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Campbeltown’s Michele Prout has been exceptionally busy in her role as 1000 Voices project coordinator during the last few months, taking on an additional workload to support the most socially isolated and lonely individuals across Argyll and Bute during the COVID-19 emergency.
The 1000 Voices project, which is managed by Argyll and Bute Third Sector Interface (TSI), a registered charity and social enterprise which has local responsibility for social enterprise support, third sector support and volunteering, is aimed at enabling people aged 65 or over to live in their own homes for longer and become less socially isolated, active and more involved with the community.
As well as regular interactions with her clients, to whom Michele delivered activity packs throughout lockdown, she came up with the idea for ‘Together Argyll and Bute’ – a Facebook page to support people across Argyll and Bute fight the boredom of lockdown, whilst keeping their minds active. Each day, the page shares a number of quizzes, activity ideas and daily affirmations to support and encourage Argyll residents during the lockdown period.
Michele has also arranged various photographic competitions and been the driving force behind the ‘lockdown memories’ project – and she even managed to bag a celebrity judge or two!
Michele said: ‘It has been really important to keep in contact with our clients to boost morale and see how we can provide additional support. Together Argyll and Bute came about as a way of providing something more positive, and enjoyable for people to focus their attention on, as opposed to the constant slew of negativity in the press – something we all know has a detrimental effect on our health and wellbeing.’
Michele also found time in her busy schedule to complete her International Certification in Intergenerational Learning, alongside 28 others from nine different countries.
She added: ‘It was good to increase my knowledge and pick up new intergenerational working ideas from places such as Canada, America and Spain, that could transform communities.’
1000 Voices, the last remaining project of Argyll and Bute TSI, comes to an end in March 2021, and the leadership team is fully prepared to engage with the Health and Social Care Partnership in relation to reallocation of the funding the project receives into existing third sector organisations.