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Innovative project partnerships help CCG finish as Communicate Award finalists

A series of innovative, community, partner-led projects which are enabling residents to enhance their health and wellbeing, have been recognised for their great benefit to the NHS Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) population - with the CCG finishing as finalists at the NHS Communicate Awards 2021.

Organisations working with and across the Frimley CCG geographical area on the Innovation Fund - ranging from social care, local authorities, charitable and voluntary sectors - have been recognised in the Working In Partnership category, which highlights teams who have collaborated on a successful communications and engagement project or campaign.

NHS Frimley CCG was featured at the online ceremony on 16 September, having been rated as outstanding by the expert awards judging panel from 280 submissions.

Community impact

The virtual event also showcased the vibrant community impact which has helped secure NHS Frimley CCG’s nomination.

Including Surrey Heath’s Old Dean Community Group’s (ODCoG) free food stall, run in partnership with St Martin’s Church, Camberley. The stall began by offering food parcel deliveries to local communities at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and has expanded to become an open-air hub. 

The ODCoG food stall and hub - based in St Martin’s Church car park, Upper College Ride (GU15 4HE) - benefitted from the CCG’s Innovation Fund grant programme, which encourages and enables local individuals and organisations, to submit ideas that benefit the health and wellbeing of local people. This funding helped support the stall’s aim to introduce knowledge of healthier diets through a community food education and meals approach.

Trefor Hogg (pictured above right), who runs ODCoG's free food stall, alongside the church’s vicar Chris Richardson (pictured above left), says: “It’s brilliant the Innovation Fund is here to support us as charities and most importantly, local residents who need support to stay well.

We’re delighted the Innovation Fund - which includes so many incredible charities - has been able to help and enable us as a local group, to tackle massive inequality in Camberley and the Old Dean area.

As with all of these community projects, the Old Dean Community Group’s free food stall will hope to continue to provide more advice and support on diet and health, ranging from physical wellbeing to social isolation and anxiety, as well as enabling friendships for those people who turn up on the day.

I feel honoured that everyone, ranging from teenage boys passing the stall on their bikes saying ‘We think what you’re doing with fruit and veg is great’, to a family saying that what we’re doing has ‘saved us as a family over the last year' sees the impact, it's incredible to hear."

A truly collaborative effort

Working as part of the Innovation Fund’s planning committee - which helps review funding applications, provides workshops and offers tailored support to candidates - North East Hampshire resident and NHS Frimley CCG Community Ambassador Volunteer, Carrera Clarke-Freitas (pictured above), says: “By being a volunteer on this initiative, I’m really pleased and proud to have been involved with this year’s Innovation Fund, helping to support local partners and the community with their innovative projects to transform the health and wellbeing of local people.

I’ve learnt about the different partnerships and projects which shape NHS Frimley CCG’s core values, and believe I’ve been able to make a positive local community impact, whether helping people to tackle loneliness and social isolation, or enabling them to practice self-care.”

Lisa Sian, Chief Operating Officer at Healthwatch Surrey, an independent shortlisting panel member reviewing NHS Frimley CCG’s Innovation Fund nomination for the NHS Communicate Award, says: “It’s fantastic to see the Innovation Fund has been recognised for its difference to local grass roots community groups.

Being part of this award and on the panel, was a great opportunity to see the important work of partnership projects across the local area and also how funding – whether large or small – can make a huge difference to local people.

I’ve also learnt that the fund is able to connect these organisations so effectively and has allowed networking to take place which has also been incredibly valuable to all involved.”

Leading on Surrey Heath’s involvement in NHS Frimley CCG’s Innovation Fund award recognition, Steve Clarke, former NHS Head of Quality for Surrey Heath - adds: “Regardless of the outcome, I feel by enabling communities to bring their own projects to life like this means we’ve already won. This is really the way towards truly supporting local people.

Providing a more holistic approach, as everyone involved in the project has done, can have so many positive impacts on local communities’ health and wellbeing and for me, working on the project gave me such a brilliant energy.

I’d also like to share my delight for NHS Frimley CCG’s engagement team - including Steve (Manley) and Caroline (Martinez) - as they have worked on the Innovation Fund for years and are cornerstones for its success. I hope this shortlisting shows nationally how powerful working together can be.”

NHS Frimley CCG Head of Engagement, Steve Manley, adds: “As always, it’s an honour to work as part of a team that makes the Innovation Fund possible and to hear the ideas of local people and then see them turn into a reality is fantastic.

The resilience and innovation within our communities never ceases to amaze me and I look forward to continued partnerships between the NHS, partner organisations and local communities for many years to come.”

Find out more about the Innovation Fund

If you’d like to find out about the Innovation Fund and how you can get involved to benefit from or make a local difference to your community, visit the Frimley Health and Care website page here.

North East Hampshire and Farnham and Surrey Heath

You can also find the range of projects supported by the fund and which have helped NHS Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group to be shortlisted for the NHS Communicate Award in North East Hampshire and Farnham and Surrey Heath, here>>

Slough, Bracknell Forest, Windsor and Maidenhead

You can also find the range of projects supported by the fund and which have helped NHS Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group to be shortlisted for the NHS Communicate Award across Slough, Bracknell Forest, Windsor and Maidenhead, here>>

Frimley Health and Care