Health investment supports local groups and communities in North Tyneside during COVID

A £500,000 investment in voluntary and community sector organisations is helping to support local people and families across North Tyneside during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) launched its Voluntary and Community Sector Grants Programme in 2019 and has already invested in nine local projects that focus on promoting wellbeing and preventative healthcare, promoting self-care and self-management and reducing health inequalities.

Health chiefs receive regular update reports on each project and are delighted at the progress made and the huge efforts each organisation has made to minimise the impact that the pandemic has had on its service users.

One of the successful organisations is Acorns which is a small charity based in North Shields. Since the onset of the pandemic, incidents of domestic abuse have increased dramatically and Acorns offers a range of services to support families affected by domestic abuse in North Tyneside.

CCG funding has helped Acorns to employ a Domestic Violence Counsellor/ Volunteer Coordinator for the primary carers of children who attend Acorns in order to support the family unit to become stronger and more resilient.

CCG funding has also helped Acorns recruit additional volunteers and the project now has four fully qualified and two trainee counsellors.

Acorns have adapted to COVID-19 restrictions by offering remote support via the telephone, video calls and text messaging. They have also leased additional office space so they can offer more face to face sessions whilst continuing to abide by the COVID-19 restrictions.

Another success is the ‘Well Together Project’ which is a community project delivered by Meadow Well Connected. This project aims to tackle health related issues such as smoking, alcoholism and diabetes through peer-led support groups and structured programmes designed to challenge lifestyle choices and encourage positive behaviours to improve mental and physical health.