The Social Isolation Team - A Story of Success

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CAN Connect: from collaboration to success

A heartwarming story of what CAN be achieved when the CAN Connect Community Team and partners from the Mental Health Trust work together.

In a world where people live longer and individuals with complex needs from all walks of life become isolated due to circumstances beyond their control, it is more and more important that they have someone to turn to in their hour of need.

What are the effects of loneliness?

Well it is bad for your health – research has suggested feeling lonely, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day. It is worse than obesity and lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression. Find out what the CAN Connect team do here 

What we do

Our aim is to connect you with people and activities in your community as well as provide a range of support to help you achieve your goals. CAN Connect also provide support for the community itself. Helping organisations and people make the places we live, stronger, friendlier, and more resilient.

Case study

A client was referred to the team struggling with both a physical and mental health conditions. They lived alone and were feeling increasingly isolated. Sadly, their family lived outside of the area, and they were finding it difficult to get out into the community.

The CAN Connect team liaised with the client to get a better understanding of their needs and arranged support from a local volunteer. Safeguarding training was provided to the volunteer and they were introduced to the client.

Understandably, it took time to build confidence and trust but with regular visits the client’s confidence increased, and they accessed local community groups and learned basic computer skills. The volunteer visited regularly, and the relationship grew from strength to strength.

It was these regular visits which set alarm bells ringing when the volunteer noticed parcels on the client’s doorstep. The client was not answering the door and from this the volunteer swiftly called one of the Life Connectors for advice.

Given the complexity of the client’s mental health diagnosis they called the police. The mental health team were also informed. Subsequently the client was referred to hospital and the team involved was informed that the client was responding well to treatment.

Positive feedback

The mental health team praised the service saying, “How fantastic this service is” and said how thankful they were for the swift way the team reacted, demonstrating the benefit of the Future Projects Safeguarding Procedure.

The client said

'I have benefitted so much from the service and my volunteer, and I am very grateful for the support to access the community.’

The volunteer endorsed this by saying

‘ I feel this service is very beneficial to support lonely and isolated people in our community to access services and groups with the support of a volunteer to help eliminate exclusion.’

CAN we help?

If you have an idea or project that could help your community be a stronger, friendlier and more resilient place, you would like to become a volunteer, or simply want to find out more, please do get in touch by calling 01362 698213, email office@communityactionnorfolk.org.uk or visit our website https://www.canconnect.org.uk/