£12,000 for schemes to tackle health inequalities
Date: 17 June 2019
Three schemes to help disadvantaged women and support vulnerable parents in Oxfordshire have been launched to tackle health inequalities.
The gym-bus, Ark-T project and Home Start Oxford have received a total of £12,000 from a fund set up to reduce health inequalities. This funding goes towards the overall cost of running each scheme.
The schemes include:
- Aspire Oxfordshire’s first ever gym-bus to take sports and physical activity sessions to disadvantaged women across the county to provide them with early support and help them take their first steps towards positive life changes
- Ark-T is helping girls aged 12 to 18 develop life skills through self-care retreats during school holidays, and term-time workshops
- Home Start Oxford provides training for volunteers who offer support, friendship and practical help to families with under-fives, who are vulnerable, isolated or under stress.
This follows the work of Oxfordshire’s Health Inequalities Commission. In 2016, it recommended that more community-based projects should be supported through an innovation fund aimed at reducing health inequalities.
Dr Kiren Collison, Chair of the Health Inequalities Commission, said: “We’re delighted the schemes will encourage young disadvantaged people to make positive changes in their lives. It will allow them to gain more self-confidence through training and to find suitable employment in the long term.
“In addition, the funding will train volunteers to support vulnerable parents with the aim of safeguarding children. We're also promoting sports and activities to improve health and wellbeing.
"Local health and social care partners are committed to reducing health inequalities in Oxfordshire. In addition to these schemes, there is more planned so watch this space!"
Over the past few years, contributions to the innovation fund have come from Oxfordshire’s six local authorities and Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Home Start Oxford was given additional funding via the national Tampon Tax Fund.
Jackie Wilderspin, public health specialist in Oxfordshire County Council’s public health team, said: “We’re keen to promote good practice and support new ways of working to help people tackle inequalities across the county. The projects that have received funding are good examples of innovation and working with people in their communities.”
Dan, who lives in Oxford, will be driving the gym-bus across Oxfordshire. He said: “I’m delighted to be part of this project which will encourage people to get fitter and healthier. Aspire helped me turn my life around and I hope it can do the same for other people.”
Aspire Oxfordshire – Gym-Bus
Aspire Oxfordshire is an employment charity and social enterprise supporting disadvantaged people in Oxfordshire into and towards employment, to break the complex cycles of homelessness, poverty, re-offending or disadvantage.
The funding will contribute to the launch of Oxfordshire's first ever gym-bus to take sports and physical activity sessions to disadvantaged women across the county to provide them with essential early intervention support and help them take their first steps towards positive life changes such as work experience, training, employment, volunteering and secure housing.
Ark-T delivers creative programmes to enable people to learn how to raise self-esteem and build healthy relationships, also develop essential life skills and support progress into education, training, volunteering and employment.
The funding will contribute to self-care retreats during school holidays, and HerSpace term-time workshops for 12 to 18 year old girls where participants develop practical art and design skills which could lead to employment opportunities, build arts and social leadership skills, project management, communication skills, time-management skills and learn about physical and nutritional health creatively.
Home Start Oxford
Home Start Oxford provides training, matching and support of volunteers who offer support, friendship and practical help to families with under-fives, who are vulnerable, isolated or under stress. They work with families with multiple disadvantages and complex needs, including domestic abuse, substance abuse, mental health, learning difficulties, and the greater risks around safeguarding and exploitation that can follow.
Health Inequalities Commission
The Health and Wellbeing Board set up the Health Inequalities Commission in Oxfordshire to review health inequalities across the county. Its work included:
- A series of evidence sessions held by the commission throughout 2016 looking at health inequalities in Oxfordshire. These sessions included representatives of health, local authority and voluntary groups who looked at urban and rural living, the experiences of ethnic minority groups, homelessness and poor housing.
- A final report was submitted by the commission to the Health and Wellbeing Board in late 2016 which outlined recommendations for tackling health inequalities. These included more work around prevention of ill health and the benefits of exercise and the setting up of an innovation fund to launch community based projects.
- The Health Inequalities Commission Implementation Group has been responsible for the setting up of the innovation fund working alongside the Oxfordshire Community Foundation which has been administrating all aspects of the funding.
- The second phase of funding was combined with the ‘Loneliness and Isolation’ grant in February 2019. Two local groups have already received funding: Sound Resource which runs singing sessions for adults in the county and Bookfeast which promotes reading in Oxfordshire.
- A third phase will be delivered - this will allow other community schemes to continue tackling health inequalities. In total it is expected that once all contributions have been received, a total of £24,000 will have been awarded over the three phases of funding.
Health inequalities projects get funding boost
- Date:17 June 2019