Korus Connect recently completed a research project with Huber Social, which indicated our community connector role has a positive impact on participants’ social wellbeing. In fact, people who are more engaged with community connector activities were found to be 41 percent less lonely or isolated.
Before the research commenced, Korus Connect had already defined the purpose and benefit of the community connector role as follows:
⦁ building relationships based on trust
⦁ creating a web of mutually supportive community relationships
⦁ equipping local people to care for local people
⦁ strengthening connection, purpose, motivation and a sense of belonging and
⦁ being proactive, community-based and localised.
However, we were keen to participate in research that would demonstrate how and to what extent the role of a community connector contributes to participants’ social wellbeing.
To this end, our Box Hill community connector Ian Bunston was engaged in the research along with key representatives and participants. This particular community connector position has been operating in the City of Whitehorse since 2019. Some key programs which facilitate and strengthen connection in the Box Hill region include a community choir, boat building group and the delivery of care packages to those in need.
Organisational partnerships have been vital to the success of the initiative, including funding by VicHealth to support the community choir. It has been most pleasing to undertake research which demonstrates that the connector initiative is generating positive benefits to the participants within the context of their local communities.