall: To continue to help with energy costs and use by arranging heating repairs and upgrades. Fund beneficiaries will also receive advice to access the help they need to achieve improvements to the warmth of their home to help their health conditions.

Cornwall Rural Community Charity

Pedal on the Prom: Using trishaw bikes, piloted by volunteers, this project allows people to be taken for a ride along Penzance promenade. Participants will benefit from meeting new people, enjoying refreshments and feeling part of the outside world again, in a safe way thus enhancing their mental and physical wellbeing too.

Disability Cornwall Council

Accessible Health and Wellbeing Innovation: Wellbeing Innovators will aim to re-engage their workforce who are home working, furloughed or shielding. This cultural change within the clinically vulnerable community will enable them to make a significant difference through empowering people, overcoming personal barriers, and returning to usual work and activities.

Health for Homeless

Health Coaching: To enable the CEV homeless, through health and personal coaching, to overcome their challenges which have become increased during the pandemic. The principles of health and personal coaching include behavioural change techniques to help with diet, physical activity and sleep. A similar health coaching intervention for clinically vulnerable in St Austell during the first lockdown, for people with complex backgrounds and low mental wellbeing/activation, showed them as making greater improvements with individual coaching.

NHS Kernow CCG

Integrated health & voluntary/third sector approach to support those in the CEV community with respiratory issues: To place focus on those patients most in need or at risk of deterioration from respiratory problems.

CLEAR

Reducing the impact of emotional trauma as a result of Covid-19: CLEAR will provide counselling, therapy, group and one-to-one support for emotional wellbeing, giving children, young people and adults the support they need to process their experiences, to develop strategies to cope and to build emotional resilience for the future.

Cornwall Council Adult Care & Health Commissioning

Building Confidence and Resilience – returning to the new ‘normal’ for vulnerable people: Care home services remained in operation throughout the pandemic. However, residents have been unable to access their communities or families and have become extremely isolated, with these people often experiencing increased isolation and loneliness, far greater than the general population. This project will support volunteers and family supporters to actively re-engage with care home residents, offering them the opportunity to safely be accompanied on walks or to cafés. The funding will be used to pay for additional PPE, DBS checks, volunteer training, administration fees and transport. 

Story posted November 23, 2021

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