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London Community Health and Wellbeing Leadership Program

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The London health inequalities strategy attaches great importance to society members in line with the Mayor's goal to promote the health of all communities in the city.
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The London health inequalities strategy attaches great importance to society members in line with the Mayor's goal to promote the health of all communities in the city. Some of London's major health challenges disproportionately affect certain communities, therefore the strategy seeks to empower Londoners to improve the health and wellbeing of their communities. The strategy believes that participation in community life helps people gain a sense of control of their lives and develop their personal skills, self-confidence, and ability to deal with life’s challenges. There is growing evidence proving that approaches, such as co-production and asset-based community development, can improve health and wellbeing and strengthen the capacity of disadvantaged communities to overcome challenges. These approaches can also reach groups that do not usually receive health and care services. They directly address marginalization and the helplessness that surrounds groups with inequality issues and can therefore be highly effective in reducing this social phenomenon.

Statistics indicate that Londoners are more likely to feel socially isolated compared to other parts of the UK, which is a matter of concern. Londoners, young and old, feel lonely and unsupported, with many complaining that they have no one they could rely on if they had a serious problem. Physical and mental health issues limit people's engagement in their communities, while major health challenges in the city affect only a certain category.

The health of communities is not only about physical illnesses. Reducing crime, enhancing safety, and encouraging people at risk to engage in other activities support and empower individuals, and enhance communication within the community.

The Greater London Authority assigned the University of East London to prepare a Masterclass program to share best practices on what works at the local community or neighborhood level to build healthy and resilient societies against challenges. The project attracts people with experience and an interest in community-centered approaches to enhancing health and wellbeing.

The Masterclass aims to enhance the effectiveness of community-centered approaches to improve health, wellbeing, and resilience in disadvantaged communities, and connect people working in disadvantaged communities to integrate community development and other community-centered approaches into public practices and policies. These sessions also seek to share knowledge, skills, and expertise, and build strong networks with policymakers, commissioners, and experts at district, borough, and sectoral levels, as well as those who engage with disadvantaged communities in London and co-produce a workbook for capacity building in community development approaches in local systems and across London.

The Masterclass project was launched in late 2019 and seeks to attract more participants from the five boroughs of London. These masterclasses include individuals who engage with the community and voluntary sectors, housing associations, the National Health Service, and local entities. The selected individuals will become leaders in policy development in their region and will participate in implementing community development and other community-centered approaches.

Once selected, candidates will undergo practical training in community development. The program will not only provide participants with the tools, technologies, and skills needed to deal with community development but will also connect them with sustainable networks of "expert communities." Through this program, the Greater London Authority will choose and train up to 150 community leaders. 


https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/health/healthy-communities https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/information_for_applicants_0.pdf
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