This is an exciting collaboration, working in partnership with local people to build on and improve engagement with the community. Enabling patients’ views to be integral to service development.
Becoming a Community Ambassador is open to anyone living within the five North East Hampshire & Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) localities (Aldershot, Farnborough, Farnham, Fleet and Yateley). We strive to make it accessible to all and provide support to anyone who requires it.
The purpose of the Community Ambassador Programme is to facilitate engagement with a wider number of local people and community groups.
The Community Ambassadors all have important links to their communities; whether through clubs or societies, school or places of work and all have individual skills that health and care services may benefit from.
Service provision may be improved if we can learn more about the views, experiences and concerns of patients and service users. Community Ambassadors help us to connect with local people to understand how they feel and gain insight. As part of the North East Hampshire & Farnham Vanguard, this also reflects the CCG’s engagement strategy and principles. Community Ambassadors have been instrumental in the decision making processes’ of how services are offered.
How it works
Through the Community Ambassadors’ own networks and affiliations we are able to connect with groups that may have been harder to reach without these local connections.
Community Ambassadors are involved in every aspect of new model’s design, delivery and in the review of existing services.
How we recruit Community Ambassadors
The Community Ambassador Programme is advertised through local voluntary sector umbrella groups and within the CCG newsletter, which is published both on the North East Hampshire & Farnham CCG website and in hard copy. This newsletter is circulated to all GP practices and partner organisations.
We also have postcard flyers that are placed in community venues and GP surgeries. In addition we have attended community events to talk to people about the opportunity of becoming a Community Ambassador. We find that many people now come to us through word of mouth, demonstrating the connections the existing Community Ambassadors have and their effectiveness to spread messages.
Full contact details of the Community Ambassador Coordinator are listed on all recruitment materials and we encourage those who are interested to call for further information and to have a chat with the Coordinator. A role description and register of interest form are then sent out and on receipt of the completed form, an informal meeting is arranged with the Coordinator to provide more information on the tasks Community Ambassador volunteers could become involved in as well as the roles they could undertake.
During this meeting the Coordinator will complete a guided conversation allowing us to better understand the individual’s interests and motivations. If the individual decides, after this meeting, that they wish to join the Community Ambassador Programme we consider their role preferences (explained below) and decide where best their skills are placed before putting them forward for induction training.
The Community Ambassador Programme cannot offer volunteers regular hours but the tasks they can become involved in can make a significant difference.