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Challenge Prize finalists

Following a rigorous application process, the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System (ICS) has today announced the finalists for its innovative Health Inequalities Challenge Prize 2022.

Launched in late 2021, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ICS’ Health Inequalities Challenge Prize was created to foster innovative ideas to tackle inequalities in digital access to health and care services. People and organisations working in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough were encouraged to submit plans for new projects that could make a real difference to local communities, with an expert panel selecting eight finalists who will now receive £3,000 in  funding alongside specialist support to make their fantastic ideas into a reality.

The successful finalist ideas come from a range of different organisations and people, including a local primary school, a group of local GP practices, and a number of voluntary sector organisations. A wide range of local people and communities who have historically had difficulties accessing or benefiting from digital health and care services will benefit from the projects – from refugees, to children with Special Educational Needs (SEND).

Over the next three months each of the eight project teams will work together with experts in the field to develop their ideas into fully fledged plans that will have a brilliant positive impact on our local communities. Following the three-month process a panel of independent experts will judge each project, with the final winner to be announced at a formal awards ceremony in November. The winner of the challenge prize will be awarded an additional £10,000 to invest in their project.

Jan Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System, said:

“Tackling health inequalities is a key priority for our Integrated Care System, and we know that access to digital technology is a really crucial part of this.

That’s why we’re thrilled to have such a diverse selection of finalists for our inaugural ICS Health Inequalities Challenge Prize. The ideas brought forward are all genuinely innovative, and have the potential to make a real difference to local people and communities who have historically had difficulties accessing or benefiting from digital health and care services.

“We look forward to working with the eight finalist project teams over the next three months to make their fantastic ideas a reality – working all together for healthier futures.”

Michael O’Toole, Chief Executive at Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, added:

“I am delighted that Cambridgeshire Community Foundation has played a part in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ICS’ Health Inequalities Challenge Prize. It is very encouraging to see a range of brilliant projects represented in the eight finalists.

“We know that digital exclusion impacts on a broad range of factors which shape people’s chances of a healthy life and good health outcomes. Community-led initiatives to build people’s digital skills and inclusion, built with sustainability and collaboration at the centre, will build upon the huge opportunity for digital technology to support healthier lives.”

Sandie Smith, Chief executive of Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, concluded:

“At Healthwatch, we hear from lots of people who are unable, for many reasons, to use online services. So we are pleased that local communities are being funded to develop ideas to help improve access for those who are currently excluded.

 “It’s fantastic to see the range of finalists and the ideas they have for making care better. We wish them the best with developing their projects and look forward to seeing the results.”

The finalists for this year’s Health Inequalities Challenge Prize are:

  • Access Migrant Support. To create a free application for refugees, migrants and seasonal workers in their native language, to help overcome digital barriers, including access to health care

  • Cambridge Acorn Project. To develop an online therapeutic platform to support children with mental health issues or who have experienced trauma. The platform would offer a variety of support solutions through Tetris and Minecraft

  • Cambridgeshire Youth Panel. To support young people from ethnic minority backgrounds understand better the important issues of public health, including effects of smoking, alcohol and diet

  • Central Thistlemoor and Thorpe Road PCN. To run a pilot project to supply and manage digital devices for ethnic minority people to help manage their own health and wellbeing. Utilisation of existing health coaches by extending reach to those who are digitally excluded within the community

  • Fen Ditton Community Primary School. To facilitate the needs of SEND children and those facing emotional and mental health challenges to participate in inclusive learning

  • High Heritage. To support young, black people who have been affected, or their families have been affected, by COVID-19 via face to face and virtual support sessions

  • Prisoner Support Services. To provide access to digital platforms to former prisoners to be able to book GP, health and wellbeing appointments, optician appointments and to support them to register for housing and/or homeless shelters.

  • SOS.LT. To provide access to digital training for people from Lithuanian communities. To use reconditioned IT equipment to help build community knowledge of web services e.g. NHS website and local government portals.

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