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Community involvement

Summary :: Our community :: Community involvement

Community involvement is an essential part of the planning, and increasingly the delivery, of health and wellbeing services. Examples of community involvement in Medway include the work that DERiC does with WALT and wHoo Cares (community interest companies) to help build resilient communities in Walderslade and the Hoo Peninsula. Another example is Involving Medway, a project that aims to encourage people to get involved with and help make decisions about health provision in the Medway.

DERiC

DERiC (Developing and Empowering of Resources in Communities) is a community interest company (CIC), which works to create and sustain partnerships between people in communities and the public bodies that provide services to them. DERiC aims to develop new and innovative forms of community-owned social enterprise and deliver outcomes that improve people's lives and enhance community control and engagement.

In Medway, there are two CICs in Walderslade and the Hoo Peninsula that work in partnership with DERiC and Medway Council. Walderslade Together CIC WALT and Hoo Peninsula Carers CIC wHoo Cares were created to support individuals in their local communities and reduce social isolation. These CICs were developed by a group of volunteers (currently serving as the Board of Directors) and a team from DERiC along with the support of Medway Council, and have been registered since July 2015.

A Community Life-Planning Coordinator works with an individual to create a person-centred life-plan, which identifies additional support and things that could make a difference to the person's life. A person is then linked with services, groups or events in their community and if required matched with a volunteer (community supporter) that helps the individual to utilise and access these resources. This may be, for example, a chat and a cup of tea once a week, help getting to the local coffee morning or support getting to GP or hospital appointments.

Volunteering not only helps to support individuals who feel isolated, but also improves employability within the local community.

Involving Medway

Involving Medway is a new initiative designed to encourage people to get involved with and help make decisions about health provision in the area. The project is funded by Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for planning and buying local NHS services. The pilot was launched in March 2017.

Involving Medway is a partnership between seven community organisations:

  1. Red Zebra: A community infrastructure organisation leading Involving Medway
  2. Spice Innovations Limited: Will introduce Medway Time Credits, an innovative way to reward social action and volunteering
  3. Kent Community Foundation: Administering small grants to fund activities to build stronger communities
  4. Medway Voluntary Action: Supporting voluntary and community organisations to work more closely with decision makers in health and involve residents in the design and delivery of services
  5. Tess Luetchford: Training a group of volunteer community health researchers to gather views and make sure residents have their voices heard.
  6. Arches Local: A lottery 'Big Local' area which provides partnership in the Luton Arches area of Chatham
  7. New Economics Foundation: Bringing national expertise to creating social change

Grants of up to £1,500 are available to Medway community groups looking to engage local residents to support healthier living and more active communities. Involving Medway helps small community groups and individuals with a community-focused project that need support, for example, to:


• hire a hall for a coffee morning
• buy equipment for a common community space
• organise a day out for a carers group
• setup volunteer meetings

The Medway Time Credits scheme recognises the time given by volunteers and rewards them through credits that can be exchanged to pay for admission at local attractions and leisure activities. It also includes access to a national spend network including attractions across the country.