The Walsall COVID-19 Community Champions Programme was primarily aimed at supporting residents from under-represented groups who may be most at risk from COVID-19.
Walsall for All worked in partnership with Walsall Council (including Public Health), NHS Black Country and West Birmingham CCG, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and others to deliver this programme.
Funded by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (formerly MHCLG), the role of Community Champions was to:
Help increase vaccination uptake
Prevent the spread of COVID-19
Tackle the spread of misinformation around COVID-19 and the vaccine
Reduce the impact of the virus on families, neighbourhoods and wider communities
Improve the mental and physical health and wellbeing of individuals
With your help, we created a diverse network of COVID-19 ‘Community Champions’, who helped address misconceptions and myths and amplified truths around the virus and the vaccine.
Together, we ensured that everyone in Walsall had the information they need to stay safe, help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ultimately save lives.
Supporting local organisations
One of the key elements of the programme was supporting voluntary and community sector organisations to help recruit and train COVID-19 Community Champions.
Partner organisations and their champions received the latest COVID-19 information packs and up-to-date advice and guidance to share with families, friends and their local community, alongside training to help them do so. This included advice on how to stay safe and slow the spread of the virus, details about what extra support was available locally and facts to address misinformation and myths about vaccination.
Organisations also attended regular meetings with public sector health providers to give feedback and discuss suggestions and issues with each other. This enabled them to share ideas and best practices and understand what works, as well as address any concerns.
Below is a list of organisations that participated in the COVID-19 Community Champions programme.
Fourteen organisations participated in phase one (between May and September 2021) and eight organisations participated in phase two (November 2021 to March 2022). A number of additional groups also took part to support dedicated COVID-19 activities across Walsall, such as mobile vaccination clinics.
Below is some feedback our champions groups shared with us from the project.
Very good - good learning to move forward in Walsall. Personally, I really liked the pop-up tents and the vaccination bus - bringing the vaccine to the people.
Great success - spread the correct information within the community. Our champions became a trusted source for information.
It has been an insightful project for us working within our community. We have found a lot of the problem was information not being received correctly. So offering the support from the mosque worked very well for us and saw a lot of people change their mind on the vaccinations and even COVID testing.
I found the overall project was a great learning experience, as it was a very new project in relation to raising awareness of COVID-19, the safety measures and how we can as a community work together to stop the spread of COVID.
This project was a great way for us to get all the correct information to people with learning disabilities without confusing people. We loved that the service users we support were able to volunteer and be a part of the project and their community.
It has opened another door for people who we have not met before. It has been a good experience and learning.
COVID-19 Community Champions
Below you will find regular updates on the champions programme. Click on the PDF icon to view the notes.