This morning we welcomed support colleagues Tracey and Marie into the lab, to help shape their service offer for the 'Winter Buddies' pilot and discuss how we'll measure it's legacy after its completion next year.
Winter Buddies is one of our Asset Based Community Development projects (ABCDs), through which we hope to match volunteers to older people in our communities who are largely confined to the home. These volunteers can help in any number of ways, from providing some companionship at regular visits or helping out with those little tasks that become difficult as the nights grow longer and colder.
Alun and Richard joined us from the research team, designing robust ways to measure how well the pilot is running - particularly the value of using volunteers over support workers.
The team also chatted through the obstacles to recruiting, training and allocating volunteers - aspects that tie in with other recruitment concepts we're investigating in the lab at the moment.
Next steps are to finalise the measures for deployment next week and iron out all the problems in starting up this service.
We've also agreed to combine some of lessons learned here with developing our plans to tap into the skills of older people.