Essex Community Foundation

News archive

New funding initiative to improve health and wellbeing

18th April 2019

The ‘Realising Ambition’ initiative has awarded a £2 million contract to Essex and Suffolk Community Foundations.

The initiative brings together primary care, social services and the voluntary sector to improve health services identified by the three local alliances (East Suffolk, West Suffolk and North East Essex).

Between them, they have set measurable ‘place level’ ambitions to make a difference to the things that really matter to people at a very local level which, in turn, supports the vision for the wider system. Improving mental health, reducing suicides, tackling obesity, improving end of life care and combating loneliness are key priorities for the Integrated Care System (ICS).

Dr John Hague, Mental Health Lead for the Suffolk and North East Essex Shadow ICS and GP in Ipswich, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity which will bring health, care, volunteers and the public together to bring about real improvements for local people and communities. We have been working with the community foundations and voluntary sector in setting up social prescribing – a scheme which links patients needing GP or primary care with sources of support within the community. With ‘Realising Ambition’, we will be building on this way of working and expanding it to include other priorities for our system.”

ICS leaders say that the distribution of the money across the three areas – Ipswich and East Suffolk, North East Essex and West Suffolk – will be based on a number of factors, including local levels of deprivation.

ICS Programme Director, Susannah Howard, said: “We know that making a difference to complex population outcomes is very difficult. We are therefore asking leaders within each of the three main areas to determine their local priorities. This would involve working closely with local people and communities, clinicians, support groups and stakeholders to determine what these should be. Voluntary and community organisations will then be invited by the Suffolk and Essex Community Foundation’s to submit proposals for projects where they believe a broader contribution could be made towards achieving the system’s higher ambitions.”

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of Essex Community Foundation, said: “Empowering communities with resources to tackle the issues impacting local people, is at the heart of what we do. This new initiative brings together public sector partners with the voluntary sector and vital funding so that we can improve health and well-being in our local communities."

Essex Community Foundation will be launching the new funding initiative in May and grants will be awarded in North East Essex. We encourage you to follow Essex Community Foundation on Twitter @Essex_CF or on Facebook @EssexFoundation to keep up-to-date on the launch.