Mobilising Community Assets - Phase 3 Projects Announced

Mobilising Community Assets - Phase 3 Projects Announced

Mobilising Community Assets to Tackle Health Inequalities – Phase 3 Projects Announced!

Twelve new projects have been announced in Phase 3 of the ‘Mobilising Community Assets to Tackle Health Inequalities’ research programme. This multi-phase programme aims to improve health through access to culture, nature and community. It is coordinated by University College London’s Culture-Nature-Health Research Group in partnership with the National Centre for Creative Health, and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), led by Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), with Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Medical Research Council (MRC).

In Phase 1 of the programme, 12 smaller-scale projects investigated how cultural, natural and community assets can be used to improve mental and physical health outcomes in communities affected by inequalities. In Phase 2, 16 projects established cross-sectoral consortia and community hubs to address inequalities.

Phase 3 Projects

In Phase 3, projects will receive large-scale funding over 3 years to tackle entrenched and long-standing health inequalities in Britain’s poorest communities by exploring how health systems can collaborate more effectively with communities. Some of the projects will explore ways of addressing health inequalities at place, including in rural and coastal communities. Others will be focused on tackling systems change to support specific communities including:

  • Roma communities
  • refugees and migrant communities
  • people experiencing homelessness
  • D/deaf British Sign Language-using communities
  • children and young people experiencing mental health challenges

Find more detail about each of the projects here.

Tackling health inequalities

Health inequalities, defined as unfair and avoidable differences in health outcomes between different populations or groups, unjustly affect the health and wellbeing of individuals and come at a cost to healthcare systems and the economy. Evidence shows us that community assets such as community groups, creative and cultural organisations, parks and green spaces, and libraries have an important role to play in keeping people well, and in reducing inequalities.

As well as supporting individuals through activities that improve physical and mental health and wellbeing, foster social connection and reduce isolation and loneliness, creative, cultural and community assets help to address the social determinants of health (the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age) which significantly shape our health outcomes.

AHRC Health Inequalities Programme Director and NCCH Trustee, Professor Helen Chatterjee said,

“The evidence is clear – intellectual stimulation, a sense of purpose, engagement in your community and a fulfilling social life are as important as diet, exercise and medical care when it comes to living a long and healthy life. Yet often public health interventions neglect this reality. These projects seek to improve the length and quality of our lives by making use of the rich cultural, artistic, nature and social resources that already exist within our communities. In this way, we can shape a healthier, happier Britain.”

Community assets and health systems

Understanding people’s lived experience and what is important to communities is vital to improving health-related services and reducing inequalities. Organisations working closely with communities have strong local relationships and in-depth knowledge of their needs. Integrated care provides an opportunity to better embed local community assets and knowledge into wider systems, to tackle inequalities at scale. The Mobilising Community Assets research programme will help us to understand the barriers and opportunities to this way of working and develop new models and approaches to further integrate lived experience and community expertise into both health systems and health systems research.

The exciting research taking place across all phases of the research programme informs NCCH’s approach to embedding creative health across health, social care and wider systems, and ensuring its benefits are available and accessible to all. Many examples from Phase 1 and 2 were featured in the Creative Health Review, and as Phase 3 gets underway we will be featuring the achievements of funded projects through blogs, events and podcasts.

Discover more about the ‘Mobilising Community Assets to Tackle Health Inequalities’ research programme >>

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Sign up to the Mobilising Community Assets to Tackle Health Inequalities Programme Newsletter HERE >>

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Image Credit: Pete Goodrun Photography © Good Grief Weston

Image Credit: Pete Goodrun Photography © Good Grief Weston

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