Reducing Health Inequalities 

 

Ashfield Voluntary Action (AVA) and Ashfield District Council (ADC) have been funded by the NHS (through NHSEI) to support their work to reduce health inequalities in targeted areas of Ashfield. This partnership work aims to improve health outcomes on the Coxmoor Estate in Kirkby-in-Ashfield and in Butler's Hill and Broomhill in Hucknall. 

 

The NHS acknowledges that people living in these communities have poorer health outcomes than in other parts of Ashfield. They also recognise that the foundations for addresssing these health inequalities are laid through effective communication. This can only happen when the community has confidence that their voice is being heard and their views valued. This is not an easy step and it takes time to establish the trusted relationships necessary for this.

 

WHY US?

 

AVA is an independent charity, already embedded in the community. We are viewed as a trusted voice by many. A large aspect of our remit is to support voluntary and community groups in our area whilst also undertaking the role of community advocate.

 

The prospect of enabling a platform for the local community to be heard is fundamental to our work. We relish the chance of providing a vehicle for people living on Coxmoor, Butler's Hill and Broomhill to raise their concerns and be listened to. Whilst the aim of this project is ultimately to improve long-term health outcomes for Ashfield residents, it will take time to underpin these aims with the necessary mechanisms and structures to effect real and long-lasting change. 

 

Ashfield Voluntary Action and Ashfield District Council have been tasked with working with the community to prepare the way for meaningful and genuine shared involvement. This will influence the direction of travel in the development and delivery of services. 

 

Ashfield District Council and Ashfield Voluntary Action will work together in these communities to facilitate communication. AVA will have an additional focus working with those people in the community who are particularly likely to meet additional barriers when accessing services. This could include people who have complex and multiple needs and may feature issues such as drug and alcohol dependency, unmet mental health needs, homelessness and domestic abuse.

 

The initial funding from NHSEI is for one year and whilst the ultimate aim is reduce health inequalities, our immediate focus is on the following three goals:

 

  • Community Advocacy - providing a platform for gathering community insight and ensuring that any learning is escalated up through the appropriate channels.

 

  • Community Engagement - this will be achieved through our Assertive Outreach programme which particularly focusses on working directly with people who are less likely to engage. In addition our work will use the social contagion model and rely on information and insight spreading through communities via trusted voices.

 

  • Community Specialisms - enlisting trusted members of the community as a conduit for information and to act as a community advocate. AVA's role would be to approach and recruit community advocates, providing the necessary training and support to enable them to effectively fulfil this vital role in their community.

 

Only when community relationships have been strengthened, will we truly be in a position to collectively influence change and make a real difference in our community. 

 

Click HERE to visit the community information outlining the aims of this piece of work and how we hope it will work in Coxmoor, Butler's Hill and Broomhill.

 

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