Meet the New Community Connector for Stainforth
Get Doncaster Moving and Well Doncaster have introduced local Community Connectors to support residents to try and make it easier for people to get out and about more where they live. The Community Connectors are there to support residents on a daily basis by signposting them to opportunities available to them in their area and encourage the community to create a healthy and active lifestyle. Their roles focus on enhancing the physical and mental wellbeing of their community by connecting local people together, with accessibility at the forefront of what they do.
Claire Gravel the Community Connector for Stainforth, hosted by Stainforth 4 All, is a fantastic example of a resident who was already connecting the community before she started the role! She is a community diamond who lives in Stainforth, is trusted by residents, has always been involved with activities and has a sense of togetherness and community spirit. Claire has had a voluntary role with the youth club and the local junior football team for some time, organising sessions and encouraging parents to bring their children, promoting physical activity in the community through her passion for football. Since Claire has attended the youth club attendance has significantly increased and there are now 25 children a week benefitting from the activities.
When a vacancy became available for the Community Connector role in Stainforth, S4All and Well Doncaster met to discuss recruitment. Grace Bennett, Youth Worker Apprentice for Well Doncaster and Shaping Stainforth, suggested Claire having worked with her at the youth club. Claire started as a Community Connector in May 2023 and has gone from strength to strength in her new role and Claire’s son has told Kerry Lanaghan, Public Health Improvement Officer for Well Doncaster that he has seen a real improvement in his mum’s confidence and that she is always happy now.
“Since starting in May becoming a Community Connector it has changed me in so many ways, gaining my confidence in myself, talking to different people from the community and seeking new opportunities. I have learnt how to use social media and how to use a tablet with thanks from S4all. All I want to do is help people to get out and about and doing this I am happier with myself mentally. 6 years I have suffered with grief with losing my mum suddenly from a car accident, I knew that I needed a new direction and becoming a Community Connector for S4all has given me that opportunity.” – Claire Gravel, Community Connector
Claire started a walking group following conversations with the community and used their wants and needs to shape it, making it and evening walk and exploring different routes of varying distances. 10 residents attended the first walks and after hearing about it through word of mouth and facebook, many more have become interested. Since engaging residents in walking Claire has encouraged them to show an interest in walk leader training to empower and upskill themselves, increasing capacity in Stainforth and enable there to be more community led walks.
Claire worked with Grace in July on a Sports Day event on Peacock Park for under 25s with Special Educational Needs (SEN). Again, the idea came from Stainforth residents and parents who said they would like their children to have more physical activity opportunities in the community. The event also involved partnership working with Stainforth Events Committee to lend sports equipment and was a huge success.
"Claire is doing a fantastic job for the community; she is not just thinking of the young people she is thinking of all age groups and abilities. Claire now has so much confidence and she is a different person since starting with you all” – Stainforth resident on Claire as a Community Connector
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