Community Champions Initiative evaluation – Royal Greenwich

lilac based cartoon graphic of people

Community Champions evaluation

WSA recently delivered an evaluation report to the Royal Borough of Greenwich for its Community Champions programme. This programme was initially set us as a partnership between the Council and the NHS to share helpful and accurate information about COVID-19, inviting volunteers from across the borough to share key information about health and wellbeing issues with friends, family and local community networks.

Our team conducted substantial fieldwork to help understand some of the key changes from the initiative. This included hosting workshops with and interviewing Community Champion volunteers, team coordinators and other stakeholders involved in the project. With their input we were able to provide everyone involved with key learnings from the programme, helping to think about how engaging communities can support health.

Our Findings

What was clear from our interviews was that the programme helped many community members gain access to helpful information from volunteers who often went door to door to speak with residents. They were able to provide reassurance and clarity over the ever-changing guidance on Covid-19. Volunteers also supported people feeling isolated or unable to access adequate medical support during the pandemic.

The programme highlighted the value of bringing together a number of different people into its remit, which the project coordinators strove to do.

“We had a melting pot of different stakeholders around the table. So there was residents, there were faith leaders, there was established ones, the school – so your clubs, the people doing things.” – Volunteer 

There was a recognition that the different areas within the borough needed better representation. The project shone a light on existing health inequalities, exacerbated by the pandemic. Through Community Champions, attempts were made to reconnect with local networks which had lost engagement with the wider community. Going forward, we hope that relationships will develop to further support local community groups and volunteers.

Read more about the Community Champions Initiative here.