Volunteers Needed for Hub

Management Team and Board of Trustees

The following text, prepared by the Board of Trustees of the Kelsall Wellbeing Hub, summarises the aims and ambitions of the Wellbeing Hub and how it will be organised and managed.  Volunteers are needed to fill roles on the Hub Board of Trustees and in the Hub Management Team.

Wellbeing Hub Context.  The Kelsall Medical Practice is to have a new surgery, built at a cost of c. £1.5 million and funded by the NHS.  In part, the new surgery is required to provide capacity for population growth in the area.  The doctors believe that, in addition to the new clinical space, an extension is required to provide a range of services aimed at addressing social issues that, if ignored, turn into medical conditions.  It will give the doctors the ability to prescribe social interventions rather than medication to treat symptoms.  The NHS will not pay for this extension so the doctors asked the PPG to raise the money to pay for this extension, which is called the Wellbeing Hub. 


The people we aim to help are amongst the 10,000 who live in Kelsall and adjacent parishes.  People need different sorts of help at different times but our focus is on social issues which, by social intervention in the early stages, can be prevented from turning into medical conditions.  Very high on our agenda is loneliness and social isolation (L&SI), but other examples would include domestic violence, bereavement, depression, worklessness, dementia, self-harm.  We will help them by running Talking Cafés, signposting them to existing services and creating local support groups run by volunteers and specialist charities.


Wellbeing Hub Activities                                                  

✶ It will be used for two core elements of support: firstly, a daily community café to address L&SI; secondly, a wide range of support groups for people experiencing social challenges in their lives. The Kelsall doctors want to be able to write “social” prescriptions and put in place services to which they can refer their patients that will prevent them getting to the point where their social issues turn into medical problems.                   

✶The café will be run by volunteers who will be trained as Community Connectors, a key role in the Frome model which we are emulating, which is primarily about listening, understanding and sign posting people to services provided in the Hub or elsewhere.  We have a Wellbeing Coordinator assigned to the Practice and she will carry out much of the training for volunteers to be able to fill this role and to ensure that the volunteers get what they themselves need from their volunteering.  Support groups will be run either by specialist charities or local volunteers who are qualified in relevant professional disciplines such as physiotherapy, counselling, psychotherapy.                                 

✶Our survey identified some of the needs that respondents felt that the Hub should address.  The number 1 need is “Drop in for a chat”.  We have 15 people who want to work in the café and we are confident that we shall be able to recruit more as momentum develops and as people who use the café begin to benefit from it and want to be part of running it for others.  The number 2 need is “Counselling”. We have two qualified counsellors and a hypnotherapist who want to volunteer.  Depending on the issues, counselling will also be provided by charities, for example the Bereavement Support Network who help to establish support groups for the bereaved; Chester Plus, who offer peer support to those who are experiencing any level of mental health problem or distress, anyone who feels lonely or isolated and those who want to give their wellbeing a boost; Macmillan and Marie Curie who support those living with cancer.  The number 3 priority is “Accessing Health and Social Care”.  We have two volunteers who have worked in Public Health and therefore know their way around the health and care system and we shall have access to our full time NHS Wellbeing Coordinator.  The number 4 priority is “teenager and young adult support”.  We have a project running at Tarporley High School aimed at identifying key issues in this age group and the high impact support that can be provided to address them.  The number 5 priority is “Mother and Baby support”.  One of our volunteers is a Health Visitor and she wants to set up a range of courses and support groups focusing on parenting in the early years.  We expect to engage with NCT, who have a wide range of support programmes.                                                                                              

✶The doctors will be referring their patients who need them to the available services.  The doctors and local residents will be proposing which services should be created where none exist.  The Hub will be managed by a Management Committee made up of a GP, two PPG Trustees and four volunteers.  When the level of activity requires it and funds permit, a part time administrator will be employed by the Practice to manage the Hub.


The Current Situation

The four founding trustees can now see their way through to completing the funding of the construction and equipping of the Hub.  Their attention is now turning to the day to day management and long-term development and sustainability of the Hub.  The annual overhead cost of running the Hub is in the region of £2,500 per annum which is a cost that can easily be covered by charging those who use it without creating barriers to utilisation.


Because of the ages and interests of the trustees they believe that they need to recruit at least two new trustees.  In addition, it is now time to put together the small management team that will be required to manage the large team of volunteers who have already indicated an interest in working in the Hub.


The Trustees

The essence of the role is to:

  • bring business acumen and management experience to the existing range of skills and experience on the Board of Trustees

  • help manage unexpected challenges

  • ensure that the Hub reaches its full potential as a community asset and realises the vision of those who gave their money to get it built


The Management Team

The role of the management team is to:

  • Understand the mission of the Hub and evaluate similar operations in the vicinity

  • Ensure that the furniture and equipment that will be procured is appropriate for the uses to which the Hub will be put

  • Plan for the opening of the Hub in September 2021 with an initial range of support services on offer, supported by consultation with the community

  • Put in place all the operational procedures required to induct and manage the volunteers, operate safely and efficiently and maximise income,

  • Ensure that the atmosphere and level of service in the Hub promotes high footfall and grows the team of volunteers

  • Participate in the three-year planning process for the development of the Hub


What Characteristics Are We Looking For In A Trustee?

  • Someone who can expect to be able to make a contribution over the next 10 years.

  • Someone with a strong background in business that brings the experience, ability and confidence to make good decisions when faced with unexpected, challenging situations.  These challenging situations could be operational, financial or commercial.

  • Someone who is resourceful and creative in solving business problems, locating any expertise that is needed but not found amongst the trustees, e.g. HR management.

  • Someone who is used to finding ways to develop an organisation, planning the way forward and securing the necessary funds

  • Someone who is good at developing relationships with individuals and partner organisations

  • Someone who is used to managing risk and fulfilling his/her fiduciary responsibilities to stakeholders which will include partners, funders and the community.


What Characteristics Are We Looking For In A Member Of  The Management Team?

  • Enthusiasm for creating something very special for the community

  • Willingness and ability to work in a team of equals with disparate skills and experience so that it is an enjoyable and rewarding experience for the whole team

  • Collectively the team needs people who can plan, organise, make things happen, manage relationships, communicate

To register your interest in becoming a Wellbeing Hub Trustee or joining the Wellbeing Hub Management Team please email:  humphreyclaxton@yahoo.co.uk


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