People’s Health Trust is committed to being a local people-led funder. This means we wish to engage with local communities over the longer term, so that they can determine how and when the money is best spent within their local area to make it an even better place to grow, live, work and age.
Local Conversations is a flexible funding model which is led by what local people want.
Local people know their local communities best. They know:
- What the community does well
- What is needed to make things even better
- Where and when it is needed
- How to make change happen in their communities.
We believe that communities coming together and having genuine control over how, where and when money is committed is one important way to distribute funds. It places local people at the heart of local plans, rather than local people having to fit into a funder’s plans.
We are currently funding 20 Local Conversations across England, Scotland and Wales. To participate in the Local Conversations programme, applicant neighbourhoods needed to:
- Have a defined population of around 4,000 people
- Fall within the 0-30% range of English, Scottish or Welsh Indices of Multiple Deprivation
- Have a local community organisation which is:
- Known by local residents;
- Understands the concepts of collective control leading to reduced health inequalities;
- Has the ability to bring people together to create stronger links and ties Trust’s to addressing health inequalities;
- Has the skills and capacity to lead the Local Conversation.
The Local Conversations programme aims to fulfil the Trust’s vision of reducing health inequalities by supporting neighbourhoods to go through a process of deep engagement and come up with their own locally determined ideas.
There are currently 20 live Local Conversations projects spread spread across Great Britain, some of which have been in place since 2014. The neighbourhoods involved in the programme are all within the 30 per cent most disadvantaged areas of Great Britain.
How the Local Conversations programme works
An initial grant supports a local lead organisation to work with a neighbourhood in order to identify local priorities through engagement. When they have been established by the residents, a full grant follows that helps them to address local needs and aspirations through engagement activities, action, events and activities. Further top-up funding is awarded dependent on progress made. The Trust intends to fund each Local Conversation for at least six to eight years.
Principles of the Local Conversations programme
- Control – communities shaping the activities
- Connecting – communities feel greater social connections
- Contribution – communities feel that they are making their neighbourhood a better place to live
- Evaluable – we must be able to understand the impact
- Collaboration – working together and sharing learning
Local Conversations in Penparcau
Penparcau Community Forum has been delivering a Local Conversation in Penparcau since 2014, supporting local residents to identify actions and activities that address the following priorities:
- Youth and Education
- Community Transport
- Community Hub
These priorities were agreed with residents as part of the development of the Local Conversation Project. The Youth Forum is leading activities for young people and administering a small grants programme.