At West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership we value the contribution of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector across all areas of our work and at all levels of decision making and delivery.
Our Harnessing the Power of Communities Programme works with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, acting as a catalyst for change, facilitating new opportunities for voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations to better engage in shaping services and decision making, and challenging the ways we work in health and care to ensure greater inclusivity and accessibility in commissioning and service provision.
Our Programme Lead, Jo Baker has written this blog about the research into the structure, dynamics and impact of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, in addition to discussing the contribution of the VCSE to health and care.
- Find out more about how we're working with Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector partner, our vision and our long term ambition for the Harnessing the Power of Communities programme
- The Partnership received over £1 million from The NHS Charities Together fund to support the hard work of the local voluntary community social enterprise sector (VCSE) across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Find out more about the twenty-two local projects allocated a share of the funds.
Support for you
If you are a volunteer or work in the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector, and are experiencing difficulties with your mental health or emotional wellbeing, you can use the resources and services of our staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub free of charge.
You can self-refer for an assessment by one of our qualified professional staff at any time, or you can call our support line on 0808 196 3833, 8am -8pm every day (including weekends and bank holidays) or chat online with our trained listeners.
Understanding the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector
The diversity and complexity of the sector means people don’t always understand what the sector does, that it is a professional sector, with paid staff as well as volunteers, which delivers critical services and support to communities.
In West Yorkshire, we wanted to create a simple resource that explains the sector, and the contribution it makes to the health and wellbeing of our population.
To access this resource, please follow this link.
Please click on the infographic to the right to enlarge.
Community Power and the NHS
An NHS that harnesses the power of communities, and recognises and builds on existing community assets will bring greater connection, trust and help identify and deliver local solutions to tackling health inequalities and improving population health.
A stronger connection with communities would bring a greater understanding of their health and wellbeing needs. It would give insight into simple and effective community based solutions – often delivered at primary care level and by voluntary and community groups rooted in communities – bringing cost effective and simple solutions to the range of therapies for long term conditions, mental health issues, pain management and so on and reducing demands on GPs and primary care services. Community power can enhance the engagement of those communities least likely to access mainstream health services and boost trust and confidence.
Helping people deal with feelings of grief and loss
As the pandemic has progressed, it has become clear that in addition to some people experiencing the death of people they care about, or care for, in difficult and painful circumstances, many are feeling the impact of a loss of a way of life, normal contact opportunities, social and work interactions. Restrictions may also mean that the usual practical and emotional support people can physically get from family, friends, faith groups, community groups during difficult times may not be there.
The West Yorkshire and Harroage Health and Care Partnership Grief and Loss Service aims to bolster the local place offer by offering information and advice and, where appropriate, signposting into local place based services for specific counselling or other support. The service is a free telephone helpline that operates 8am-8pm, 7 days a week and online chat facility.