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Healthier Futures News

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Local voluntary and community groups have been awarded a share of £2m by NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, to deliver projects that will improve the health and wellbeing of local people.

Launched in March 2023, the Healthier Futures Fund gave local voluntary and community groups the chance to bid for funding to tackle key health and wellbeing challenges within their communities, and address health inequalities. The funding has been split across two rounds, with the first round of winners announced today.

Kit Connick, Chief Officer Strategy and Partnerships at NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, part of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System, said: “We’re delighted that through our Healthier Futures Fund we’re able to invest in the voluntary sector to support health delivery. Thanks to their strong links with local people, voluntary and community organisations, the sector can play an integral role in improving health and wellbeing.  

“Congratulations to our first round of winners. They impressed us with their deep understanding of the health and wellbeing challenges and inequalities faced by their local communities.

“We know they’re already making great steps in improving the lives of the people they work with, and we’re confident their work will continue to add a huge value to breaking down barriers.  

“The quality, knowledge and passion shown across all applications was inspiring, which meant our selection process was tough. The final panel, made up of representatives from voluntary organisations, local authority, public health, and NHS, had to make some difficult decisions.

“We appreciate the effort and time that everyone invested when preparing and applying for the fund and look forward to seeing these successful projects get underway.”

Projects awarded as part of the first round include:

  • Viva Arts and Community Group – A partnership of 11 voluntary and community groups working together to support people living with dementia in East Cambridgeshire.
  • Ormiston Families – Supporting children with pre and post bereavement counselling across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
  • The Ferry Project – Delivering a programme of creative activities to support the mental health wellbeing of people living in Wisbech including those who are homeless or from migrant communities.
  • Light Project Peterborough – Providing a training programme for people with lived experience of homelessness to develop the skills and knowledge to support others in their journey out of homelessness.
  • Groundwork East – Delivering a programme of outdoor activities to support people living in Yaxley including family outdoor play, food growing courses, outdoor gym, and buggy fitness classes.
  • Earth and Mind CIC – Delivering nature-based interventions to support people’s mental health and those using health services frequently, including gardening and woodworking course, allotments, and foraging courses.
  • Peterborough Women’s Aid – Providing trauma support to primary school children impacted by domestic abuse and providing education about domestic abuse and exploitation to secondary and sixth form schools.
  • Head to Toe Charity – Launching a new Community Butterfly Service in Peterborough providing one-to-one peer support and befriending to people receiving palliative care.
  • Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum – Recruiting a team of community volunteer health ambassadors to address long-term health inequalities through grassroot community engagement and cultural intelligence training in health settings like medical centres.
  • Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust – Delivering community walks in Huntingdon for vulnerable people, encouraging them to be proactive in addressing their own health needs through gentle exercise and socialising with local people.
  • Cambridge Acorn Project – Developing a Street-Level Wellbeing Support System in Abbey, Cambridge alongside Abbey People and Cambridge United Foundation, including weekly community wellbeing drop-in sessions.
  • Young Peoples Counselling Service - Provides free and confidential support to those aged between 11 and 18 years old and in emotional difficulty.

John Rooke, Managing Director of the North Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Care Partnership, said: “The winners know from their own experience what their communities in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough want and need to support their own health and wellbeing. It's this grass-roots level of knowledge that helps local people live healthier and happier lives and prevent serious illness and hospitalisation.

Heather Noble, Managing Director of the Cambridgeshire South Care Partnership, added: “We look forward to working in partnership with the successful organisations as they work closely with health, care, and other voluntary services in our communities.”

The second, and final round of winners will be announced in Spring 2024.  The Healthier Future’s Fund has been supported by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation which has managed the grant process on behalf of NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Background info:

The Healthier Futures Fund was set up to support initiatives that focus on the key priorities for NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, and the wider Integrated Care System (ICS), including:

  • Children’s & young people’s mental health 
  • Frailty 
  • People who use health services very frequently
  • People who have an irreversible progressive disease or medical condition that can significantly impact on quality of life 
  • Cardiovascular disease (including but not limited to smoking cessation) 
  • Supporting people who are medically fit to leave hospital

Cambridgeshire Community Foundation is the charity for Cambridgeshire, working towards a better quality of life for people across the county. It identifies the most critical needs of local communities, raise funds and award grants to non-profit organisations that make a big impact in addressing those needs.

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