In February 2019, Community360 (C360) and Community Voluntary Services Tendring (CVST) were tasked by the North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance to collaborate with local communities in Colchester and Tendring to gain a deeper knowledge of the assets available to local residents and the issues that face individuals and community groups.
Inspired by the Alliance partners’ agreement that ‘Understanding both the ‘needs’ and ‘assets’ of the communities in which we are working will allow us, to more effectively design, deliver and evaluate the impact of our activities’, C360 co-designed an approach to undertaking this task with Colchester Borough Council (CBC).
In June 2019, the report was published with various recommendations on what was needed to strengthen community-based activity.
Tracy Rudling, CEO at Community360 said: The report highlighted that we need to continue to deliver and support existing programmes of work, such as social prescribing and continue to have the resources available to deliver and demonstrate what impact it is having on the community. We also want to ensure that the infrastructure which supports assets to operate is underpinned. This may be volunteer management, information and advice or training.”
She added: It is also an introduction to what more we can do collaboratively to ensure our communities experience a good quality of life and environment. it was also recommended that we enhance the local offer in key areas such as Mental Health support for all ages, including peer-to-peer. Befriending and social isolation services, transport and home help. We also need to support and enable people to better manage their own health and wellbeing such as assisting those living with long-term dementia.”
The report which can be read in full on Community360’s website goes onto to highlight further recommendations such as Integrating activities which support End of Life and Palliative Care into the wider voluntary and community sectors and enable projects which support people affected by the wider determinants of health, be it through debt, housing or low income for instance, to manage their capacity and support prevention.
“The North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of our local populations in Colchester and Tendring.” Commented Mark Jarman-Howe, Chair of the North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance.
“We know that to achieve our goals we need to do things differently. This report, commissioned by the Alliance, is a sign of our commitment to work with our communities, recognising existing assets, and actively seeking to support community and voluntary groups upon whom so many rely”
“We would like to announce that on the back of this report, we will be launching access to a number of grant funds over the next three months to support the voluntary and community sector.” Said Tracy. “ In particular, we would encourage any groups seeking to support people living with dementia and their carers to get in touch with us at Community360.
Essex Community Foundation are also managing a new funding stream on behalf of the local health sector and would encourage anyone interested to apply directly with the Essex Community Foundation.”
The full report can be read at https://www.community360.org.uk/news
Photo Shows: Mark Jarman-Howe, Chair of the North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance