The Links Worker Programme continued to grow, helping to support individuals and families.
Throughout 2021 the Links Worker Programme continued to grow. Across Glasgow the programme reached out to those most in need, especially as we started the year with another lockdown, supporting individuals and families with a variety of COVID and non-COVID related issues covering everything from housing to poverty to mental health, exercise, benefits, isolation, bereavement plus many more.
Methods of communication remained similar to 2020 with telephone appointments being a lifeline for many then, when COVID allowed, outside walk and talks and face to face appointments back in the GP practices. By the end of the year the Glasgow team had expanded from 34 CLPs to 52 CLPs (Community Links Practitioners) working across Primary Care teams in all Glasgow localities. Recruitment took place at various intervals across the Summer and Autumn seasons with inductions and training taking place also. By the end of the year the Glasgow team had received 5,642 referrals and had carried out 26,267 appointments.
The programme also won the tender for West Dunbartonshire and as the summer approached links were being made with GP practices in Clydebank, Alexandria and Dumbarton. By the end of 2021, 6 more Links Practitioners had joined the wider team and are based across West Dunbartonshire. This is a new team to the ALLIANCE and as they have only been in a few months the next year ahead will be exciting as they learn about the ALLIANCE, Links and West Dunbartonshire. The contract will see us having a presence in all 16 GP practices within that area and another 3 full time CLPS.
In October the Team were nominated and shortlisted for the National Association of Links Workers Awards in the “Best Programme” Grouping. It was an honour and a privilege to be nominated and shortlisted for this award and attending the awards ceremony and Links Worker Conference the next day an opportunity to showcase the great work the team are involved with.
A great part of the programme is the collaborations we have with other groups and organisations and 2021 was no exception, continuing to promote the health walks in conjunction with Paths for All has been for many an opportunity to get out of their homes and experience and enjoy fresh air and company. Following in the footsteps of outdoor activities quite a few of the team have been involved with Gardening projects linking in with local organisations, encouraging individuals to come along and get involved. As we plan for 2022 many other groups and activities are planned which will be highlighted next year.
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