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Altogether Better working together to create healthier people and communities: bringing citizens and services together in new conversations

Author(s)

ALTOGETHER BETTER

Publisher(s):

Altogether Better

Publication year:

2015

An evaluation report of the Altogether Better Wellbeing 2 Programme, working with citizens and services keen to find new ways to improve the health and well-being of their local community. Through the two year programme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, people were invited to become health champions, they were then nurtured as a group and encouraged to take action to improve local health and well-being in ways that their local NHS or statutory services wanted to support. The report finds that champions, and participants in the groups and activities that they have run, have benefited significantly from their involvement in a wide range of activities; with over 98 per cent reporting increased involvement in social activities and social groups and over 86 per cent reporting increased levels of confidence, well-being and new knowledge related to health and well-being. The NHS and statutory organisations have come to a greater recognition of the resourcefulness and generosity of the citizens who use their services. They are beginning to recognise that it is legitimate and effective for them to divert more of their time and resources into supporting volunteers who themselves support the health and well-being of their communities. This in turn raises the possibility of these organisations radically changing the way they provide services. The report concludes by arguing that the success of the approach depends critically on the quality of the working relationship between health champions and their organisation and that there are grounds for optimism, as a result of these relationships, that support for health champions will be sustainable into the long term, becoming simply ‘how we do things round here’. (Edited publisher abstract)


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