Winners in this category reflect the key role that councils and their partners have in tackling inequalities and improving health and wellbeing. Whilst improving the health of the general population is important, this category is also about targeting interventions towards vulnerable individuals, groups or communities. The awards recognise innovative approaches that improve pathways into, through, between and out of a range of local public services, particularly for people who are most at risk of poor health and wellbeing. These include addressing the mainstreaming of preventative activities, partnerships with relevant agencies and local communities, or projects that are building capacity for the health and care agenda, including links to appropriate planning and budgeting arrangements. To be successful , the winners have described specific aims and how these are being addressed through community involvement, effective partnership working and innovation
West Dumbartonshire Community Health and Care Partnership – “Let’s See If We Can Help”
The ‘Let’s See If We Can Help’ initiative is a resource pack to enable community pharmacists to recognise and meet the needs of visually impaired patients. With an aging population, an increasing number of people have problems administering their own medication because of visual impairment. The result is reduced independence, potentially a waste of medication and increased demand on services. The resource pack was developed by a partnership of the local authority, health and voluntary agencies, along with direct involvement with visually impaired people in the community. It consists of material to increase pharmacists’ awareness of the issues, advice on how to respond, and practical aids to help visually impaired people to deal with their own medication. The result has been increased confidence among pharmacists and a very positive response from their visually impaired patients. It is clear that the initiative can be extended to other patient groups and can be rolled out more widely.
Angus Council – Angus Active Schools
Angus Active Schools has through a variety of initiatives, programmes and activities, sought to tackle inequalities around health in the school communities of Angus. Links have been developed with a wide range of community partners to help deliver a programme of physical activity, and raise an awareness of health issues. Targeted activity and programmes have addressed a shortfall in physical activity levels, in certain areas of the school population, such as teenage girls, pupils with a disability and pupils for disadvantaged backgrounds.
Moving Into Health – West Lothian Homeless Football
West Lothian Homeless Football arose from discussions in 2006, which took place in the West Lothian Health and Homeless Interest Group. The group recognised the need to be creative in how services for homeless people tried different approaches to engage single homeless males, a group renowned as being hard to reach. Mental ill health is common among people who experience homelessness; homelessness itself is an isolating, lonely experience which erodes confidence and self esteem. This in turn can cause or exacerbate mental health conditions. To support people on their journey it was identified the initiative had to be outreaching, introduced in a non-threatening environment, and incorporate preventative approaches to reduce the impacts of potential poorer health. By using football as a trigger to energise these socially excluded people, combined with personal development and health promotion advice, we aimed to empower them to change their own lives for the better. The sport was an incentive to get people together, providing a unique opportunity for individual’s to improve on confidence and self-esteem, as well as improving physical health through increased activity.
A variety of services have come along to join the group, at half time they share health improvement information, therefore allowing individuals to know about services they can access, which have helped them with their identified difficulties and thus contributed to an improvement in their mental and physical well-being as they have led to significant changes to their lifestyle choices. The sessions have provided opportunities for the participants to work as part of a team and several people who were in homeless accommodation continued to participate in the football sessions after they have moved into their permanent tenancies.
East Renfrewshire Community Health and Care Partnership – The Big ShoutER
The Big ShoutER project is a youth involvement, community research and peer education project linked to The Place @ East Renfrewshire Youth Health Service (YHS) which is the provider of a number of services for young people, e.g. Sandyford (Sexual Health), Youth Smoke Free, Youth Addiction and others. Peer education is not a new concept, however, this model is unique due to it being young person led and the different aspects within the model. It was set up by a group of 5 young people attending ‘The Place’ who identified that young people were not involved in shaping youth services and that there was a lack of true understanding of the health needs of young people both by young people themselves and by service providers. This project is seen as an example of good practice particularly within the youth health arena due to it demonstrating an effective model of youth involvement in the design and delivery of youth services in East Renfrewshire with the long term aim of improving young people’s health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities.
The Big ShoutER uses an assets based approach which identifies and uses the existing key skills and knowledge of the young people to enable them to provide peer support to young people to help them to understand their own health needs; peer consultation to further elicit information on the identified health needs of the local population of young people and to collate this information; peer education to enhance the knowledge of the local young people on topics they have identified; and to support them to make informed choices about their health.
Inverclyde Community Health & Care Partnership – Healthier Inverclyde Project
The Healthier Inverclyde Project (HIP) is a multi-faceted, multi-disciplined team which provides alcohol prevention, education and direct intervention, both to individuals and to communities in Inverclyde. The team consists of two schools alcohol workers, one young person’s alcohol counsellor, three alcohol information workers, an alcohol arrest referral worker, a persistent offender partnership alcohol worker and a co-ordinator. This is an innovative and pioneering project that was set up in response to alcohol misuse being a major issue in Inverclyde.
East Dunbartonshire Council – Be Your Own Boss (BYOB) Underage Drinking Campaign
The ‘Be Your Own Boss’ (BYOB) initiative is a unique and innovative campaign led by East Dunbartonshire Council’s Licensing Standards Department in partnership with the Young Persons Alcohol Prevention Team, the Central Health Improvement Alcohol and Drug Team, East Dunbartonshire Community Safety Partnership and Strathclyde Police. The multi–agency initiative had three core aims: to tackle underage street drinking and the associated antisocial and violent behaviour amongst young people in East Dunbartonshire; to tackle the unlawful selling of alcohol to youths and take action against rogue sellers; and to encourage the uptake of sports activities as a diversionary activity amongst young people as an alternative to street drinking. The concept behind the campaign was to encourage young people not to follow the crowd but to make their own mind up, be an individual and make the right choice for them – in short to be their own boss. The initiative included the production of marketing materials with the captains of Celtic FC and Rangers FC, Scotland’s two biggest football clubs, highlighting the ‘Be Your Own Boss’ message which is a play on the well known catch phrase ‘bring your own bottle’, a role playing game and presentation to over 4,300 secondary school pupils, awareness raising and competitions in the local media and enforcement visits to off sale premises in problem areas where street drinking and antisocial behaviour was commonplace. Following its implementation, the initiative resulted in a 37% decrease in street drinking, a 9% decrease in antisocial behaviour, 24 warning notices being issued to various licensed premises, the permanent revocation of two licences and a decrease in the number of young people attempting to buy alcohol. There was also an 80% uptake of sport passes amongst young people. The initiative secured multi-agency funding to meet the £6,211 costs and was evaluated over several key areas. The success of the campaign has led the Council and its partners to investigate a longer-term sustained campaign combining the successful elements of education, marketing and enforcement.
Midlothian Council – Ageing Well Midlothian
Ageing Well Midlothian is a project funded by the NHS and managed by Midlothian Council with the aim of maintaining and promoting physical and mental health, wellbeing and quality of life for inactive and socially isolated people aged 50+. It also aims to challenge stereotypes and increase the expectation of good health in later years. Low cost activities offered include yoga, pilates, keep fit, aquafit, tai chi and dance as well as walking groups, seated exercise, singing and new age kurling.
Ageing Well adopts a peer support model where trained volunteers lead, encourage and provide information to assist and inspire their peers in adopting a more active and healthy life style. Volunteers not only lead activities and run groups but they also have a very active part in shaping the future of the project. They are instrumental in all new initiatives and are consulted on everything to do with the project.