From peer support groups for people suffering with arthritis to cycling support for children and families, voluntary sector organisations are beginning an important programme of work to help tackle health inequalities across North Tyneside.
A new Health Inequalities Grant Programme, developed by members of the Better Together group, has awarded grants of between £10,000 and £30,000 to fourteen Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations. Funding has been provided by North Tyneside CCG and North Tyneside Council, with the grant programme being administered by VODA.
All funded activities focus on delivering outcomes relating to the key themes of the recently published Equally Well strategy for North Tyneside – ‘Equal life chances for all’, ‘Thriving places and communities’ and ‘Maintaining independence’.
The grants programme aims to be more than just an offer of funding. In order to build an evidence base of what works and to help identify scalable solutions, all successful applicants will attend six-monthly learning and development sessions delivered in partnership with Goodlabs – a local management consultancy that helps charitable organisations to enhance their social impact. The first of these session took place on 24th May as part of a grant launch event.
Work funded includes:
- supporting people with mental health problems to improve their physical and mental health and to manage their conditions through exercise (Tyneside and Northumberland MIND)
- offering accessible health and fitness sessions to deaf and hard of hearing people (Deaf Awareness NE)
- creating a new community gym (Whitley Bay Islamic Cultural Centre)
- delivering community nutritionist led cooking sessions for parents and carers (Linskill Trust)
- supporting children and their families to address the health and care inequalities faced by autistic people (North East Autism Society)
- supporting people with learning disabilities to access health services and overcome barriers to taking part in physical activities (LD North East)
- setting up a volunteer-led support group for people with arthritis (Versus Arthritis)
Cllr Karen Clark, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing at North Tyneside Council
“Tackling health inequalities is a key priority for us and we are delighted to be able to provide funding and support to the VCSE organisations across the borough who work tirelessly to make an invaluable contribution to our residents every day.
“The pandemic has emphasised the health inequalities in North Tyneside, and we know that working with, developing and funding partners to deliver and increase the capacity of wrap-around support is key to reducing this and improving health and care for residents.”
Gary Charlton, North Tyneside CCG Deputy Director Commissioning and Corporate Development
“We know that the VCSE sector makes an invaluable contribution to the care of patients and service users across North Tyneside. We’re pleased to be working alongside VODA and North Tyneside Council to help increase the capacity and capability within the sector to improve health and care and reduce health inequalities.”
Robin Fry, VODA CEO
“This programme provides a great opportunity to showcase the skills, knowledge, passion, commitment and innovation we have within our local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. The sector has a key role to play in helping to address existing health inequalities in the borough and I’m delighted that this is recognised and resourced by North Tyneside CCG and North Tyneside Council.”
The North Tyneside Health Inequalities grant programme builds on a previous grants programme developed in 2019 by North Tyneside CCG which invested £500,000 in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. One of the successful grantees of this earlier grant programme, North Tyneside Art Studio (NTAS), has recently had their funding extended by the CCG on the back of their successful work. Paul Hillier, Chief Executive of NTAS, said:
“North Tyneside Art Studio is delighted at the decision of the CCG to extend the funding for NTAS II, a creative health and wellbeing hub in the heart of Wallsend. Working with the CCG feels like a genuine partnership and their support in developing the scope of NTAS II has been invaluable. The project offers a vital service that makes a real difference to people’s lives.”
Pictures shown from event on 24 May.