News from the Network

Building Common Bonds – Community Led Health Improvement in Northern Ireland

In January 2016, CHEX joined colleagues in Northern Ireland for the Healthy Living Centre (HLC) Conference on community-led health improvement.

The conference took place in the Loch Neagh discovery Centre, a beautiful wildlife venue on the banks of loch Neagh.  Danny Power (Chair of NI Healthy Living Centre Alliance) set out the context and challenge for community-led health improvement in Northern Ireland, he said that Healthy Living Centres are supporting people in disadvantaged communities to be active and involved and that there is now an effective, sustainable model for community led health that needs further investment.  However, the work of Healthy Living Centres is taking place against a backdrop of restricted funding and reorganisation within the statutory sector.  Northern Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Michael McBride talked about the value of a community-led approach and its place within the strategic vision for the province. 

 
The ‘Building Common Bonds for Better Health’ Event was a great opportunity for CHEX to hear about the progress that Northern Irish HLCs are making in communities and at a strategic level with partners.  The presentations in the workshops convinces us that this approach is critical for prevention, supports empowerment at an individual and community level and is effective in transforming the lives of those who get involved and their families. 

We were impressed to see the practice on the ground which is delivering services which are tailored to meet individual needs including counselling services, walking groups, social prescribing, stroke rehabilitation, smoking cessation etc.  We were equally impressed with the community development work in the background which, as we know, is the bedrock which enables these health activities to be so successful.  The community development work includes supporting community forums and activities focused on building the confidence, knowledge and skills of community groups so that they can have their say in service design and delivery in relation to their own community’s health.


For information contact 
paul@scdc.org.uk.
 
Community-led health and Self-management / social prescribing
CHEX network organisation Pillar Kincardine is one of 10 case studies being showcased on the new Self-management and Social Prescribing webpages of the Health Scotland website Well Scotland.

The new pages are designed to support organisations with social prescribing and self-management initiatives for improved mental health and includes links to existing work and papers relating to these topics.


The link to Pillar Kincardine’s video case study is 
here. The general link to the page  for all 10 case studies both written and video is here. For further information on this from health Scotland contact Arma Sayed-Rafiq (NHS HEALTH SCOTLAND) arma.sayed-rafiq@nhs.net

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