We were delighted to meet our new mentee groups as we kick off the fourth successful year of the Elevate Community Mentoring and Grants Programme in Banbridge on 28 September 2023. 21 groups were successful in securing up to £5,000 through the Public Health Agency (PHA) funded programme through the Transformation Work Stream, delivered by Community Development and Health Network (CDHN).
The Elevate programme offers a range of training, networking and support opportunities where local groups apply community development approaches to address health inequalities at a local level. CDHN will work in partnership with highly established mentors across each Trust to support the mentee groups in delivering their projects. This year’s mentors are ARC Healthy Living Centre, Co Down Rural Community Network (CDRCN), Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership (MEAAP) and Supporting Communities.
We have a fantastic variety of projects this year that demonstrate a strong commitment to addressing health inequalities in their local communities. The target groups vary across the life course from children to older people, the BAME community, asylum seekers and people living with disabilities. Projects will focus on alleviating loneliness and social isolation with a range of initiatives such as men’s sheds and digital inclusion programmes tailored to older people. Other projects will work with asylum seekers and the BAME community, equipping them with practical skills such as emotional resilience and language support. Due to the cost-of-living crisis and rising inflation costs, there was an increased number of applications aimed at addressing food insecurity and mental health.
Janelle Clegg, Senior Health & Social Wellbeing Improvement Officer at the PHA said: “The Elevate programme provides a unique opportunity for the development of skills, knowledge and expertise in community development. It is great to see the wide range of projects that have been successful this year across various groups. These projects will help contribute to reducing health inequalities and achieving better health and wellbeing outcomes”.
Stephanie Houston, Senior Training and Development officer at CDHN commented: “I am looking forward to being part of the Mentees Elevate journey in this year’s programme and to support the groups to address health inequalities in their local communities. We have a fantastic range of applicants this year who are all passionate about making a difference at a local level.”
Elevate 2023-2024 groups include: