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Wellbeing, health and Big Local: Making connections and making them work

This is a report from the Big Local Networking and Learning event held on Thursday 3rd December in Birmingham organised by CEA. It is also a briefing on some of the issues that emerged at that workshop, notably on the key issues around working with local health agencies.

The event was attended by 25 people from 14 Big Local partnerships. There were presentations from Emma Halliday at the School for Public Health Research at University of Lancaster, and from Jason Meredith, Birmingham Better Care. There were also inputs from South Bermondsey and Birchfield Big Locals, and a workshop session to explore ways forward. The full report is here.

Chris Church introduced the day. His presentation is here. Wellbeing is a subjective personal experience, but it can be measured. There are many agencies working on well being, and one key one is the NHS, who have recently produced “A guide to community-centred approaches for health and wellbeing” This stressed that “Communities, both place-based and where people share a common identity or affinity, have a vital contribution to make to health and wellbeing”.

Emma Halliday from the SPHR (presentation here) said that Big Local isn’t a ‘health’ programme but is about the control that individuals and communities have over decisions and actions that affect people’s lives. BL involves multiple approaches relevant to health and wellbeing (e.g. people in communities taking action together, developing collaborations or partnerships, or connecting people such as through volunteering).

Jason Meredith, Birmingham Better Care (seconded to work with the NHS from Birmingham Voluntary Services Centre)(presentation here) said that Wellbeing is increasingly a focus of health and care services. One priority for the Better Care programme is keeping people well where they live. This needs community engagement to work and they wish to develop ‘Wellbeing Coordinators’, a scheme to work with voluntary and community sector organisations to coordinate the wellbeing of some of the city’s most vulnerable people.

A summary of the presentation by Birchfield Big Local is here.

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Recent Resources

These are some current resources – see the CEA Resources page for a complete list of what is available.