Community Health Champions
The Community Health Champions project has been growing since 2012 and now operates across three North Westminster wards. Run by PDT and commissioned by Tri-Borough Public Health Service there are now over 40 Champions volunteering.
For more information about our individual Community Champions projects and details of how to contact the Project Leaders, click the links below:
For general information about the Community Champions programme at PDT, contact Lizzie Fletcher, Health and Communities Programme Manager, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Champions are local people who volunteer their time and make use of their networks to connect friends, families and neighbours with local services, and spread important messages about health and wellbeing. In return for their time and energy the Champions are provided with access to training, support and guidance to help them pursue their own aspirations and goals. Champions that are looking for work are given access to employment support and advice via PDT’s West Works programme.
There is a strong sense of community locally and a wide range of excellent services on the doorstep; however health indicators are poor and people are not living as well or as long as they could. The Community Champions are working hard to spread important messages and promote local services that can make a big difference to people’s health and quality of life. The team is well linked into other initiatives taking place such as early years services. The Community Champions are playing a crucial role in providing support to expectant and new parents in Queen’s Park. The team are starting to work closely with staff from the Children’s Centre alongside midwife and health visitor teams to encourage and support parents to access these important services. Many of the Champions have their own children and know how challenging, lonely and difficult the first few months can be. The team will play a key role in reaching and helping those who need more support, whilst gaining valuable hands-on experience that will help those who want to pursue a career in this field.
The Community Champion model is rooted in a community engagement approach to health promotion evidenced in the ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People’ (DH 2010) White Paper. It recognises the value of local insight and knowledge to design or improve services, leading to more appropriate, effective, cost-effective and sustainable services. The project works to increases confidence, self-esteem and self-efficacy and gives people an increased sense of control over decisions affecting their lives.