Altogether Better, hosted by South West Yorkshire Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust, is celebrating receiving
£2, 709, 000 from the Big Lottery Fund to deliver a new two year national programme. The programme will focus on recruiting and supporting local people to voluntarily work alongside health care practitioners in a range of health settings to tackle health issues and increase involvement of patients and communities in shaping health and social care services.
The funding builds on previous Big Lottery Funded work carried out by Altogether Better in training and supporting over 17,500 volunteer Community Health Champions (CHCs) to deliver health initiatives to over 105,000 people in their communities. Altogether Better’s evidence-based approach involves empowering individuals to have the confidence and skills to improve their health and wellbeing and that of their family, friends and wider community. Working in a variety of healthcare settings, including GP Practices and Emergency Departments, CHCs have the proven ability to support people to better manage health conditions and make positive lifestyle changes, bringing about significant cost-savings.
From June 2013, Altogether Better will work with NHS and Local Authority partners to deliver the following:
• In North and South Tyneside, Sunderland and Northumberland, 480 CHCs will be trained to work alongside health care practitioners to shape local services and will each go onto support people in their family, neighbourhoods, and communities towards improved health.
• In Shropshire, 300 children and young people will be trained to become active Youth Champions, working with service providers and commissioners to help people live well.
• In Yorkshire and the Humber, working with partners in Bradford, Barnsley, Calderdale, East Riding and Sheffield, 720 CHCs will be trained to work with their local GP practice, community hospital, foundation trust or health and social care providers, to jointly deliver better health and well-being outcomes for communities.
Speaking on the successful bid outcome, Alyson McGregor, Director for Altogether Better said:
“We are delighted with the news of our successful application to the Big Lottery Fund. The funding will provide us with an opportunity to explore ways of working which amplify best practice and create an opportunity to do something transformational in the way services and citizens work together.”
The combined work of all projects will contribute to improving understanding on the ways citizens and services can work together to create the right conditions for effective community engagement and together, find solutions towards improved health and wellbeing for all.