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NHS and community groups working to improve local people’s health

A ‘Dragon’s Den’-style event saw individuals, community and voluntary groups bidding for grants from a local NHS fund to help realise their ideas for improving people’s health and wellbeing across the area.

NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – the body which plans and funds most NHS services for local people – invited bids for up to £2,000 for small schemes which might make a big improvement to residents’ lives.

Applicants were then invited to attend an Innovation Conference, to discuss the merits of their project with other applicants, voluntary sector representatives, members of the public and CCG staff and well-known NHS commentator Roy Lilley. As a result of the event, 8 schemes will now receive either funding or CCG support, or both.

The fund was the brainchild of one of the CCG’s ‘Community Ambassadors’ – a programme where residents of North East Hampshire and Farnham help the CCG to shape the way it engages with local people on health services.

Dr Andy Whitfield, Clinical Chair of NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG, said: “Our local communities are full of ideas and energy and we know from experience that working with them to solve problems produces better results than by us trying to go it alone.

“There are many potentially great ideas that struggle to get off the ground because there isn’t the money or the support that’s needed. Often we’re not talking about a great amount.

“We felt that if we and other members of the community agreed that some of the ideas were worth pursuing, we should provide that funding or support and explore the opportunities it brings.”

The projects that will receive funding and/or support are: Yoga for overweight women, Patient-led self-help groups, Cultural activities for people with mild to moderate mental illness, Wellbeing cycling project, Theatre Club, Information and Advice hub for Farnham Health Centre, GP sessions to raise awareness of the Nepali community, Fun sessions linked to health and wellbeing for the Nepali community in Fleet, Yateley and Church Crookham.

If you would like to find out more about the Community Ambassador programme visit http://www.northeasthampshireandfarnhamccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/community-ambassadors or email nehfccg.ambassadors@nhs.net

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