People power improving health and wellbeing

People’s passion for their communities was on show at a local event to bid for support for projects to boost health and wellbeing.

The 2018 Innovation Conference, organised by local NHS commissioners, patient champions and the voluntary sector, brought together around 80 people from across North East Hampshire and Farnham.

The conference invited people to apply to NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group for funding of up to £2,000 for a specific project that will improve the physical and/or mental health of their community.

Local people and groups were invited to attend an event – this year at Oak Park Golf Club in Crondall – to hear bidders present their plans and then to vote on who they feel should receive the funding.

Dr Peter Bibawy, acting Clinical Chair of the CCG, said: “There is so much energy in our local communities directed at improving health and wellbeing and this has been shown once again, not only by how passionate people were at the event but also the breadth of the projects being put forward.

“I’m delighted to say that the CCG is committed to this being held annually, to continue to explore the wonderful ideas that local people have and to provide support to those projects we and other local people feel have the greatest potential.”

The projects shortlisted for this year’s event were:

  • A community cycling club
  • Yoga and meditation sessions for children and teenagers with special educational needs and disabilities and social, emotional, mental health issues
  • Writing courses for carers
  • A life skills course for children aged 11 to 13 with autism
  • Mental health awareness training for a young person’s homeless shelter
  • Cookery course for people with disabilities
  • A community women’s group to support deprived families
  • A town-centre garden and ‘shed’ used for a range of therapies
  • A support group for women experiencing problems going through the menopause

The event also allows bidders to have discussions with each other and with other guests, to swap information, advice and offers of help, whether it is providing a venue to a group or pointing people in the direction of the help they need.

The Innovation Conference is organised by the CCG, Healthwatch Hampshire, Voluntary Action South West Surrey and Community Ambassadors – members of the public who work to ensure that the public and patient voice is included in local healthcare planning.

The project began as a suggestion by Farnham resident Valerie Fabry, one of the Community Ambassadors. She said of the latest event: “The Innovation Conference exceeded all my hopes and expectations. I was struck by the amazing energy in the room as we listened to some truly inspirational ideas.”

In 2017 the Innovation Fund supported eight local projects, ranging from cultural activities for people with mental illness and fun health and wellbeing sessions for the Nepali community.

Click here to look back at last year's projects.

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