Following on from our recruitment of a North Shields Wellbeing Coordinator in the summer, VODA has continued to focus on health and wellbeing. This year’s activities culminated in our final Working With the VCS event of 2019 being focused on Population Health in North Tyneside.
The event was extremely well attended, with over 50 people from a range of organisations from the VCS and health sector. Hosted by VODA’s Robin Fry and North Tyneside Council’s Felicity Shoesmith, the day started with a Christmas themed speed networking event with a health theme.
Claire Howard from VODA introduced ‘A Picture of Health in North Tyneside’, a film where representatives from health, the public sector and North Tyneside CCG who are involved in social prescribing came together to build a picture of what population health management looks like in North Tyneside. The aim of the film is to develop confidence in the VCS around how they can become key partners.
The attendees were then encouraged to discuss in groups “What can we do to work together to improve population health in North Tyneside?” There was a diverse range of responses which included:
“Develop one stop shops in public places e.g. shopping centres etc. to include health, local authority VCS orgs, schools colleges, universities etc. to deliver health messages, provide information and signpost into services.”
“Collaboration of the sectors to enable a bigger and more comprehensive offer this may include pooling and sharing information and data and sharing resources.”
“Empower people – acknowledge that they are the experts on their own health and lifestyles. Work with trained people to navigate through issues and problems that present as barriers to resolving health issues.”
“Providing safe and supportive spaces for people to explore their health and wellbeing options, taking into account their motivations and preferences.”
Two local VCS organisations showcased their work and how they support people with their mental health and wellbeing. Paul Hillier from the North Tyneside Art Studio talked about art and the benefits to mental health and highlighted their new studio NTASii which has just opened in Wallsend. Janice Irving from the Linskill Centre talked about their recent CCG funding to develop a men’s community shed and the support they’ve received from VODA’s Sector Connector.
We then moved on to four themed discussions, where attendees were invited to choose one of the topics to find out more about.
David Fellows from North Tyneside Council hosted a discussion on Healthy Conversations training, an offer to the VCS. Rachel Martin from Diabetes UK presented on Tackling Diabetes. Collette Horner from Tyne Health provided more information on the local Primary Care Networks and Susan Meins from North Tyneside Council looked at the Dementia Friendly Community initiative.
We ended the session with what’s becoming a bit of a tradition at our December event, with a VCS networking Ceilidh, where everyone was invited to a have a 5 minute discussion with the person opposite them on “What one thing will you take away from today?”, after which, the person from one end swapped to the other, with some shameless showing off, and onto the next topic of “What can your organisation contribute to this agenda?”
Feedback from the event has been extremely positive.
“It was great to get the opportunity to network, collaborate and talk about the potential of new opportunities.”
“The event was well structured, had good variation and allowed for opportunities to meet people from different sectors.”
“Great opportunity to learn about the work of other organisations.”