Over £23 million funding has been allocated to 60 councils and voluntary groups across England to expand work to support those most at risk from COVID-19 and boost vaccine take up, and Arun District Council are on the recipient list.
Through the Community Champions scheme, in partnership with our local voluntary organisations, we plan to deliver a wide range of measures to share information with those most at risk. This will include developing new networks of trusted local champions.
This funding is specifically targeted at areas that are reaching out to groups such as older people, disabled people, and people from ethnic minority backgrounds who, according to the latest evidence are more likely to suffer long-term impacts and poor outcomes from COVID-19. We have developed a plan to improve communications with these groups including: working with Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester, Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice and Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove; actively building relationships with our target communities; identifying and supporting volunteer champions; using translation support to where English is a second language; delivering messaging using community centred media such as, podcasts and local and community radio to identify local solutions
Community Champions will tap into local networks to share the latest advice about COVID-19 and the vaccines and will also work with us to identify barriers to accessing accurate information and to tackle misinformation.
Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, Cllr Mrs Gill Yeates said: “It is so important that everyone has access to accurate and up to date information about COVID-19. False information about COVID-19 vaccines could cost lives. We have been working hard to share information and updates with Arun residents, but we know there are some communities that we still need to access. This funding will help us reach out to those communities to ensure they have the information they need and get their questions answered. Ultimately this funding will help save lives.”