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Shaping Places for Healthier Lives: Shropshire Council

Shropshire’s long term vision: statutory and voluntary services will work together with communities to ensure everyone in Shropshire has access to the help and support they need to prevent food insecurity.

hands holding a green net bag open to reveal fresh onions and potatoes harvested from an alotment

Our population will have sufficient income, access to enough healthy, affordable food and the knowledge and skills needed to prepare it. As a consequence, the population will enjoy good health and wellbeing and inequalities will be reduced.  

The target beneficiaries are residents of South-West Shropshire however by embedding whole system approaches to address food insecurity, through shared learning, all of Shropshire will benefit.  Within South-West Shropshire action will be prioritised in electoral wards where food insecurity is greatest.     

The county’s rurality poses significant challenges for those on low incomes with the cost of an essential shopping basket in one area of Shropshire costing almost 2.5 times more than in another. Highlighted are eight electoral wards where these communities have higher rates of obesity, hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer compared with Shropshire’s average. Childhood obesity is a specific challenge fundamentally associated with food insecurity along with deprivation.


Achieving long-term health requires improvement in a broad, complex range of inter-connected factors.

Shropshire’s vision will see:  

  • System decision-makers appreciating complexity and more consistently adopting whole system approaches across the determinants of health, having a synergistic impact on health and well-being outcomes. Health in all policies will be evident.  
  • All of Shropshire’s system will be contributing to a reduction in poverty and risk of poverty will be identified early with proactive interventions and support provided. There will be easier and increased access to benefits, support schemes and hardship grants by those eligible. As the key driver of food insecurity and of wider ill-health addressing poverty is fundamental to health improvement and reduced health inequalities.  
  • A re-framing of the narrative around poverty and food insecurity with reduced stigma and the provision of active mutual support within our communities. This will have a specific impact on mental well-being, reducing stress and anxiety and enabling individuals to access the support available to them.  
  • Local communities and system leaders will work together maximising the value of local assets and building on the enthusiasm, skills and resources available. This will build community well-being through strengthening the factors that support good health and that protect against ill-health.   

Realising the vision will result in thriving communities, with improved life-chances enjoying improved well-being and reduced ill-health. Residents will be supported by a system that has a granular understanding of the challenges faced and with the skills to co-produce solutions.

Read more about the progress made so far and the lessons learned in the Shropshire: Food insecurity in rural areas case study.

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