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Community Development Update

VOICES allotment

By Ben Wilson

A warm welcome to Helen Bailey

 Joining the VOICES team is community development coordinator Helen Bailey. Helen writes,

“I have been really excited to be shadowing our partners to see what they have been doing. My first thoughts were wow, there is much amazing stuff happening that I wasn’t aware of. Partners were really listening and working with customers to get them the best outcome. I am so excited to be in a role that allows me to communicate and share all the positive practice across the City.”


Re-Launch of Peer Mentoring  Service

Working with local evaluator Becky Rice we recently conducted interviews of our customers, focus groups with Peer Mentors and Staff. We found that our main challenges were sustaining matches between peer mentors and customers. Matches that became sustainable were due to customer and peer mentor sharing an activity or interest. These allowed for change talk to happen, and were also fun for both people.

With these findings we will be changing the way it offers Peer Mentoring to VOICES Customers. Using the learning from the last 4 years we found the most effective change came from using activities as a medium to talk about to change. This new offer will be launching in Mid-February.  Community Development Coordinators and Peer Mentors will be working with Customers to develop customised activities, related to their assets and aspirations. Whilst this is something we did do in a small scale, we never introduced it as a large scale approach until now. We really hope that this creates longer term peer mentoring relationships that will provide a supportive befriender to people who need it most.

Ben Wilson

Community Development Manager

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