Health Inequalities Challenge Prize 2023

On this page you can find out all about the Health Inequalities Challenge Prize 2023

Following a rigorous application process, the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System (ICS) has announced the finalists for its innovative Health Inequalities Challenge Prize 2023. 

The theme for this year’s Challenge Prize is personalised care – giving local people more control over and say in their health and care services. Local organisations as well as individual people can apply for the Challenge Prize to make their exciting, personalised care idea a reality. This year’s contenders will have a shot at winning up to £24,000 to fund their innovation initiative with support from the Integrated Care System and partner organisations.

As the Challenge Prize is all about reducing health inequalities, applicants are encouraged to focus their projects on helping a specific group of people – whether that’s veterans, people with learning disabilities, or other communities who tend to face barriers when it comes to health and care. Eight finalists will receive £4,000 to support their proposed solution.

Over the next few month each the project teams will work to develop their ideas into fully fledged plans that will have a beneficial effect on their communities. The winner will then be selected by a panel of experts at a live event in November. The winner of the challenge prize will be awarded an additional £20,000 to invest in their project.

Thank you to everyone who applied for the Challenge Prize, you can find out more about each of the shortlisted projects below.

Cambridge Acorn Project

Cambridge Acorn Project provides long-term, intensive therapeutic work to support children, young people and their families who have suffered trauma and are living in poverty. This can be the result of witnessing domestic abuse, and/or experiencing sexual, emotional, or physical abuse. The organisation works closely with other agencies, including statutory and voluntary services and schools. They are also developing a model of therapeutic community work and offering training, advice, advocacy and supervision.

Four pilot cases are being trialled in South Cambridgeshire using flexible funding. Funding would be spent across six areas identified through the chairites assessment process alongside the child and their family. This would then produce a highly personalised approach to trauma recovery.  

Cambridge Rare Disease Network

Living with a rare condition brings with it a range of challenges including loneliness and isolation. The Cambridge Rare Disease Network aims to improve outcomes for those living with rare conditions and their families by building a network and providing support, advice and information. The network aims to educate relevant professionals and the public through a range of events. It also promotes and publishes research on rare diseases to increase understanding and encourage investment in better diagnosis, support, care and treatment for those affected. 

The network recently explored the transition to adult healthcare services through the experience of young people living with rare conditions and the professionals who support them. The published report left the organisation with more questions to answer. The network want to uncover these young people's transition experiences and co-produce interventions to smoothen their journey to adulthood.

Following their shortlisting for the Health Inequalities Challenge Prizet, a team of experts who the community have collaborated with previously will be gathered to develop creative techniques to help access, reveal and represent the social worlds of young people living with rare conditions and their families. Together they’ll craft a vision and plan, a blueprint for gathering stories of the unheard without words, using pictures, animation, collage, film and multi-media. 

CamCare UK

The mental well-being of elderly individuals is a growing concern in many communities, with social isolation and loneliness being common challenges that can negatively impact their mental and physical health. CamCare UK’s project, "Golden Explorers - Exploring and Learning Together," aims to address these challenges and support the well-being of our elderly citizens by providing opportunities for social interaction, physical activity, and mental health support. 

The project aims to address health inequalities by targeting and supporting elderly individuals at a higher risk of experiencing loneliness and social isolation which can significantly impact their mental and physical health. 

Gatehouse - Caring in East Anglia

Gatehouse promotes social inclusion by helping socially disadvantaged people in East Anglia, particularly but not exclusively, those who are elderly or suffering from disability of mind or body, and their carers. They help people to avoid social exclusion by providing facilities and opportunities for social interaction, leisure activities and general support. The organisation’s aim is to support those in need of charitable assistance in East Anglia by identifying and responding to those needs, not met by other organisations, by developing self-help groups and providing individual and family support.

The charity’s intention is to work with older adults in the Cambridge and Peterborough region via a new online version of a mindfulness course for a later life group of people over the age of 65.  The focus will be on hotspots identified by the Age UK loneliness heat map for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area. The course will enable participants to develop mindfulness skills which can then be continued after the course has ended. Alongside the intervention of mindfulness itself this will reduce social isolation and loneliness within older adults in the Cambridge and Peterborough region.

High Heritage

High Heritage has been working with young people for over nine years. The charity originates from its passion to improve the lives of young people aged 6-18 in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.

The charity has put forward it’s ‘Healing After Loss’ project after being successful in their bid for funding  to empower children and young people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds in our community. 

Following a recent tragedy in their community the project will explore mental health discussion especially for children and young people. High Heritage want to explore options available to support children’s mental health, including art therapy, grief therapy, sports in green spaces as well as a mental health first aid programme. They want to normalise the language and discussion of mental health and challenge unfavourable stereotypes as well as reflecting on the pain of mental health as a result of loss and bereavement.

The charity will create a safe space in the community where children can have conversations about their mental health, their worries, fears and grief. They also want to encourage parents to engage in conversations about their own and well as their children’s health and wellbeing.

Hunts Community Cancer Network Charity (HCCN) CIO

The Hunts Community Cancer Network charity (HCCN) wants to deliver an expanded service with a supportive community ‘feel’ which offers cancer patients the empowering tools, activities, information and professional and peer support that optimises their chance of recovery/extended life. 

The project will listen to patients themselves about how they want them to develop their charity to have maximum impact, and critically, how they can maximise access to this support. Through the project they intend to review and reimagine their work to ensure it is truly grounded in the ‘what matters to me’ philosophy embodied in the NHS Long Term Plan. Whilst their beneficiaries report anecdotally on multiple benefits, the network need to drill deeper into what works for patients, to discover the choices they would make to equip them to be true ‘drivers’ of their own cancer journey.

Illuminate Charity CIO

Illuminate offers life coaching training to support positive mental health and wellbeing. Their project ‘Confidence for Change’ will include mental health life coaching sessions for 12 disadvantaged people to empower them to identify and create realistic goals, explore person centred opportunities, build confidence and resilience, improve connections, mental health and wellbeing.

Steel Bones

Each year 5,000 amputations take place in the UK. The amputee community says that the impact of amputation on their mental well-being is hugely significant. Amputation can lead to a loss in motivation, low self-esteem, depression and isolation. Amputation is both a physical disability and a psychological emergency. 

Steel Bones wants to hear the views from amputees who need specialised and complex disability equipment. The charity will conduct a 12-week pilot of one-to-one support, confidence workshops, mediation workshops with patients/NHS colleagues, Healthwatch and Voiceability and wellbeing coaching sessions with amputees to explore their concerns and why they are reluctant to speak out about the services being provided.

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