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29th March 2021
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Bassetlaw Connect

2020 was a tough year for most and my story is not dissimilar to that of thousands of others. I won’t bore you with the details but suffice it to say I found myself on furlough and spent much of my time walking the lanes around Clarborough, Welham and Hayton with my dog. When lockdown was lifted, as a supply TA, work was not flooding in. A case of serendipity then occurred. I received a notification from LinkedIn advertising a position in a company I worked for a few years ago. I took a punt and landed the job.
The job title is ‘support worker’ but it is much more than that. I work in a team of three and in the last few months we have helped over 150 people claim benefits, find more appropriate housing, access food parcels and much more.
It is estimated that over £15 billion of income based benefits went unclaimed last year and thousands of pensioners are missing out on non-means tested benefits. In the first few years Connect supported over 500 people each year to claim benefits they were entitled to.
Bassetlaw Connect is a Nottinghamshire County Council funded scheme provided by Nottingham Community Housing Association. It started life as a service for the over-55s, to provides short term support to people thought to be at risk of deteriorating health and independence within the Bassetlaw area. Since its inception it has developed into a service for adults of all ages providing short term support with benefits, accessing food parcels, referrals to housing needs, home safety support to access aids and adaptions and much more. Pre-COVID, Connect also supported people who were in danger of becoming socially isolated to access befriending services, social clubs, and other activities. As we move back into a more normal way of life, Connect will continue to help and support the people of Bassetlaw to live more independent, socially inclusive and safer lives.
If you need support or want advice contact Bassetlaw Connect at 01158 844 3541 or email NCHABassetlawConnect@ncha.org.uk.

Stephen Banks