Community Connectors - Making a Difference Across the City

Article Added: 27/11/23

Community Connectors are residents with lived experience supporting residents from underserved population groups to connect with their community and access services. 

Community Connectors have been active in Doncaster since 2019 supporting people to be more active in and around their communities through Get Doncaster Moving.  

Active communities | Get Doncaster Moving 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Well Doncaster secured funding to recruit ten Community Connectors with a range of lived experience from across the City. The Connector's role was to myth bust and support residents in accessing Covid-19 vaccinations in ways that were culturally appropriate. 

After the pandemic, the Community Connectors worked to bring people back out and enjoy their communities again. They have ongoing conversations to understand the experience of under served residents living and working in Doncaster and share that insight in forums where change can happen. 

"So much about being a Community Connector and having a disability is listening and hearing individual stories and knowing that “I’m not alone” and that I can share my experience with them to show them that they are not alone too. It is interesting to hear what residents in the community have been saying about their communities, their homes, their disabilities and many more areas where Doncaster could improve." 

Charlotte, Community Connector  

In 2022, Well Doncaster secured funding from Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) for four Mental Health Community Connectors working across the borough gathering insight and connecting residents with community based support. 

"I was out in the community and met June who mentioned that her dad David (74) was feeling really lonely. It was winter and he had stopped working in his allotment as it was cold, his arthritis is getting worst and he was staying in a lot. June shared that David had started to knit himself some blankets as he was worried about putting his heating on all the time due to the cost of living crisis. David raised 3 girls by himself and he used to knit his girls cardigans and jumpers. I suggested to June that her dad attends a local Knit and Natter group and that they would happily teach him to crochet which would be great for making blankets. David went to the group and said that the people were very friendly and welcoming and that he had really enjoyed it. Dave has also now learnt to crochet!". 

Emma, Mental Health Community Connector 

There is now a network for fourteen, paid Community Connectors hosted by Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector (VCFS) organisations facilitating hyper local connections across the borough. 

 "I am able to assist people further to access the wider community. A gentleman and his mother attended a group and he felt comfortable to disclose that his son was autistic and non-verbal. He felt isolated as he felt he could not take his son to groups as he had previously been judged. His son loves art. I was able to speak to the facilitator of Arty Farty and as they are all inclusive, they were more than happy for the gentleman and his son attend. They have now been attending on a weekly basis for months and thoroughly enjoy it." 

Kathryn, Community Connector 


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