Nearly half a million pounds funding awarded to improve health in the borough

The Healthier City and Hackney Fund is one of the biggest health innovation funds in the country

Fourteen local community groups will be receiving funding from a local health innovation fund, totalling almost half a million pounds to tackle complex local problems.

The funding comes from the Healthier City and Hackney Fund which combines money from Hackney Council and City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The aim of the fund is to find innovative solutions to address long-standing or deep-rooted health inequalities in Hackney and the City of London. It is the biggest local health innovation fund of its kind in the country.

Some of the community groups who will receive funding include Hatzola Trust, North London, a volunteer ambulance service team offering health support and prevention services. They will receive almost £40,000 to help parents, carers, guardians and families manage common illnesses closer to home. The aim of the project is to reduce the number of children admitted to hospital A&E with minor illnesses and injuries.

A Trust spokesperson said: “We at Hatzola are really excited to be recommended for funding. In the next few months we hope to develop our vaccination awareness campaign and develop our "help ourselves at home first" education in order to minimise unnecessary visits to GPs and A&E Departments.  We hope to continue in our life saving work and help as many people as possible.”

Social enterprise Renaisi, have been given nearly £20,000 worth of funding to tackle social isolation and connect people from Hackney’s migrant communities. A Renaisi spokesperson said: “Renaisi is delighted to be working with Hackney Council to explore which community activities have the greatest impact on reducing loneliness in under 50s from migrant communities. We have worked in and with communities in Hackney for over 20 years, which gives us the experience and networks to discover which activities work best and why.”

Groundswell Network Support UK will receive around £50,000 to help homeless people and rough sleepers in Hackney access the right health and social care support and advice by pairing people with volunteers who have also experienced homelessness, to support them through appointments and health services

The community groups were asked to demonstrate how their projects could tackle some of the key enduring health and wellbeing problems in the borough. Some of these issues include identifying people at risk of falls, improving health and wellbeing at work, supporting people to recover if they have had a life-changing illness or injury, and improving access to health and social care for homeless people and rough sleepers.

Catherine Macadam, Lay Member for Patient and Public Involvement at the City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I am really pleased to see the Healthier City and Hackney Fund being rolled out to support community and voluntary groups and organisations for the second year running. The fund enables them to develop and implement innovative solutions to address complex health problems. I think some of the projects being developed over the coming months are extremely exciting and I look forward to finding out about their positive impact on our local communities, working in partnership with mainstream services.”

As well as receiving funding, groups are supported to work with one another and existing services, to address the particular health challenge they are focusing on. The groups will also receive support from Council and health service officers to help them succeed and promote their achievements.

The next round of grant funding for projects is likely to open for applications in September 2019, and priority topics for funding will be announced nearer the time.

For more information on the fund, visit https://www.hackney.gov.uk/healthier-city-and-hackney-fund

Cllr Feryal Demirci, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care, Transport and Parks
The Healthier City and Hackney Fund is a way of funding different solutions to address long-standing or deep-rooted health inequalities. Through this project the Council can work closely with key partners including the NHS and community and support groups to identify people’s health needs and deliver better targeted approaches.
Cllr Feryal Demirci, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care, Transport and Parks

The list of organisations to receive funding under different categories:

Healthy Activities: Workforce Health for projects to work with and support small businesses, (less than 10 employees), and the voluntary and community sector to develop effective and sustainable health offers, for the physical and mental health of employees.

1. Mental Fight Club - the Dragon Cafe in the City project will offer a range of creative, wellbeing activities to promote and support mental wellbeing and recovery from mental ill health in an open, safe and calm environment.

2. Turkish Cypriot Community Association - to empower Turkish speaking employees in small businesses with the skills, knowledge and information to help improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing and reducing periods of illness linked to in-work poverty.


Healthy Activities: Supporting recovery of those who had experienced a life-changing illness to support residents, recovering from a life-changing illness or injury following clinical treatment to aid their recovery, and enable them to access mainstream services. 

3. Islington Music Forum (Key Changes) - young people learning to manage severe mental health conditions, will be supported to take part in social and leisure activities to help support their transition back into the community, after leaving hospital.

4. Find Your Voice CIC - an educational singing and music programme for adults with physical disabilities, to improve fitness, health, and wellbeing and increasing their participation in arts and community activities.


Healthy Activities: Supporting families to manage common childhood illnesses closer to home to empower families to prevent and manage childhood illnesses with education, information and knowledge about different points to access healthcare.

5. Family Actionto support families with children with low to moderate physical, behavioural or mental health illnesses/disabilities, to manage health and wellbeing better from home, reducing unnecessary hospital attendance.

6. Hatzola Trust Ltd - to empower parents and others through a multi-channel, communication and information approach to avoid, prevent and manage childhood illnesses and minor accidents, reducing their dependency on emergency services and the NHS.


Healthy Activities: Navigating Health and Social Care for Homeless people and Rough Sleepers to support homeless people to confidently access the right care within our local systems.

7. Groundswell Network Support UK - a peer led support service for homeless people to tackle health issues and empower them to access health services independently through practical support, skills and confidence. 


Healthy Ideas: Identifying people at risk of falls to help better understand, who is most at risk of a fall that causes injury, and how to prevent this for other people by engaging them in training on preventing falls before they happen. 

8. Age UK East London - looking at preventative methods to stop older women in Hackney from falling and risking injury.

9. Anchor Hanover Group (formerly Hanover Housing Association) - looking at  'Functional Fitness MOTs' (FFMOT) and evidence-based exercise, delivered in retirement homes for those who may be at risk of falling. 


Healthy Ideas: Tackling loneliness in under 50s to look at the factors causing loneliness in Hackney and the City of London, identifying who is suffering and tools that exist to alleviate loneliness.

10. Renaisi - tackling loneliness in people under the age of 50, from migrant communities. 

11. Social Action for Health - co-producing peer support and tackling loneliness in single people under the age of 50 with long-term conditions.

12. Shoreditch Trust - activities to address isolation in young people aged 14 to 19-years-old, who are in education, employment or training but do not access local youth services.

13. Volunteering Matters - mentoring and support by volunteer 'activity buddies'  for people aged 25 plus with learning disabilities, who are at greater risk of social isolation and loneliness. 


Healthy Ideas: Oral health promotion in specific communities to test and develop a pilot campaign for oral health promotion for different communities in City and Hackney. 

14. The Sonshine Club - looking at embedding an Oral Health week in local schools' curriculums, to increase awareness amongst children within the Charedi Orthodox Jewish community, of the importance of oral health.