Grassroots Outreach Update 2017/18
Between August 2017 – February 2018, we will have attended over 27 events across south west London as part of the grassroots outreach programme.
The grassroots organisations who have taken part and ran activities so far have shared their experiences on receiving the funding and the impact it had on their communities.
Share Community – organisation supporting people with learning disabilities/physical disabilities to seek employment – Wandsworth
The sports day at Battersea Sports Centre gave all Share students an opportunity to get active and fit while trying out a number of different sports and activities including basketball, tennis, football and curling, as well as gentle yoga. The event was funded as part of the Grassroots grant scheme and was attended by the NHS. It was a relaxed and fun atmosphere where students also had the opportunity to share their views of using local health services. The easy-read surveys were developed by Share’s Basic Skills class as part of their Data Collecting, and Speaking and Listening modules; class members worked with NHS staff to help complete the questionnaires and collate the responses.
The grassroots grant application process was straightforward and the event provided a great opportunity for students to share their views. The event was fun, inclusive, accessible and encouraged people to work in teams as well. Students really enjoyed the day and said:
- “I thought it was fantastic, everyone got together and talked to each other, everyone was happy. I thought the sports were good. I tried football this morning, kicking the ball into the goal.” Angela
- “Really good, my favourite was basketball and football.” Jodie
- “It was nice, I played football, basketball and jogging.” Vishal
- “Very good yoga, I did it twice, it made me feel so much better and relaxed.” Yasmin
- “Sports day was good, I like coming to it, and it’s very interesting. I tried yoga and exercises.” Joyce
- “I liked the sports.” Hassan
- “I did yoga, it was good.” Venisha
In the Mix – A weekly singing group for people who love music from 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60’s – Sutton
The NHS representatives had a very positive and worthwhile afternoon. They fitted in perfectly without interrupting the flow of the occasion and were able to speak to a lot of people who were more than happy to share their experiences. The funding was a huge bonus, it meant we could provide a high level of entertainment and a hot lunch. The presence of the three NHS representatives did not interfere with anyone’s enjoyment – particularly as they were extremely personable and engaging and also entered into the spirit of the occasion with good humour. It was a pleasure to have them. I think this is a fantastic scheme which would benefit any similar groups.
Wellbeing You – an organisation supporting older people – Croydon
This was our second round of funding. The first round helped us to formerly launch Wellbeing You as a credible, well linked entity. We organised our first health prevention event in a sheltered accommodation that brought five agencies working together in a community that had never had dealing with them in their area of residence. We also learnt a lot about that community. Last year’s funding displayed our strength, confidence and demand for our services. We publicised through ten networks indicating expansion of our outreach and relationship building. Above all we were able to test working relationship with an entity with whom we are now in conversation with for longer term partnership working. It was well attended and this time attendees wanted to know when the next event will take place, we now have to find funding for a longer period of and grow.
People liked being able to have useful conversations with the NHS.
Having received the funding, we asked people why they came to the event.
The details below show that the event met their expectations
- Meet new people and make new friends 58%
- Reduce loneliness 37%
- A chance to have fun 65%
- Experience other forms of entertainment 69%
- Engage in discussion with NHS staff about my health 53%
- Find out about planned changes to health and social care 33%
- Find out what more I can do to care for myself 30%
As a result of people attending the event, people have said that they will in the future:
- Exercise and encourage others to
- Socialise and go to Bridge and other events
- Find out what else is available for older people in Croydon
- Keeping moving, get up and dance more
- Don’t worry be happy
Hope for Wellbeing Project – Organisation support people with a mental health condition – Wandsworth
The Hope For Wellbeing Project was provided a grant to conduct a “Hope Community Wellbeing Day” Titled ‘Socialising for wellbeing’, the event was held on Friday 6th October 2017, from 12 noon to 6pm. Funded by the NHS it was a community get together day, aimed at highlighting health and wellbeing for all members of the community. Community organisations and charities were invited to set up stalls to showcase the services available in the community. It also featured dancing, discussions on health and wellbeing, music and fun activities, with great food at the centre. The NHS used the event to discuss with members of the public and garner their opinions and suggestions on health services.
The funding has helped The Hope for Wellbeing Project to not only promote health and wellbeing in the community, but to provide an avenue for community members to socialise, share their views and make suggestions on NHS services; as well as be made more aware of the community services that are available to promote and support their health and wellbeing.
The various feedback received from the attendees and participants at the event include the fact that they had been made aware of many services in the community in addition to the services offered by the NHS. They include the charity organisations such as Thamesreach (who co-hosted the event), Recovery Café, Wandsworth Citizens Advice Bureau (Help through Crisis Project), The H.O.P.E Atrium, Sound Mind, One Support, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind, Rethink Advocacy, Bluebird Care, Alzheimer’s society, The Older People’s Forum, Share Community, and Your way.
As many of the over one hundred and twenty attendees and participants at the event had experience of mental health challenges, the topic of discussion led by people with lived experiences of mental health challenges also had a positive impact, as it addressed stigma and isolation, by making people to have a sense of social inclusion. Most of the participants and members of The Hope for Wellbeing Project also expressed their delight that the NHS and CCG staff (particularly Clare and Chan) spared time to hold discussions with them, while Clare also addressed the participants.
The success of this event facilitated by the grant from the NHS is indicative of the fact that other local organisations should feel highly encouraged to apply for funding in the future. This type of event is highly needed in the community, as many participants now expect it to be regularly conducted, following the success of this event. It is also felt that the NHS is likely to be open to work with and encourage local organisations to raise awareness of services and obtain feedback from members of the community.
KwaAfrica – An organisation supporting people living with HIV – Sutton
The funding was instrumental in enabling service users engage with the NHS particularly for marginalised groups which included people living with HIV and Black and Ethnic Minority groups which often have little to no engagement at all with the NHS. The attendees felt listened to and their experiences were acknowledged, I would encourage local organisations to apply for the fund and get their voices heard.
RISE – An organisation supporting the community – Kingston
RISE hosted a Xmas Party and Community Networking event which was attended by a wide number of organisations as well as community members experiencing mental health, substance misuse and homelessness issues. There was very positive feedback from community members regarding interactions with CCG and Health Watch participants.
Using our Grassroots fund award we were able to supply all with a full meal as well as “goodies”. There were a number of games and quizzes with prizes and these were very popular. The attendees were also given presents of thermal hats and glove by Santa (one of our homeless community).
Organising and delivering this event was very enjoyable and I highly recommend any other organisation to apply as the process was very simple.
The Vintage Banquet – An organisation supporting older people – Kingston
The funds were gratefully received and were used to fund our Vintage Banquet for the over 60s end of the year Christmas party.
The NHS staff present at the party were very well greeted by our Banqueteers and most certainly they appreciated the opportunity of sharing their experiences on a one to one basis with them. The funds permitted us to arrange a SUPER day for our Banqueteers. It also allowed us the chance to have guest artists such as a comedian and a wonderful opera singer who also sang Christmas carols with a participation by one and all. This is the second year we applied and were successful in having the NHS funding approved. The process is very straight forward and the response from the NHS was speedy and professional. For charities in need for such funding and have the presence on site of NHS representatives, I most certainly recommend applying.