Health Equity Challenge
To coincide the anniversary of the first #what are we missing? event in Suffolk and North East Essex in June 2020, we launched a 100 Day Challenge to drive health equity across our ICS.
In order to take up the challenge, we asked colleagues from across all ICS partner organisations to participate in a half-day online workshop around health equity.
The workshop explored the reasons why addressing inequalities in health and care requires consideration of health equity and justice. It then builds on the outcome-based approach already embedded in our ICS and introduced the broader concepts of ;
- Awareness – of our own privilege and biases, of the disadvantages others experience, and the complex intersectionality of living with multiple disadvantages.
- Assessment – of the impact on health inequalities of what we do in health and care, so that we can take steps to achieve equity and justice for everyone.
- Allyship – together with co-production, to make sure that we understand the issues and work together to find the right solutions.
- Accountability – meeting our legal and moral duties towards all our communities.
The workshop was delivered by the ICS Central Team with support from facilitators with lived experience from a diverse range of backgrounds.
After the workshop participants worked with local groups and communities to identify one or more ‘benefits’ that they believe will help to enable health equity, either in their local area or within a project or wider programme. Together they co-produced activities that would enable those benefits for local people.
Our 100 Day Challenge was supported by an ICS-wide Equalities Reference Group which provided expertise and enable sharing of experiences and best practice.
The workshop included interactive exercises, conversations with people with lived experience and was delivered using a variety of online platforms. Places are free of charge and the course is delivered over a 2.5hour session.
Feedback from previous course participants:
“This was by far one of the best courses I have ever done. The bravery of X to tell us her story from her perspective was humbling and makes you think so differently – this will really make a difference to how schemes/policies are shaped. The quiz was interactive and fun even if the correct answers were shocking.”
“I just wanted to say how thought-provoking yesterday’s session was. I loved the icebreaker (I usually groan when somebody says we are going to do an icebreaker!)… It is so good to understand ‘lived experience’ and it made me realise it is not always about trying to fix everything for people, but it is often about people having access to a listening/ supportive ear. I thought she was really brave to do that.”
Case Study – Yvette Wetton, CVS Tendring
Yvette Wetton, CVS Tendring’s Strategic Partnerships Manager attended the Health Equity Challenge workshop in August 2021. CVS Tendring is an umbrella organisation for voluntary and community organisations in Tendring.
Yvette is the lead for Sector Sustainability within the organisation and works primarily with community organisations helping them to deliver their activities through information, funding and connecting them with others. Yvette and her colleagues decided to accept the challenge and got together to agree on actions that they would collectively deliver over 100 days.
In our Q&A, Yvette discusses the nature of health inequalities in her area of work, taking up the workshop and the measures her organisation have enacted under the 100 Day Challenge to tackle health inequalities.
1. Tell us briefly about your organisation and how inequalities are felt in your area of work.
The very nature of the voluntary and community sector means that we often pick up those people and communities who experience the most inequalities within our activities and services. As an organisation CVS Tendring speaks to people in our communities through our clubs, classes, and activities as well as through our Social Prescribers and Volunteers who work throughout the district. Our infrastructure role means that we are connected with hundreds of voluntary and community organisations, large and small, all of whom are serving a section of our communities whether this is based on individual characteristics or geographic location.
2. How did the health equity workshop inform your organisation’s drive towards enabling health equity?
Whilst as an organisation we always strive to support our communities to be the best that they can be the health equity workshop helped us to concentrate our efforts and focus our thoughts on some of the ongoing difficulties that some people experience and the impact that this might have on their life experiences and expectancy. We were also able to highlight the other community organisations working locally who provide support and help to people who are ordinarily disadvantaged.
3. What activities are CVS Tendring pursuing under the Challenge and why?
Aim high they say so we decided to set ourselves 10 activities that would include colleagues from across our organisation within our challenge. We planned actions that would challenge us all individually and as a team, to influence how we work with our partner organisations.
4. What is the biggest takeaway from the Health Equity Workshop and the Challenge?
It has opened conversations with partners that we might not have had. It has raised the issues of inequity and the consequences of this beyond health. We thought that we were aiming high, but we have exceeded and gone beyond every single one of our actions which is a great testament to the professionalism and commitment of our team here at CVS Tendring.
5. What advice would you give to others who are contemplating taking up the 100 Day Challenge?
As part of the #100DayHealthEquityChallenge we shared information with other voluntary and community organsiations across Tendring so that they too could pick up the flag and run with their own challenge. That offer still stands, as an organisation we are happy to support others to run their own Challenge activities alongside SNEE ICS.