This is the first of a series of blogs where Sarah Hudson, 10GM Project Manager (Population Health,) looks at the role of the VCSE sector as a champion of community-led prevention work in Greater Manchester. In her role, Sarah works on various projects and programmes to scale up and embed the VCSE sector as a strategic partner and provider of services in Greater Manchester’s Population Health system.

At 10GM we know that wider determinants of health, such as insecure, low-paid employment and inaccessible housing, significantly impact our mental and physical health. Over time, these cause health inequalities and result in poorer health and wellbeing outcomes. There’s a great opportunity to tackle this across Greater Manchester and create sustainable change through long-term investment in local community-led prevention and sustainable strategic partnerships between the VCSE sector and local health systems.

There are lots of examples of best practices for community-led prevention across Greater Manchester. Caribbean African Health Network’s (CAHN) Knowledge Access Screening Opportunities (KASO) project in Manchester recognises that Caribbean and African people are twice more likely to suffer higher rates of morbidity and mortality from Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) , and builds knowledge about CVD-related conditions in a culturally, and religiously appropriate way, to ensure that it is understood and meaningful to the communities they serve.

The Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) tailored its work to the local communities’ needs. Alliances of local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations ensure holistic provision targeted at individuals, families, schools, and communities of highest need. Their work identified a strategic need to engage with youth groups to mitigate anti-social behaviour actively and supported the regeneration of New Bury Boxing Club. A Social Value Assessment created by SportFin shows that not only has it deterred violence and anti-social behaviours in the local community, but it has also contributed to reducing associated risks for CVD, diabetes, mental health, and many other health outcomes.

“A community-led approach means that the community are involved from start to finish (…) to find out the strengths, challenges, and needs of the community”.
– Michael Phipps, VCSE Strategic Lead for Violence Reduction, 10GM.

VCSE organisations are well networked and experienced in collaboration to meet the needs of our populations best  sharing resources and skills. Our sector delivers holistic, person-centred support to individuals, and often specialises in the provision of services for underserved communities who experience greater health inequity. As this series progresses, we’ll take a closer look at the opportunities we have to work together to tackle health inequalities across Greater Manchester in a community-led way.

Get involved Tackling health inequalities and empowering communities through Prevention workshop – 21 June 2024

Join this workshop for Greater Manchester VCSE organisations and members of the Alternative Provider Collaborative to share learning on tackling local health inequalities through prevention.

We are especially interested in community-led Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Diabetes prevention but welcome any VCSE group addressing health inequalities.

This workshop aims to embed the VCSE sector as a strategic partner in Greater Manchester’s Population Health system.

Eventbrite here

We’re looking for contributors to our blog! If you’d like to share your experience of community-led prevention work in the VCSE sector across Greater Manchester and how this has supported your community, please contact sarah.hudson@10gm.org.