To help people navigate around the many activities across the city and to support the endeavours of organisations and groups of all sizes, Southampton City Council and Southampton Clinical Commissioning Group has funded a new service – SO:Linked. This eagerly anticipated service will be delivered by community navigators and community development workers through an integrated partnership led by Southampton Voluntary Services and including Alzheimers’ Society, Solent Mind, Spectrum, TWICS and Social Enterprise Link.
SO:Linked launched on 1 October and from this date any adult (18+) living in Southampton City Council area or registered with a Southampton GP can make use of the service. GPs, health and social care staff and voluntary organisations can refer people to the service and members of the public can also request the service for themselves.
On Friday 4 October Southampton Voluntary Services celebrated the programme going live at their AGM with an official launch, followed by a networking lunch.
Jo Ash SVS CEO says: “This is an exciting time for Southampton as we work ever more closely as organisations and individuals across the city to make Southampton an even better place to live.
There are so many different voluntary activities and services on offer: from craft clubs to dance classes, singing groups to community cafes, from specialist groups for people who are bereaved to those that support people with health issues. Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start, especially if you have been going through a difficult time; taking those first steps to attend a new group can be daunting. This new service will come alongside people and give them the encouragement and support to find the activity or service that is just right for them at the time, as we know that accessing the right activity at the right time can make the world of difference to someone.
Southampton has so many local activities, there really is something for everyone. Our SO:Linked community development workers will help strengthen these groups and encourage new ones to be born where gaps exist in provision, as well as encouraging more people to become involved as volunteers.”
If you, or someone you know, would like help to link with local activities, support or volunteering opportunities, or if you are a local group who would like advice or support, simply call 023 8021 6050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. One of our friendly navigators or community development workers will contact you to find out how SO: Linked can assist you. Alternatively, visit one of our outreach events across the city, details can be found on the SVS website, or by contacting SO:Linked.
If you are a local business and would like to participate in the development of this innovative service as part of your corporate social responsibility, we’d love to hear from you.
Southampton Voluntary Services are the umbrella body for local voluntary and community groups working in Southampton. They provide a wide range of services including specialist support, advice and training to our membership. They also provide and promote information to individuals and organisations on volunteering in the city.
SPECTRUM is a User Led Organisation, run and controlled by Disabled People. As an advocacy organisation, we seek to change the way Disabled People are viewed, included and valued for who they are and what they contribute to society. As a service provider, we design and deliver services that are personalised, empowering and enabling for users, and cost effective for commissioners.
SO:linked Partnership’s Dementia Navigators offer information and practical guidance to help you understand dementia, cope with day-to-day challenges and prepare for the future. They offer information to people who are worried about their memory and ongoing support to people affected by dementia face to face, over the phone or in writing.
Solent Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. They won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect. They’re part of a network of 140 local minds, in England and Wales which are independent charities.
TWICS is a community training organisation based in Southampton which promotes the benefit and advances the education of people within the City of Southampton who have disabilities or who are otherwise disadvantaged through poverty or other adverse social conditions. The charity offers a regular programme of courses that are affordable, accessible and, where possible, appropriately accredited.
Social Enterprise Link create and provide opportunities for social, cooperative, community and trading charity enterprises. They provide you or signpost you to their expert members if you start, develop, market, commission your social enterprise, find educational opportunities or for anything social and cooperative enterprise in Wessex.