Community Networks Structure
A Community Network consists of approximately nine network members and a Network Facilitator (support staff). The Network Facilitators are supported by a Network Manager who also knows and works with the network members. The Network Facilitators are local people who are well connected in their community and have local knowledge to help develop support for network members.
Levels of Support
The networks provide four main levels of support, (the stories quoted are from Neighborhood Networks in Glasgow and are used as illustrations of how powerfully this process can work for people). Support can be given to network members individually, or to the whole group at once.
- Flexible Housing Support – Practical support to assist you to live in/stay in the home you wish to be in. This might also be something like where to get good value shopping, how to fill in forms, budgeting and advice on bills, home repairs, medication, writing letters or keeping safe.
- Mutual Support – We build on the strengths, gifts and skills of the members. Although members are not expected to be friends our experience is that strong friendships and relationships are developing for people who otherwise may never experience this important element of ordinary life. This we call peer support.
- Community Connecting – By linking into local neighbourhood activities and facilities to ensure that members feel that they are part of their local communities and belong.
- A Quick Response – we can provide a quick response. The proximity of the community living worker means that we are able to intervene prior to a crisis, which may take hours or days to resolve.
All people have different talents, resources, gifts, skills and strengths and the networks recognise that people can offer support, as well as receive support. This is people helping each other.