Northamptonshire County Council is recruiting volunteers to join the COVID Community Ambassadors scheme. Could you be one of them?
Across the county, communities and businesses are working hard to manage the virus and to protect the public from COVID-19. The vaccination programme, which is now underway, will gradually bring greater protection to those who are most vulnerable. It will take time to have an impact and so it is more important than ever that we all do our bit to keep everyone as safe as possible in the meantime.
We also know that some Northamptonshire residents are harder to reach than others or that others may be uncertain in the face of some of the misinformation and conspiracy theories which can be found online. That's why we need your help to make sure everyone in the county has access to the true facts about COVID-19, so they can make informed choices, recognise myths and fake news, and ask the questions that help them understand what is happening.
To apply you need to be over 18 and either living in Northamptonshire or working in the county. You don't need previous volunteering experience, though of course it's great if you do.
There is no minimum time commitment, and you'll share information in a way that works for your community. Ambassadors can also apply for up to £500 funding in order to develop tailored interventions that will specifically work for their community.
Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health for Northamptonshire County Council said: "The aim is to recruit volunteers from various backgrounds and communities in the county and equip them to be able to share up to date information in relation to COVID-19 and on how to protect themselves and others against the virus.
"Reflecting the diversity of the county, they will be a trusted source of information on current COVID-19 guidance, able to dispel the myths and rumours surrounding the virus, testing, the vaccine and anything else COVID-related.
"Nothing compares to hearing information from family, friends and trusted people within your community and we will work with Ambassadors to understand the barriers people experience in accessing information and complying with guidelines, as well as making sure everyone knows what they need to do to in the coming days, weeks and months ahead."
Cllr Matt Golby, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council said:
"We hope that by giving residents access to a source of information they can trust, from people they know, will enable them to make more informed choices and to take personal responsibility for their actions.
"Without unified action, it may take us a much longer time to manage the pandemic within the county and the country as a whole.
"Ambassadors will be able to share issues and ideas directly to the council and other partner organisations. We will work together with Ambassadors to understand what is or isn't working so that we can make adjustments that will help more people to follow the guidance correctly."