Local project making a difference

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

A local charity, Justice Prince CIC, has been featured in Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On, a new report on health inequalities in England, published today.

The UCL Institute of Health Equity (IHE) and The Health Foundation have published a new report on the ten-year anniversary of the original review to examine how health inequalities have changed and what progress has been made on tackling the social determinants of health. The report has found Life expectancy in England has stalled, which has not happened since at least 1900 and that investing in the wider conditions in which we live is the most effective way to improve a nation’s health.

The Local Conversation in Longbenton supported by Justice Prince CIC is one such case study chosen to appear in the report. The project aims to reduce health inequalities in local people by engaging residents in building a shared vision and priorities so that they can take action on social determinants of health. The project has seen success in that now 98% of residents in Longbenton are satisfied with the local area as a place to live, in contrast with an average of 76% in England, and an average 64% in similarly disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

Residents are also leading a range of activities, developed new skills, have created resident-led Environmental Action Teams creating a sense of pride, greater levels of trust and a deeper sense of belonging to the neighbourhood, outcomes that steer towards a greater sense of control and, in time, better health outcomes.

John Hume, Chief Executive of the Trust, said, “This hugely important report demonstrates that health inequalities are widening and life expectancy is stalling. These findings are fuelled by differences in wealth and the conditions into which people are born and live. We’re delighted that projects we fund have been included in this report as examples of positive action in tackling health inequalities. Social connections and collective control both have strong evidence bases as being protective for health. They are also critical foundations for supporting local people to play a very active role in addressing the social determinants of health within their neighbourhoods. The ultimate responsibility for health inequalities and the social determinants which cause them, rests with the Government, so whilst the third sector can play its part, there needs to be clear and decisive action from the Government to stop this alarming trend.” We’re delighted that projects we fund have been included in this hugely important report.”

81% of residents participating in Local Conversations feel that ‘when people in this area get involved in their community, they can really change the way that their area is run’, compared with an England average of 50%.

Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, said, “What the Local Conversation has achieved in Longbenton is just truly amazing. I’ve watched people grow, I’ve watched people develop and become confident, gain skills, get in to work. It’s just a wonderful feeling.”

Wendy Burke, Director of Public Health North Tyneside, said, “The Local Conversation in Longbenton is led by local people, for local people. Involving them, engaging them, supporting them to build confidence and self-esteem and social contact because we know that these are the building blocks to help people take control, and influence and improve not only their own health and wellbeing but also the health and wellbeing within the community.”

Julie Cruddas, Company Director of Justice Prince CIC, said, “Local Conversation in Longbenton is thriving with proven results of tackling long term social and economic disadvantage. Justice Prince working collaboratively with Peoples Health Trust has levered an additional £580,000 over six years to support residents , who are often living chaotic life styles, to overcome complex barriers to gaining sustainable employment.

Justice Prince believe that employment is fundamental to people feeling part of society and having a sense of control over their own lives, employment goes a long way to tackling the social determinants of health inequalities. We are delighted that through the investment initially made by Peoples Health Trust we have supported 220 Longbenton residents into employment, those typically furthest away from the labour market. We have also supported 167 residents progress into formal training achieving Level 4 / 5 qualifications which is just brilliant.”

North East & Cumbria

Northern Health Equality CIC

Tackling health inequalities