The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 has highlighted the existing inequalities in particular groups across England. For instance, a recent report published by Public Health England has shown that mortality rates from COVID-19 in some Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) population groups are nearly double than those in White British population. Evidence also suggests that people living in areas of deprivation have experienced a disproportionate impact from COVID 19.
Some recent insight work suggests a major challenge in communicating the key safety messages that are in place to reduce the spread of the COVID-19, partly due to the available communication channels and partly due to trust. The concept of COVID-19 Community Champions is to try and overcome these barriers, equipping trusted and recognisable community leaders with all the necessary materials, to provide a consistency of message to all Kent and Medway residents.
Our network of COVID-19 Community Champions is a way to help people get clear information on how to stay safe and reduce the risk of getting and spreading the infection, and what additional support there might be to help do this
What will I be asked to do?
You will receive the latest updates and guidance from our Public Health team about how to stay safe during this coronavirus pandemic and asked to share advice with your families, friends, communities and workplaces. This could be using opportunistic conversations with people you are in contact with, planned and purposeful social media posts or comments, or any other communication opportunities you have.
How much time will it take?
Your contribution could be as little as a few conversations per week with the people you are already talking to. However, if you have more time available and are happy to commit more time to pushing consistent and evidence based safety messages, we would be especially keen to hear from you.
Every two weeks you will sent by email, a newsletter that details the current facts and figures about COVID-19 in Kent and Medway, It will also include key project updates.
You will be invited to attend an online meeting with all other champions every two weeks. This will give you the opportunity to hear the most up to date information about COVID-19. This will include statistics and data, planned support programmes for vulnerable residents, what the health and social care system are doing to prepare for the autumn and anything else that champions want to ask. This is also an important opportunity for us to hear from the community.
Who can become a champion?
Anyone. We are particularly keen to recruit people who are in direct contact with residents who are in the highest risk groups from COVID-19. This includes older adults, BAME residents and residents living in areas of deprivation.
What is the benefit of being a Covid-19 Health Champion?
- *Empower Kent and Medway residents to remain up to date on the latest advice about COVID-19.
- *Obtain and share clear information to help you, your family, friends and community to make sense of the latest facts about the virus and make informed choices.
- *Help those at risk to stay safe and healthy.
- *Be a voice for those around you, your household, school, work, club, group of friends and your local communities.
- *By encouraging protective behaviours and better lifestyle choices like physical activity and healthy eating, you can contribute to creating a more resilient community, who are at a reduced risk of disease in the future.
- *Learn and become armed with the resources to encourage positive change in the community
How do I register my interest?
- *Your name
- *Email address
- *Any community groups you represent or are part of
- *Preference of time for webinars
- *If there is anything that we ought to be aware of that would bring the Champions Programme into disrepute. Or if you have a business or financial interest in any Champions activity.
The email address and name will allow us to communicate with the champions effectively. The additional information will only be used by the Public Health team for monitoring purposes and so that we can be sure that we are recruiting a broad range of champions. The data will be stored securely by the team and not shared with anyone.