Elemental blog shows how digital has fast tracked community response to combat total isolation | Part 2

6th April 2020

This is the second in a series of blogs that focuses on some of the inspirational ways that communities are using digital to help them respond to COVID19 across the UK and Ireland.

In our last blog, we highlighted how there are a number of uplifting examples happening across the UK and Ireland where sectors and organisations are coming together to continue to provide much needed support during these unprecedented and worrying times

This week, we’re shining a spotlight once again on the social prescribing Link Workers, community, voluntary and social enterprises, domiciliary care workers, clinicians, health and social care workers, local businesses, housing associations, local authorities and others who are using digital to help them to design and implement their community support plans. 

With non face-to-face interventions becoming the new normal, we have all been forced to change how we work and digital is playing a massive part in this. 

We’re seeing many areas using digital for:

  • Communication between health and social care teams and patients
  • Recruitment of volunteers
  • Mapping all the different types of support that’s available 
  • Creation of support plans
  • Monitoring the wellbeing of a cohort of people
  • Finding out what people want and what is working well 
  • Recording who has had which kind of support and prioritising those who need it
  • Sharing of online resources such as exercise videos, singing groups and meditation
  • Online debt advice
  • Understanding where the gaps are in both delivery and capacity of teams
  • Measuring the overall impact of community planning and the effectiveness of coordinated delivery 

2 ways that areas are using digital to tackle COVID 19 

We spoke to 2 of our customers about how they are using Elemental to better connect their communities during the Covid-19 Pandemic:

The Liferooms (Liverpool) – Focus shift to digital intervention

Following Covid-19 public health advice, the Liferooms took the difficult decision to close all their centres to the public for the safety of clients, volunteers and staff. 

The Liferooms is a free NHS service, which provides a safe and welcoming space to meet others, access opportunities and learn about community resources. They offer support for those wanting to take the next steps in their life. 

The service is using Elemental to help focus all efforts on coordinating the support of their communities during this unprecedented period of worry and disruption. 

The Liverpool based service had to quickly come up with alternatives around how to support people in their own homes, versus people being able to physically access their sites. Pathways advisors at Liferooms began to provide an over the phone to people they identified through Elemental as being vulnerable, and those in marginalised communities who now find themselves more isolated than ever.

Their focus also switched to digital, and they have created a suite of nine online learning opportunities, including activities such as:

  • A week long fit camp, delivered by a Liferooms personal trainer, with videos being released each day
  • Three online cooking sessions
  • Learning opportunities around how to stay well at home – #StayWellStayHome 

Creating this suite of online opportunities involved Liferooms speaking to partner organisations to determine the key messages that they are wanted to get out for their communities, and finding out what is important to people right now.

“It has been a challenge. We quickly had to take into consideration our availability of resources, whilst also trying to keep people connected during social isolation. Our team responded incredibly well and the feedback from users on social media has been phenomenal so far.  Having Elemental to support us during this critical time has been a huge benefit – at times like this you realise how important the consistency of communication and maintaining contact with other services is, and still being able to provide a service. This all would have been a lot more difficult if we didn’t have Elemental. The value of reports for data collection, baseline measurements and measuring impact at the end of someone’s journey is clear to see, and this will continue to benefit our service over the coming weeks and months. Elemental really has been instrumental to us being able to offer a somewhat business as usual service.” – Gary Thorpe, Service Lead Liferooms

The Old Library Trust HLC, Derry – Quickly connecting communities in unprecedented times

Following Covid-19 Public Health advice The Old Library Trust closed its 20,000ft Healthy

Living Centre in Creggan, Derry two weeks ago. Moving quick to come up with alternative methods to connect their community, the OLT now engages with service users, programme participants and the local community in several different ways, including:

  • Daily phone calls to check in with residents, providing a listening ear
  • Private group messages 
  • Facebook live sessions and videos
  • Online health and wellbeing sessions

The Healthy Living Centreis using Elemental to locate, identify and contact those most in need who have engaged or are currently engaging in the range of programmes and services offered. Using Elemental has also enabled the organisation to categorise people by address, age, associated health conditions and number of dependants, helping to speed up the community response, and ensuring that those in most need are recognised early and given person centred care and support.

The Old Library Trust is using Elemental to support the wider community response during these unprecedented times by tracking people whilst onwardly linking them to the local Neighbourhood Renewal response package, which includes food bank referrals, local shopping delivery referrals and local, regional and national health and wellbeing support structures. They include benefits advice, counselling and Lifeline.

“For us, Elemental has been a really important piece of software in this unprecedented time. Not only can we get to those most in need quickly, but because of the change in the way we are working, Elemental allows us to track baseline measurements and to report the evidence of the impact.” – George McGowan, OLT Project Director.



Recent posts