Communities are 'driving change' through new health programme

Tower Hamlets Council have commissioned their flagship ’Communities Driving Change’ programme to support residents in improving their health and wellbeing at the local level.

The programme puts local residents in the driving seat by asking them what the response to their health and wellbeing needs to look like. The approach brings together people from neighbourhoods to see what is working well, what is important and develop a plan that everybody – including services – can support to make a difference to people’s lives.

Experience suggests we can expect to see a rise in volunteering, community led projects, community champions, employment, better use of community assets and more responsive services at the local level

Four organisations – Bromley By Bow Centre, Poplar and Limehouse Health and Wellbeing Network, MyTime Active and The Young Foundation – and their partners will lead this approach across the borough. The programme runs for three years and will involve multiple neighbourhoods, their residents and local organisations.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “These new programmes will build on successful models from the past, but enable more individual and community empowerment.

“Supporting people to take action in addressing their own health and others around them has long-term benefits, for themselves and their local area.”

The programme will be supported by experts from the University of East London (UEL), who have developed a tried and tested model over the past 10 years.

Professor Gail Findlay Director of Health Improvement at the Institute for Health and Human Development, from UEL, said, “This approach enables local people to feel more in control of their lives, more confident about themselves and more connected with others and able to do more together.

“We have experience developing this approach in 33 different areas of London with some of the worst health and this will be the first time we are supporting a borough-wide process.”

Tony May, health programme manager from the Young Foundation said: Tower Hamlets Council has made a bold move to work in a positive way with communities, to find out what works for them and build on this.”

Communities Driving Change is a priority of the council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2017- 2020 in order to better tackle significant health inequalities.

Posted on Friday 10th November 2017