Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System (ICS) was given an allocation of £3 million to support the system to deliver local priorities. In December 2018 it was agreed to target this funding to support local neighbourhood action by the community and voluntary sector and primary care.
This funding initiative known as ‘Realising Ambition’ enabled £2 million to be accessed by community and voluntary sector organisations within the three alliances through the Essex and Suffolk Community Foundations, who managed the dispersal of funds on behalf of the ICS through an assessment process and independent panel. £1 million was also given to primary care to support healthy living pharmacies,
Integrated Neighbourhood Teams and local Primary Care Networks.
In 2019, we allocated £2millon of funding to small voluntary and community sector organisations within each of our Alliance areas. By the end of the year we had awarded 74 grants, reaching almost £60,000 beneficiaries, making a real difference to our local communities.
- £676,000 was awarded to Ipswich and East Suffolk Alliance, across 24 Grants; reaching 29, 595 beneficiaries.
- £437,000 was awarded to West Suffolk Alliance, across 24 Grants; reaching 22,855 beneficiaries
- £517,000 was awarded to North East Essex Alliance, across 26 Grants; reaching 7,012 beneficiaries
Before the project: Mr U has been living with pain and health issues for a number of years. He works long hours, 6 days a week in the catering sector, and often finds it difficult to cope with the stress of work. His deteriorating health and increasing pressure of work made him unhappy and very worried, to the extent that his doctor was very concerned for his health and wellbeing.
After engaging with the BSCMS Partnership Project: During such a difficult time in Mr U’s life, he came in contact with our project and one of our staff suggested that he should attend our weekly swimming session. He had been an active swimmer during his early years, but had not participated for a long time and was rather reluctant. Eventually, he attended one of the health events and we suggested that he should seriously consider joining our swimming sessions, which he did, and only a few weeks later he felt a lot better and happier as he felt that a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. Also, now he feels a lot more energetic and has made many new friends; he really looks forward to attending the swimming session every week.
Before the project: Mr A is a young person who lacked confidence and self-esteem as he was not performing well at school. As a result, he looked withdrawn and struggled to interact with his peers and teachers. There was some concern that he was not making sufficient progress with his studies and rarely participated in physical and other related activities.
After engaging with the BSCMS Partnership Project: One of the BSCMS volunteers provided extra support and guidance to Mr A to encourage him to engage in our sports and recreational activities including basketball, fitness and football. During the sessions we discovered that he had a passion for badminton, thus one of our Project Co-ordinators who happens to be a qualified Badminton Coach, worked with him one-to-one. This inspired Mr A to open-up and proactively engage with us and his peers, both at school and beyond. Furthermore, he is now performing much better academically and looks happier and contented than ever before. The teachers and our Project staff have noticed the positive difference we have made, thanks to this project.
JP came into the group after being referred by a family support practitioner, when first meeting JP she was very self-isolated, lacking in self-confidence and very shy around other young people and workers. JP would become anxious if anyone spoke to her and would reject talking in front of others becoming mute. JP suffers with Tourette syndrome and Irlen’s syndrome and is often a target at school, being bullied has knocked her confidence, morale and overall wellbeing causing JP to self-harm on occasions to relieve the stress and refusing to leave the house, this has impacted her attendance at school and JP’s grades were falling.
Since attending the walk and talk let’s get active group JP has managed to build solid relationships with workers and a few young people who also attend the group, parents have feedback that relationships are now also improving at home and JP has started to open up about her feelings with them.
JP has attended the walk and talk let’s get active group for eleven weeks now and has grown so much in the short time she has been with us, with support JP is now attending school most days and has been able to improve her English and science grades and showing good improvement in other lessons also.
Before attending the group JP spent a lot of her time at home in her room socially distancing herself to avoid contact with the outside world, she is now confident leaving the house with family to walk her pet dog, meet other family members for catch ups and has even managed a night away from home at a family members house, which is something JP didn’t think she would ever achieve.
During the sessions JP was first reluctant to take part and was worried about what other young people would think of her and became anxious at the thought of being judged. With encouragement and support from workers and other young people JP joined in with the sessions and would communicate by visual prompts only. Within three weeks JP was talking to small groups of young people and now at week eleven she will confidently talk within a larger group.
Being stuck at home she was taking part in minimal physical activity. Joining in with the group JP has been able to complete a 0-5k training programme each week adding to her distance, so far JP is able to run 3.5k fluently without stopping to walk and is aiming to be able to run the whole 5k before April. JP has enjoyed the programme she is now attending Parkruns weekly on a Saturday at Kesgrave to help her towards her fitness.
JP’s mood has improved she is laughing and seems happier in herself, when attending 4YP she is vibrant and enters the room with a smile and seems keen to socialise with others in who she has built friendships with.
When speaking to workers she has learnt new coping techniques to control the self-harm and is keen to work towards reducing the self-harm further, she has expressed being able to get out in the community with a supportive group has helped her over all mental health as she starts to feel more in control of her anxiety.
The Realising Ambition programme marks the start of a new approach to integrated working by leveraging action in local communities combined with strategic leadership to ensure commitment, prioritise resources and ensure concerted and consistent effort across all agencies and sectors towards the delivery of the following ‘Higher Ambitions’ for the people living in Suffolk and North East Essex;
- Reducing health inequalities
- A healthier life for everyone
- Emotional wellbeing from the start of life
- Zero Suicide
- Earlier diagnosis and treatment for cancer
- An effective treatment pathway for obesity
- The best quality of life as we grow older
- The care and support we need at the end