PCVS supports communities to tackle Health inequalities thanks to Evelyn Trust funding

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The Peterborough Council for Voluntary Services (PCVS) is pleased to announce that thanks to £89,000 of funding from The Evelyn Trust, the charity is able to implement a novel Health Network to address the increased inequalities in community health and wellbeing across Peterborough. The Health Network will provide community groups with small grants of up to £4000 to carry out a project over 3-5 months.

It is clear that health inequalities persist within communities up and down the country, but they are particularly pronounced in Peterborough. PCVS supports over 500 member organisations in a variety of administrative, governance, and developmental ways through working with local partners, and will do even more through the funding and training opportunities within the Health Network. Many of these diverse community groups focus on improving the health and wellbeing of their members.

The grants for the local community groups are matched by bespoke training and support to ensure they can sustain themselves after receiving the funding. Thanks to partnerships with Healthy You Peterborough and Living Sport, community group leaders will be trained in Mental Health First Aid, signposting, and how to improve awareness of healthy lifestyles among their members. In addition, the groups will benefit from mutual support, expert advice, and professional community health and wellbeing training, with much of this being provided in house by PCVS.

To make preparations for the project, Gill Benedikz has been acting as the Project Lead for the Health Network. Gill stated, “We are excited to be launching The Health Network. Groups who join will not only benefit from the financial resources received to run health and well-being activities but will also be empowered to continue even after the funding has been spent. From feedback we have received from previous funded projects, activities cease after funding has run out. By providing relevant bespoke training, we hope that groups will be more sustainable in the longer term. We are incredibly grateful to The Evelyn Trust who have enabled us to help communities groups across Peterborough in this way allowing a more sustained approach to improving people’s health & well-being locally.”

The Evelyn Trust funds health projects across Cambridgeshire. Rebecca Wood, who is the Charity Director there said, “We recognise the expertise of local groups in understanding the needs of their communities and the best ways to address health and wellbeing in enjoyable and meaningful ways. We wanted to fund this application from PCVS for the Health Network because they have a key relationship with these groups and understand exactly how to support and encourage this work to ensure these grants are used effectively to help individuals who otherwise might not access the help that they need.”

Applications are now open for groups to apply to be part of the Health Network, with applications for the first cohort closing at 5pm on Friday 23 September (There will be a further application window that will open in March 2023). Groups must be PCVS members to be eligible. Applications will be made via a standard form or there is an option to submit video applications. For more information, PCVS are holding an information session via Zoom on 6th September. Email communities@pcvs.co.uk  to book a place on the information session, wish to make an application or have any questions.

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