The Community Champions programme uses a community development approach to improving health and wellbeing and tackling health inequalities.
The programme is delivered by community champions; trained volunteers who work closely with the local NHS, councils and the voluntary sector to improve health and wellbeing.
- Health promotion: community champions deliver and evaluate the impact of health promotion activities and campaigns to groups who find it difficult to access mainstream services. Their work includes physical activity and personal training sessions, smoking cessation, lung and bowel cancer awareness campaigns and child oral health promotion.
- Community research: community champions undertake research and gather community insight to identify local health and social care needs. This informs service development through an in-depth understanding of different communities’ health beliefs, attitudes and perceptions e.g. understanding child oral health and access to dental services, Team White City community insight research on community budgeting.
- Signposting and reducing social isolation: community champions use their unique position within local communities to connect friends, neighbours and residents through community events and by supporting them to make best use of local resources, including health, social care, voluntary sector and children’s services e.g. through the delivery of Be Inspired community information events and community outreach work.
- Co-design services: community champions work closely with public sector colleagues to help design and improve services to ensure they meet the needs of local people e.g. the development of local Wellbeing Maps.