We are delighted to announce that the Scottish Government Primary Care Division has awarded VHS a grant to support further development of the Scottish Community Link Worker throughout 2022-23. The new funding enhances VHS’s capacity to support and develop the Network, at a time when link working is set to expand as part of the Scottish Government’s strategy for tackling health inequalities and enhancing primary care. The grant means that VHS will be introducing a regular newsletter for Community Link Workers (CLWs) and initiating policy and research work focused on link working, whilst continuing to develop a high quality programme of peer to peer engagement and learning.
A Scottish Government spokesperson told VHS:
“I hope this gives you assurance of our appreciation of what the Network has achieved in the past year and our continued commitment to CLW. We see real merit in extending the VHS role, particularly as new mental health workers will be coming into post later this year and it feels increasingly important that emergent CLW leadership can be supported”.
More specifically, the funding will enable our existing Network Development Officer Roisin Hurst to increase her days from two to three per week. The grant will also enable VHS to create and recruit a three day a week Policy and Research Lead.
Overall, our plans for the coming year will mean:
- regular and enhanced communication with the Network, including a regular newsletter, blogs and social media
- promotion and awareness raising of the role and impact of CLWs, including across primary care
- regular engagement through an ongoing programme of events, including peer networking and training, and ideally an annual conference
- facilitation and coordination of a CLW contribution to policy and research, including policy horizon scanning and translation for CLWs
- continued development and maintenance of a database of CLW contacts, including mental health link workers
Please keep an eye on our web pages and our Twitter account for further news about the Network over the coming weeks as we look ahead and plan for 2022-23.