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#PowerToChange community partners network building links with NHS and City Council

10 Oct 2023

Our #PowerToChange community partners network had a very positive meeting on Friday 6th October. We were joined by Abi Battisto, VCSE Engagement Manager for Leicester City Council and Jacob Brown, Children, Young People and Families Engagement Officer, NHS: Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board.

The group spent time sharing updates and all participants felt that for many communities and young people across our City, life was getting tougher. For our sector, winning secure funding remains a challenge, whilst demand for our services grow. Despite these challenges lots of great work being developed and delivered.

Abi, who is looked on as a friend by the group updated us on the VCSE strategy and informed us it was going to be launched in November. She realised the process of developing the strategy had been long and delayed but was keen to now involve us in making its ambitions a reality. Discussing the strategy following points were made.

• Prompt and effective communication within the city council and between city council and community sector is key. All too often, can be the case communication is slow, and or different parts of council not aware of key initiatives.

• Leicestershire Cares very well placed to support city council on engaging business sector to support community and young people.

• Positive action needs to be taken to ensure young people’s voices are heard.

• Many of the most disadvantaged people in our city struggle to speak English and cannot read in their own language, so important that city council working with and through relevant community organisations.

• Really important that heads of services, City Mayor, Cabinet and Councillors buy into and promote the strategy.

Abi felt that all points raised were valid and would get back to the group to ensure we stay involved. Group saw her as our champion within the city council and were keen to partner with her.

Jacob shared the NHS, was really keen to hear from young people and to involve them in planning service provision. The service acknowledged that all too often it could do better at listening to children and young people who make up approximately 20% of the patients. Jacob was keen to work with group to develop ideas and approaches that could be used to make this possible:

We know from other NHS authorities that great work can be done, and I know that lots of great work being carried out across the city and county by youth and community groups, so really keen to partner and learn with you

The group were really positive about Jacob’s contribution and noted there was scope for him and Abi to work together. Participants also felt that there was much that could be done to make “social prescribing” a more empowering tool for communities:

I would like to see NHS being more creative with social prescribing , perhaps giving a set amount, say 100K to an organisation, like our network to give out to community partners

Kieran Breen, CEO Leicestershire Cares

The meeting ended with all sharing how productive the meeting has been and all positive about how we can build on these connections going forward.

More Info

A brief talking head video by some of the participants on how community sector can add value to NHS

More info on our #PowerToChange community Partners group

More info on our #PowerToChange approach