How health empowerment can work for you

Client:
London Sustainability Exchange (LSx)
Start date:
February 2010
Completed:
December 2010

A series of briefing notes from events targeted at Councillors on how to advocate health through community empowerment

London Sustainability Exchange (LSx) ran this seminar on How health empowerment can work for you on behalf of Wellnet, London Civic Forum and London Empowerment Partnership at the end of February 2010. This partnership event brought together London Councillors, community workers, practitioners and event organisers.

Objectives

The aim of the event was to:

  • educate, inspire and enable Councillors to champion health through community empowerment;
  • help councillors find common solutions to the barriers to engagement of local communities in decisions about health in:
    • their scrutiny;
    • local community advocacy;
    • supporting policy making; and
    • empowering communities to access appropriate health and social care; and
  • provide an opportunity to discuss issues of common concern with other Councillors and to reflect on, and learn about, new approaches.

Method

Brook Lyndhurst was tasked with attending the event and acting as an impartial rapporteur. This role entailed taking notes during the presentations and discussion at the events and then drawing out the key analytical issues in a briefing note to act as a record of the facilitated discussion and to inform the development of future events.

Findings

The event and briefing note achieved the following, they:

  • unpacked the terminology and complexity behind community empowerment;
  • outlined the key barriers (getting communities involved, changing social identity, being overwhelmed with information and juggling different responsibilities and priorities);
  • explored the opportunities (linking health empowerment with other agendas, looking for pre-existing community access points, making use of community diversity and drawing on peer pressure);
  • highlighted examples of good practice; and
  • recommended how to facilitate empowerment and summarised ideas for future events.
     

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