“The solution lies within communities.”
Systems need to stop expecting people and communities to trust them and begin trusting people and communities. Who knows what communities want more than those that live and work in those communities every day? We have seen remarkable creativity, confidence, collaboration, and positive outcomes from the COVID-19 Community Champions scheme, and this demonstrates what can be done when communities are empowered. We will look towards an Asset Based Community Development approach that builds on the strengths and gifts that already exist within our communities and help to mobilize individuals, associations, and institutions to come together and really thrive.
What good looks like
- Invest in community development approaches that empower people and communities to build capacity and confidence.
Research has shown women from Black African and Caribbean communities are known to develop breast cancer at a much younger age compared to white women and seeking help and health advice at an earlier stage can contribute significantly to reducing inequalities in breast cancer outcomes.
Using funds awarded by West Midlands Cancer Alliance, the ICB involvement team has worked with ICS partners to design and commission a two-stage project to understand the barriers to attending screening appointments and co-design solution focused initiatives.
In stage one, the ICB has commissioned local VCSE groups and organisations working with Black African and Caribbean women to host conversations in places and ways that are familiar and comfortable. Recognising our VCSE and Healthwatch partners as the ‘trusted voices’ in many communities throughout the Black Country is one of our 11 involvement principles. They are best placed to host these conversations and it's important that we support them if we’re to improve the health and happiness of our population.
The University of Wolverhampton is leading the co-design process and the conversations and insight gathered in stage one will inform a set of ‘people powered’ experiments that are co-designed by Black African and Caribbean women, health and care professionals, and commissioners across the Black Country.