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Health for all, Changing Lives, Transforming communities

Better Together


April 2017 saw the launch of the new local community health development and improvement service , now known as Better Together.

A consortium of 3 well-known local charities has been formed to deliver the service to provide community-based health and well-being activities across inner South Leeds. Health for All is the lead partner, working with Asha Neighbourhood Project and Hamara Healthy Living Centre, and the Better Together service is funded by Leeds City Council Public Health.

The service was launched at an event, hosted by Hamara, on 11th May 2017, that gave residents of inner south Leeds a taste of what will be carried out under the contract; around 100 people showed up to celebrate the launch and find out what health improvement opportunities will be available locally.

Speaking at the project launch, Inner South Health Champion Councillor Paul Truswell said:

"Better Together means making our communities stronger by working with each other to develop people's confidence, skills and strengths. Many people in South Leeds face major problems and increasing inequalities. We don't believe it's acceptable to walk past on the other side. We believe our fellow citizens' welfare is our concern. Above all, we believe in community."

Toshal Bhatia, Service Manager for Health for All’s Healthy Communities team, will lead and coordinate the service across South and East Leeds, ensuring a coherent, committed and motivated staff team. Each partner organisation will build on its own area of expertise to lead on specific aspects of the service:

             ASHA will engage new and emerging communities, with particular focus on women and children

             Hamara will lead on health campaigns (such as screening awareness, NHS health checks, etc.), community integration events and celebrations

             Health for All will lead on driving community health development approaches across the partnership to establish groups in response to need and nurture them to independence and sustainability

             Health for All will also lead on engagement of, and services for, young adults – in particular young adults who are disenfranchised, hard to reach, leading chaotic lives, suffering extreme poverty, inequality, poor health and/or deprivation (such as care leavers)

How the service will be delivered

1) The first ‘rung’ on the ‘ladder of engagement’ will be light touch. Examples might be receiving a leaflet at a health table in a user’s block of flats or at a local community gala; or attendance at a health or community event in their local centre, publicised through Facebook, the service website or recommended by a friend or family member.

Those requiring intensive health coaching or signposting to an activity meeting their needs will receive appropriate information about, for example, Health Trainers or Connect for Health and may cease their involvement with our service at that point. Receipt of appropriate, relevant information at the correct time will prove an undoubted source of empowerment for these individuals. We will retain, with their permission, contact details to invite them to events organised by the service including volunteering opportunities and group activities.

2) The next rung is for people interested in ongoing peer support through groups. These will be signposted to the relevant group and if no appropriate group exists, will be supported by service staff to explore the possibility of establishing one.

Many people are unaware of this possibility, and feel invigorated and inspired when their new group meets for the first time or receives their first small grant.

People with low academic achievement may wish to develop their skills and confidence through adult learning courses, taking place at one of the partners’ centres close to their home. The range of topics includes:

• Confidence building

• Mental wellbeing

• Coping with bereavement

• English conversation clubs

• Cooking skills

• Home skills

• Gardening

• Budgeting skills

• Sexual health

• IT courses

• Literacy

• Numeracy


• Sewing

• Level One in Childcare or Health and Social Care

These activity sessions engage those most in need, as both a way of building friendships to reduce their social isolation and as stepping stones to volunteering and employment.

Parents with young children will benefit from crèche support and will thereby be enabled to attend adult learning courses, activities and groups. Those who are frail and have limited mobility, impairments or disabilities can be provided with transport. The service in these ways will remove any practical barriers to engagement in activities, courses and groups, which in turn empower people, building their social capital and resilience.

Attendance at weekly community learning courses often leaves attendees with the desire to continue meeting with their peers, and to volunteering to help establish an ongoing peer-support or activity group.

3) The third rung of the ladder entails engagement on an individual, one-to-one basis, where service staff will offer tailored short-term support or health advice – perhaps assistance with welfare benefits, or rights crucial to positive mental health.

Rather than encouraging dependency on the service, people will again be signposted to other relevant sources of support, perhaps One Stop Centres or other LCC services. We will ensure an appropriate distinction and suitable referrals between this service and local Social Prescribing/Leeds Integrated Healthy Living services.

The Better Together service will operate in Beeston, Belle Isle, Cottingley, Holbeck, Hunslet and Middleton.


What's On Guide


Cake cutting photo – (L to R):

Pat McGeever – Chief Executive Officer, Health for All

Cllr Paul Truswell - Inner South Health Champion

Zaheda  Khanam  - Centre Manager, Asha Neighbourhood Project

Farouk Butt – Chair, Hamara Healthy Living Centre

Scott Williams – Operations Director, Hamara


Image result for leeds city council logo




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