Today we have published our report on the early experiences of Project Smith.
Healthwatch Lambeth has helped to evaluate the first two years of Project Smith, by gathering feedback from people taking part in activities supported by the Lambeth Wellbeing Fund and those involved in the Community Connectors scheme.
Community Connectors are the link between activities/organisations and people. This connection can help to improve peoples’ quality of life, by introducing them to wellbeing and health services, community or social groups, and different activities that are available in their community.
Feedback on service experiences was almost universally positive. Interviewees told us that the support offered by Connectors was proactive but also sensitive to their needs, and our general impression of the funded projects was of good quality activities that were well run and well received.
Our 46 interviewees (including the Connectors themselves) were also able to report tangible benefits from these interventions which, collectively, could be mapped against all three of the planned programme outcomes: connectivity, resilience, and health and wellbeing self-management. We were also interested to see evidence of broader societal benefits from the Connectors scheme, both as a means for local people to model ‘good citizenship’ and to contribute to the wider community infrastructure through signposting and connecting organisations, as well as residents.
Overall, this community investment approach already appears to be paying dividends and we look forward to seeing further creative ideas and health and wellbeing benefits fostered by the programme across the borough.