So:Linked Community Navigation service launches

To help people navigate around the many activities across the city and to support the endeavours of organisations and groups of all sizes, Southampton City Council and Southampton Clinical Commissioning Group has funded a new service – SO:Linked. This eagerly anticipated service will be delivered by community navigators and community development workers through an integrated partnership led by Southampton Voluntary Services and including Alzheimers’ Society, Solent Mind, Spectrum, TWICS and Social Enterprise Link.

SO:Linked launched on 1 October and from this date any adult (18+) living in Southampton City Council area or registered with a Southampton GP can make use of the service. GPs, health and social care staff and voluntary organisations can refer people to the service and members of the public can also request the service for themselves.

On Friday 4 October Southampton Voluntary Services celebrated the programme going live at their AGM with an official launch, followed by a networking lunch.

Jo Ash SVS CEO says: “This is an exciting time for Southampton as we work ever more closely as organisations and individuals across the city to make Southampton an even better place to live.

There are so many different voluntary activities and services on offer: from craft clubs to dance classes, singing groups to community cafes, from specialist groups for people who are bereaved to those that support people with health issues. Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start, especially if you have been going through a difficult time; taking those first steps to attend a new group can be daunting. This new service will come alongside people and give them the encouragement and support to find the activity or service that is just right for them at the time, as we know that accessing the right activity at the right time can make the world of difference to someone.  

Southampton has so many local activities, there really is something for everyone. Our SO:Linked community development workers will help strengthen these groups and encourage new ones to be born where gaps exist in provision, as well as encouraging more people to become involved as volunteers.”

If you, or someone you know, would like help to link with local activities, support or volunteering opportunities, or if you are a local group who would like advice or support, simply visit www.solinked.org.uk call 023 8021 6050 or email soccg.solinked@nhs.net. One of our friendly navigators or community development workers will contact you to find out how SO: Linked can assist you. Alternatively, visit one of our outreach events across the city, details can be found on the SVS website, or by contacting SO:Linked.

If you are a local business and would like to participate in the development of this innovative service as part of your corporate social responsibility, we’d love to hear from you.

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