| Helen Sharp
Report summary: People Powered Health in Greater Manchester
Published by: 10GM
Edited by: Carey Bamber, Ben Gilchrist and Steve Goslyn
Date: September 2017
[This report] is about thousands of acts of kindness, compassion and connection that build into communities of people feeling healthier and happier. Halima Khan, Nesta
This report is a showcase of small and larger initiatives across Greater Manchester which are in some way powered by communities and individuals with the objective to support and improve people’s health and well-being. In particular they demonstrate how everyone is reachable and everyone can take steps forward with the right support and the right incentive.
Greater Manchester challenged itself two years ago to make the greatest and fastest improvement possible in the health of their population and this has been instrumental in driving the people-powered momentum in the area. Nesta has also played an important part since 2011. Some of the projects featured have been directly supported by them including Stockport Together and Dadly Does It.
Our favourite case studies
There are seventeen case studies within the report with a description of the activities, their ethos and people-powered objectives plus some detail about the impact of their work. They range from peer mentoring, co-production and food-based initiatives to communities taking over and managing local buildings and mobilising people around issues they care most about. My particular favourites are:
Inspired Taskforce in Levenshulme: Older local people developed a social action group who spent time asking other older people What would make the local area more age-friendly? The Taskforce’s first campaign was ‘awareness raising’ to highlight trip hazards with bio-degradable green spray paint, later dubbed ‘the grey graffiti gang‘ (page 13).
- Inspire in Oldham: Established in 2011 by a group of local women, they use co-production and ABCD to invite women to self-organise around issues that matter to them. The organisation’s structure is based on a co-operative strengths based model that is gender specific and where leadership is amongst the many. (p 15)
- The Prevention Alliance (TPA) Community Anchors: These are community members who are naturally good at building relationships and informally assigned with the role of welcoming people directed there by the TPA into a variety of spaces and groups. The important thing here is that the anchors would be in that space anyway so there is no extra work or ‘volunteering’ role for them (p 26).
- My Life Legacy: My Life evolved from someone’s front room and now offers a wide and diverse range of person centred opportunities for all. From alternative day support and education, to accessible holiday lets and a specialist travel agency to find accessible personalised holidays/respite. (p 34)
There is much to celebrate here and not only are they stories of success and achievement, they will also inspire others trying to do something similar as they begin to explore the power of people.
Photo by Jason Briscoe