Gloucestershire Village and Community Agents - providing older poeple with easier access to services and information
Village Agents began as part of the LinkAge Plus scheme funded by the Department for Work and Pensions in 2006. The aim was to provide older people in the county's rural communities with easier access to information and services. 96 of the most isolated rural parishes were selected. By the end of the pilot in 2008 the scheme covered 162 parishes with 30 agents. Gloucestershire Community Agents, working with black and minority ethnic (BME) communities across the county, were introduced initially as a pilot for the first six months of 2008 and are now an integral part of the team. Today, 39 Village and Community Agents operate countywide in the rural areas and the urban centres of Cheltenham and Gloucester. GRCC manages the Village and Community Agents. The Village and Community Agents are funded by Gloucestershire County Council and the specialist agents by Gloucestershire CCG.
Agents are trusted members of their communities, people who can be approached for advice and support. Through training and access to appropriate information resources, the Agents provide both a short and a longer term service.
Watch our video to find out more about the service:
Village Agents from GRCC on Vimeo.
The key objectives of the scheme are:
to help older people in rural Gloucestershire and older members of the BME communities across the county to feel more secure, more cared for, and have a better quality of life;to give older people easy access to a wide range of information that will enable them to make informed decisions about their own well-being;
To help older people access any services or assistance that can help them remain in their own homes and enable them to feel part of a supportive enabling community; and to engage older people to enable them to influence future service provision.
Information and reports
For more information about the background to the scheme, and also for reports on how the scheme has been operating, follow the links below:
Local Evaluation of the pilot stage of the Gloucestershire Village Agents scheme, carried out by InLoGov at the University of Birmingham
Quarterly and Annual Reports