Time to get involved in building a healthier Medway
Grants of up to £1,500 will soon be available to Medway community groups looking to engage local residents to support healthier living and more active communities.
The scheme is part of Involving Medway, a new initiative designed to encourage people to get involved with and help make decisions about health provision in the area.
The one-year pilot project is funded by Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for planning and buying local NHS services.
Involving Medway brings together local partners including: Kent Community Foundation, which will offer small grants to fund activities to build stronger communities; Spice Innovations Limited, which will introduce Medway Time Credits, rewarding Medway volunteers and social action in creative ways; and Medway Voluntary Action, which will support voluntary and community organisations to work more closely with decision makers in health, involving residents in the design and delivery of services.
The initiative will also develop a group of community researchers to gather views and ensure local people have their voices heard.
Speaking at the launch of Involving Medway, which was held at St George Hotel in Chatham, Caroline Selkirk, Accountable Officer at Medway CCG, said: “Medway has a vibrant and dynamic network of local community groups and Involving Medway will enable us to reach out through them to more local residents.
“Involving Medway is about trying something different in order to support and sustain a healthier local community, which we believe will help take some of the pressure off our primary and acute health services in the area.”
A key part of Involving Medway is the Community Health Grants programme.
Charlie Fox of Red Zebra, the lead organisation for Involving Medway, said: “We are looking for small community groups and individuals with a community-focused project that need support. Grants of up to £1,500 are available for activities such as hall hire for a coffee morning, buying equipment for a common community space, a day out for a carers group, or support for setting up volunteer meetings.
“We will be sending out grant forms shortly so people just need to get in touch to register their interest at this stage.”
Involving Medway is also supporting the Medway Time Credits project, which recognises the time given by volunteers and rewards them through credits that can be exchanged to pay for admission at local attractions and leisure activities. The project is currently looking for organisations to get involved and offer volunteers rewards.
Picture caption (L-R): Charlie Fox of Red Zebra; Tess Luetchford of Community Health Researchers; Andy Garrett of Kent Community Foundation; Jane Howard of Medway Voluntary Action; Mark Caffery of Spice Innovations Ltd, Medway Time Credits; Caroline Selkirk of Medway Clinical Commissioning Group; and Smitha Campbell, Spice Innovations Ltd, Medway Time Credits.
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Notes to Editors
- Medway CCG is responsible for planning and buying local NHS services, for the patient population of 295,223 across Medway.
- Medway CCG’s main role is to plan and buy health services across the Medway towns. It works closely with patient groups, local public health, social care and voluntary sector partners to make sure the right services are available at the right time.
- The CCG is one of 211 in the country, the Medway CCG is made up of GPs, other healthcare professionals and experienced commissioners dedicated to making Medway a healthier place to live.
- It is committed to developing a strong clinically-led organisation that puts the needs of Medway residents at the heart of its decisions.
- Medway Clinical Commissioning Group has a governing body made up of local GPs, a registered nurse and several lay members, all working with a network of health professionals across the area.Red Zebra Community Solutions is a local infrastructure organisation, working with residents and organisations to improve opportunities and services for people in the community. www.redzebra.org.uk/Involving Medway is a one-year pilot, funded by NHS Medway CCG, to bring local partners together to investigate and test creative and innovative ways to strengthen communities, empowering local residents to play a role in transforming local health services. Partners include:
- Kent Community Foundation www.kentcf.org.uk/
- Spice Innovations Limited www.justaddspice.org/
- Medway Voluntary Action www.mva.org.uk/
- New Economics Foundation http://neweconomics.org/