Three major projects are underway in Solihull, thanks to over £1.6m being allocated from the Fairer Futures Fund’s Solihull Early Implementers Scheme to improve health and care for residents.

Delivered through - and with - the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector, the projects being funded particularly focus on improving the lives of those who are the most vulnerable; hard to reach; and suffer the greatest health disparities.

Solihull’s Place Committee, which brings together the NHS, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and the voluntary, faith and community sectors, approved the allocation of funding for the projects according to agreed criteria.

The three large projects funded are:

  • Health in the Hearts of the Community Programme - spearheaded by Colebridge Trust working with Three Trees, Cars Area Together and Amba care solutions.  The project, which has received almost £400,000 from the Fairer Futures Fund, focuses on improving heart and lung health to prevent and manage conditions including cardiovascular disease (CVD), dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) whilst also improving other aspects of population health and access to services.  
  • Solihull Family Hubs which will see Solihull Council working with various voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) and health organisations. The award of almost £600,000 from the Fairer Futures Fund will drive key elements of transformational change that are critical to the success of the borough’s four Family Hubs and Early Help offer by promoting new models of integrated working; maximising value; developing innovative solutions; driving community engagement and co-production; fostering leadership in the VCFSE sector; and testing and evaluation of new approaches. 
  • Support for Young People with health and wellbeing needs in North Solihull - led by Ordinary Magic working with Urban Heard, Inclusive Sports and Meriden Adventure Playground.  This project, which has received almost £540,000 from the Fairer Futures Fund, will develop an integrated model of wellbeing support across North Solihull, making health and wellbeing services for children and families more accessible and enabling partners to work together.  The three-year project will use the digital platform, JoyApp, as a gateway to local services. The app will act like a ‘marketplace’ - providing professionals with better connection and improved knowledge of services locally as well as availability and direct referrals of services for families with one or two areas of need.  

Chet Parmar, Chief Executive of Colebridge Trust, said: “The Health in the Hearts of The Community project is about enabling the community to help itself. We will offer comprehensive training and support to our teams of staff and local volunteers to improve health literacy and the understanding of risk factors amongst local residents. We will do this through one-to-ones, workshops, community activities, peer-to-peer support groups. We’re really pleased to be working collaboratively with our third sector partners to help Solihull residents manage their health better.”

Councillor Tony Dicicco, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Health, said: “Our four Family Hubs are a physical expression of our ambition to support our families and communities to live well in Solihull. They embody our prevention strategy which is about taking action to stop issues arising in the first place and when they do, providing the appropriate support to ‘nip things in the bud.”

Michelle O’Connor, of Ordinary Magic, said: “Our Connected Care project is all about supporting young people to be able to easily access support for their health and wellbeing. We’ll be launching JoyApp, for professionals to be able to refer children, young people and their families to a health and wellbeing co-ordinator who can support them to get their needs met through a wide range of place-based services. We hope this will help us offer a truly joined-up approach to working families and young people so they can get the local services they need, be that health, social care or education.”