Feb 07, 2019
Development has started on the Walworth Living Room, a new community hub in Southwark focused on improving the health and wellbeing of the local community. We’re supporting the project with nearly £500,000 in funding as part of our programme on slowing people’s progression to multiple long-term conditions.
Led by Southwark-based settlement and social action organisation Pembroke House, the Walworth Living Room is set to be based in All Saints Hall on Surrey Square. It’s one of the first projects to emerge from our Walworth Neighbourhood Scheme – a multi-year initiative that is combining action from many organisations to pioneer a whole-systems approach to tackling multiple long-term health conditions in the area. The new space will provide a physical place to test a blended model of clinical and non-clinical approaches to supporting people at risk of rapid progression to multiple long-term conditions. It gives local partners a space where they can provide support and services to people at risk of developing multiple long-term conditions, and that also connects local organisations.
The Living Room intends to meet the needs of local people who may not access mainstream healthcare, and who would be at risk of developing multiple long-term conditions - for example if they don't or can't access treatment, or are isolated from their community. It will test the concept of a dedicated space where social and community activities blend with health services and shared work spaces. For example, connecting a GP admin team with school staff, or long-standing Walworth residents with the officers responsible for local services.
Established services like finance and debt advisors, psychological therapies, volunteer and employment opportunities, inclusive dance and housing officer 'drop-ins' have expressed interest in moving to a community hub like the Living Room to improve the reach of their services in an informal environment.
We estimate that there are around 91,000 people with at least one long-term condition in Southwark. Many live in the Walworth neighbourhood – an example of modern inner-city life, with vast sways of regeneration surrounding estates that have some of the highest levels of inequality in the UK.
Over the next few years, we will continue working in partnership with Pembroke House through the Walworth Neighbourhood Scheme to test, develop and demonstrate the impact of whole-system approaches to tackling multiple long-term health conditions in a defined neighbourhood. Some of this activity will be aimed directly at people at risk of rapid progression to multiple conditions – such as targeted social prescribing for ‘at risk’ groups. Other activity will be more universal, like a community café to develop connections between residents, community organisation and statutory partners. The space will welcome an estimated 780 different people per year.
Mike Wilson, Executive Director at Pembroke House puts it this way, “At the heart of this approach is a belief that a community-led, social space, where all residents are welcomed to access a variety of activities will improve the coordination and resilience of support for people at risk of rapid progression to multiple long-term conditions.”
The Living Room concept builds on the experience of other health and wellbeing community hubs – such as Bromley-by-Bow Centre and The Bevy community pub in Brighton. It provides local partners with a physical place where support and services can be provided in a way that fosters agency and action around individuals’ health and wellbeing and enhances relationship and connectedness between local organisations.
Our support will enable partners to test a physical manifestation of the wider plans for the Walworth Neighbourhood Scheme. The Living Room project aims to identify people at risk of rapid progression to multiple long-term conditions and get them the support they require. It also aims to meet their basic needs including routes to personal finances, housing, employment and increase individual agency around people’s health.
Gabrielle Allen, Programme Manager at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity said of our aims, “We’re interested in testing what is it about the design and delivery of a space that leads to anticipated outcomes. The Living Room will enable Pembroke House to continue its work to integrate health and wellbeing services and community spaces to help prevent people at risk of progressing to multiple long-term conditions from doing so. “
The Living Room is being developed over the coming months and is set to open to the public in Summer 2019.
16 April, 2018
We have joined forces with The Richmond Group of Charities and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to launch a ground-breaking new Taskforce on multiple long-term conditions.