"(You're brilliant). How are you doing...?"

Every Supported and Advocate Member has a Link to help them with co-operative membership.

To be a Link for someone you will:

  • Be an informal mentor and cheerleader for that person

  • Meet regularly, no less than once every three months - you and your linked person decide this together (this can be a longer time period for Supported and Advocate members)

  • Remember their birthday! Mark special occasions and co-ordinate kindnesses.

  • Remind others about any health or accessibility needs your linked person has and ensure equipment, venues, meetings, events etc are bearing these in mind.

  • Keep them up to date with news (as appropriate)

  • Introduce them to Equal Care Co-op and support them in the work they are doing, whether that's unpaid or paid

  • Be the problem-solver. Share the problem, solve it together. Enlist others' help.

  • For those volunteering their time, you will help them plan and carry out their role, including:

    • a role description shaped to suit them – we support role-shaping and ‘role-carving’ (matching and creating roles to fit the person)

    • the amount of time it is likely to take up

    • where the volunteering will take place

    • any formal training or additional support that needs arranging

    • support for their future aspirations, which may include paid work with Equal Care Co-op or moving into employment elsewhere.

Being a Link can be a lot of work, or a little, depending on who you are linked to, their strengths, needs and experience.

  • Everyone contributing their labour to Equal Care Co-op (regardless of whether they are a Member or not) has a Link.

  • Every Supported and Advocate Member has a Link, usually this role is filled by the Equal Care Facilitator.

  • Everyone else can ask for a Link and you never know, one might come along!

  • You cannot be a Link for someone if you have trouble seeing their value and potential.

  • You cannot be a Link for someone for more than one year.

  • People change link worker at the beginning of a new year.