This section outlines efforts being made by councils and other organisations to enhance people's health and wellbeing, on which the rising cost of living has impacted.
Bath and North East Somerset Council are continuing to mobilise their cross-partner Community Wellbeing Hub to support the most vulnerable residents, most recently addressing the pressures created by the cost of living crisis.
A team of youth ambassadors have led a project in the Oxfordshire district of Cherwell to get children from its most deprived neighbourhoods active. Children and their families are invited to take part in 12-week activity programmes before being given discounted access to local leisure services.
Cheshire’s Natural Health Service uses the best of the county’s green space assets to help tackle recognised local health inequalities. This initiative builds on the growing body of evidence that activities in the natural environment can have a significant impact on keeping people healthy.
Essex County Council implemented a dynamic and ambitious countywide approach to reduce homelessness and increase the supply and quality of housing for vulnerable people. The impact can be seen in the predicted reductions in homelessness and rough sleeping within Essex, as well as in the strength of the partnerships created.
Gloucestershire County Council has two new projects to target families with children under the age of five in the county’s most disadvantaged areas. It is in recognition that families with babies and toddlers born during the pandemic will need extra support given the disruption to services.
Harrogate Borough Council has set up a community health and wellbeing company, Brimhams Active, to run its gyms, leisure centres and community hubs. In addition to the universal offer normally associated with the sector, Brimhams Active focuses on people who were not the average gym users, taking a holistic approach to wellbeing. The company is getting the gyms and leisure centres to expand their offer, running everything from specialist rehab to falls prevention.
Hull’s new approach to child obesity rests on the premise that unhealthy weight is not just a public health problem but cuts across all the council’s areas of responsibility. Hundreds of people were brought together to discuss how it needs to be tackled, leading to the emergence of 12 themes.
Social prescribing is delivered in Barking and Dagenham as a service embedded within the local authority, working in partnership with other statutory services within the council.
Waltham Forest Borough Council was the first local authority in England to introduce planning guidance to restrict new fast-food outlets within 400 metres of schools and youth facilities. The policy aims to limit the opportunities that young people have to eat fast food, to try to reduce childhood obesity.
The Healthy Holidays scheme provides activities and food over the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays to vulnerable children, primarily those eligible for Free School Meals.
The Our Way Leeds service was established in July 2020 to develop a citywide service for young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. It provides counselling, supported accommodation, pre-tenancy support and crisis intervention to young people, with a focus on mental health and wellbeing.
The Dundas Shopping Centre in the heart of Middlesbrough town centre is the Live Well Centre, a one-stop shop for healthy living, which is run by the Council’s public health team. The centre was launched in 2017 and has gradually been expanded to include a wide range of services from smoking cessation and substance misuse to an exercise-on-referral service and sexual health clinic.
Oldham Youth Council prepared and presented a motion for the Council to pay the prescription charges for care leavers for whom they are corporate parents.
This programme aims to tackle holiday hunger, isolation, and inactivity during the school holidays. It focuses on children aged 5 to 11 years old who are eligible for free school meals. Children are referred to the programme by their schools and other agencies.
Health inequalities hub
Our health inequalities hub shines a light on case studies focusing on health inequalities from councils across the country.
Cost of living hub
Councils and local partners have delivered remarkable services and support to protect their residents against higher costs, targeting help at those facing the most complex challenges. This hub is designed to share best practice and help councils support their residents through this difficult time.