Devon’s Voluntary Sector Assembly Calls for Greater Focus on Preventative Health Measures
Members of the leadership group from Devon’s newly formed Torbay, Plymouth and Devon VCSE (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise) Assembly joined leaders from health and care across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay in June for the second Change Leader event organised by One Devon, the NHS Integrated Care Board.
The ‘Working Together to Improve Population Health in One Devon (Prevention and Health Inequalities)’ conference, held at Sandy Park, Exeter on 23 June was attended by more than 90 key figures from across the health and care sector which includes NHS Devon, local authorities and the voluntary sector. Its aim was to bring together very senior leaders to work on key strategic issues, strengthening collaborative and integrated working.
Janie Moor, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice South Hams and Andy Moreman, CEO of Young Devon, made an impassioned plea to system leaders to hear the stories of individuals and think about the ‘whole person’ when designing and developing new services.
Janie Moor said: “At Citizens Advice, every day our volunteers see the effects of socio-economic problems bearing down on people’s mental health and wellbeing. In Devon we are blessed with a beautiful natural environment which many people can take advantage of. But for people experiencing health inequalities, the pressures of low or unstable incomes, poor transport networks, poor broadband coverage and cold, damp, unaffordable housing, really takes its toll. People’s wellbeing and resilience are often diminished, reducing their capacity and capability to live happy, healthy and productive lives.
“We believe the voluntary sector has a huge part to play in building a preventative approach to healthcare and reducing health inequalities. And we believe the voluntary sector in Devon is primed, and ready to support.”
Andy Moreman says: “I’ve worked in the voluntary sector both here in Devon and further afield for many years. There’s general recognition that the work charities do makes a real difference, and helps improve people’s lives. But it’s time for the part that the voluntary sector plays to be recognised at a system level. Too often we’re like the vegetables on your plate, you know you should eat them – but you leave them to last. We are calling for VCSE sector to be the first port of call in a new preventative approach– not an afterthought.”
The Torbay, Plymouth and Devon VCSE Assembly brings together independent charities and community-led organisations so that people, communities and organisations can contribute and engage in improving how important services are designed and delivered in Devon. For more information about the Torbay, Plymouth and Devon VCSE Assembly, contact email@example.com. To join the Assembly mailing list, please visit: https://forms.gle/aiqVu1JaAFE1FUmh8
Notes to editors:
The Torbay, Plymouth and Devon VCSE Assembly brings together independent charities, social enterprises and community-led organisations across Torbay, Plymouth and Devon. The assembly aims to support, complement and add value to local VCSE networks and partnerships, including Local Care Partnerships.
Through the assembly, third sector organisations, community service specialists and people with lived experience are enabled and supported to engage at a strategic level on service design and co-production. We are not only a voice for the sector at a strategic level, but also we aim to give voice to our clients and service users.
We are not a membership organisation – anyone who wants to be involved, can be involved. Instead, we are a space where people, communities and organisations can contribute and engage in improving how important services are designed and delivered in Devon.
We encompass ALL areas of VCSE service delivery and people-led change, whether that’s nature and environment, transport, housing, health, enterprise – and any other area that supports Devon’s people and places.