100 Covid Community Champions helping Somerset stay safe

A major milestone was reached this week with more than 100 trained Covid Champions now in place to help people in Somerset stay up to date with the Covid-19 latest advice.

The Covid Community Champion Network has been going from strength to strength since it was first launched in October. There are now just over 100 trained Champions across Somerset, sharing messages about Covid-19 and how to stay healthy, happy and safe with their friends, family and work colleagues.

The Covid Community Champions scheme is funded by Somerset County Council and delivered by a partnership between Spark Somerset and the Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP).

One resident who has stepped up to become a Covid Champion is Juliet Vos, a HR manager from Sparkford.

“There have been so many benefits in joining Covid Champions,” Juliet said.

“Giving accurate information to my workplace on the vaccine roll out, helping give my parents the right information about how to stay safe through the Covid pandemic and helping to support my friends in difficult situations due to mental health issues.”

To build on the success of the Covid Community Champion network, Spark Somerset and Somerset County Council are offering Vaccination Myth Buster Training to anyone who is in a position to have conversations about the vaccine.

People attending this training will also be offered the opportunity to become Vaccination Buddies: specially trained volunteers who have supportive telephone calls with people who have questions and concerns about the Covid-19 vaccine.

If you are interested in becoming a Covid Champion or a vaccine buddy, it is not too late to sign up. More information on getting involved can be found here: Covid Community Champions | SPARK (sparksomerset.org.uk)

For more information on becoming a Vaccination Buddy, visit: Spark Somerset | Spark a Change

Helen Fielden, Covid Champion Coordinator at Spark Somerset said: “I’m delighted with how successful the Covid Community Champion Network has been.

“It’s been a pleasure working with such lovely people and it’s great hearing how things are going in their communities.

“While we’re still looking for more Champions, the Vaccination Buddy network is an opportunity to build on this work; making sure that people in Somerset have access to the right information to help them decide whether they should be vaccinated against Covid-19.”

Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health at Somerset County Council, said: “The Covid Community Champions have done a fantastic job in a short space of time. “Their work has ensured that more people in Somerset can feel confident they have access to the information and support they need.”

Jane Knowles from SASP added: “SASP are delighted to work with Spark Somerset on Covid Champions. 100 champions is a great achievement.

“The champions role in helping people in Covid safe ways with their health and wellbeing will be even more important over the coming months as restrictions ease.

“SASP will work hard with Spark to ensure all the champions have what they need to support people and their communities in this aspect of our return to a more normal existence.”