The Prospect and Well North teams all know that the long term solutions for building healthy, vibrant communities resides in the communities themselves. The NHS and other organisations are vital, but we have learned, through working with ten northern towns and cities as partners to the Well North programme, that well being is as much about people feeling they belong – having friends, family, a job, a decent home and quality activities around them.
We spent several months engaging with local leaders – with backgrounds in public sector, public health, social business, community activists, cancer services, politics – you name it – to understand what kind of leadership and team is required to deliver healthy happy communities. We learned that alongside community leadership – there needs to be a skill to connect to or create big opportunities, such as regeneration or business, and ensure that local people are part of this. Leadership needs to be shared, focused on the greater good, and entrepreneurial, and we developed our programme to deliver this.
In Skelmersdale, working closely with Well Skelmersdale’s Kathryn Kavanagh - Donna, Jackie, Matt, Richard and our actor colleagues delivered a four day programme over five months, with supporting one-to-one coaching and a 360 feedback assessment against our bespoke leadership framework. We will be supporting delegates in action learning sets culminating in a celebration event in November this year. Already delegates have developed new aspects of their social businesses, acquired funding to develop their offers and are collaborating together.
In Doncaster, the Well North programme focused on the community in Denaby Main and, following evaluation, they wish to replicate the approach in three new communities. Led by their Director of Public Health, Rupert Sucking, we worked closely with Vanessa and Emma to tailor a programme for public health people alongside community and social leaders. It's not often that this mix of people embark on a leadership development programme together – this was hugely powerful and evaluated really well. Several of the delegates are now planning to create a shared social enterprise, which we will be supporting them in developing in the coming months.