A new £3m programme to fund partnerships between local charities and the public sector has been announced by the King's Fund, with the aim of improving local healthcare.
The Healthy Communities Together programme is a partnership between health charity King’s Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, which has provided the funding.
The scheme will offer funding and support for charities and community organisations to partner with NHS and local authorities, and help them “boost the health and wellbeing of their communities”.
The King’s Fund said that lack of funding can make it hard for local organisations to “share their knowledge of the community” with the public health sector, whose bureaucracy can be difficult to navigate for charities. The new programme will try to address these issues.
The scheme will open in spring 2020 and will pilot in up to six areas, chosen among those “experiencing the most disadvantage”.
The King's Trust has set up a mailing list for people who are interested in receiving further information as soon as it comes out in the coming weeks.
The programme is part of the King’s Trust new four-year strategy, according to which the charity’s priority areas will be “building healthier places and communities”, “tackling the worst health outcomes” and “supporting people and leaders working in health and care”. Collaboration with partners is also a key element of it.
'The two sectors can struggle to work together'
Richard Murray, chief executive of The King’s Fund, said that charities and public sector can “struggle to work together”, despite “working towards the same goal”.
He said: “The Healthy Communities Together programme will provide the much-needed funding and leadership support to build long-lasting partnerships between local charities, community groups and public sector organisations.
“By working together hand-in-glove, voluntary sector, NHS and local authority organisations will be able to have a bigger impact on the health of their communities.“
Elly De Decker, England director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Whether volunteers delivering a service or professionals striving to provide the best possible health and care, people understand, better than anyone, what is needed to improve their health.
“That is why we’re excited about this partnership, which will enable these sectors to work better together, encourage the exchange of information and ideas, and will empower people to bring about positive change. Because when people are put in the lead, our communities thrive.”
The Healthy Communities Together programme is expected to run for four years.