The Somerset Village Agent project (run by CCS, the Community Council for Somerset) now covers half of the county. The project uses paid, part time, highly trained individuals living in the parish ‘clusters’ they support. They help to bridge the gap between isolated, excluded, vulnerable and lonely individuals and statutory and/or voluntary organisations which offer specific solutions to identified needs.
Village Agents work with all ages dealing with a wide variety of issues, although a considerable number of their clients are elderly and involves social care issues. Helping to solve these problems may, ultimately, help the elderly to remain living independently for longer. Village Agents also have the role of helping to shape services by feeding back to the appropriate body information about gaps in service e.g. transport provision. They can also motivate and support a community to respond to a local need by working together to address issues e.g. by helping them to set up a coffee morning for a group of lonely people or start a volunteer car scheme.
Cossington's VIllage Agent is Alex Ward (tel: 07746 332897, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)