Thursday 29 February 2024
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Almost £5m to provide food, vitamins and other support for Nottinghamshire residents

A raft of proposals worth £4.9m are being put forward to the County Council’s Cabinet next week (26 May) to help improve the health and wellbeing of Nottinghamshire residents.

People living in the most advantaged communities generally live 7.5 years longer than those living in the least advantaged areas.

On average, people living in less advantaged areas spend an additional 14 years living in ill-health.

The proposals aim to reduce this gap by strengthening the building blocks of good health and wellbeing.  These building blocks include things like having a safe home, education and employment, access to a healthy diet, and getting the best start in our early years.  This plan contributes to that through:

  • Extra investment in FOOD (Food On Our Doorstep) Clubs which provide food boxes worth up to £15 to families for a contribution of £3.50. Families living within 15 minutes of a Club can register to receive a nutritious mix of fresh and dried foods. This saves at least £300 per family over six months and more than 1,700 families had signed up to the 21 FOOD Clubs in Notts by the end of 2021. Nearly 20,000 bags of food have been distributed, amounting to approximately £230,000 saved for local families, with over 183 tonnes of food having been saved from landfill.
  • New funding for a strategic mental health lead in Nottinghamshire schools: Extensive consultation with local young people showed that they would like to access better mental health support in a school or college setting. Schools are in an ideal position to undertake key preventative, identification and early support work with easy access to support in a non-stigmatizing way.  Evidence shows that even the most vulnerable children and young people can benefit from the early intervention that whole school approaches provide. The whole school approach lead role would work closely with Mental Health Support Teams in schools, Nott Alone website developers and Nottinghamshire County Council Education colleagues to enhance their offer. They will also link closely and support existing initiatives in schools around developing school approaches to children with SEND and autism. 
  • Additional funding to strengthen the existing Rough Sleeper Initiative. The programme provides wrap-around support, including substance misuse, mental health, social care, flexible temporary accommodation and health interventions. The service works with those who are rough sleeping or at risk of street homelessness, to support prevention and recovery through a combination of targeted out-reach and in-reach support services. The new funding would create posts for peer mentors and people with lived experience (through CGL) who can engage more effectively with homeless people and use their own experience of treatment and recovery to inspire, motivate and support others to become substance free.
  • More money for Best Start in Life initiatives (age 0 – 5s):
  • including continuation of the Healthy Start vitamins starter pack project. Vitamin starter packs and the Healthy Start scheme are provided universally to women at the start of pregnancy and to breastfed babies at the birth visit. One bottle of Healthy Start vitamins is given to all pregnant women at the start of their pregnancy, along with information about Healthy Start. That’s around 8,000 women a year. In 2021-22 4,966 breastfeeding Mums received Healthy Start vitamins and information at their baby’s birth visit. A further 1,211 vitamin packs were given to children at their one-year health and development review in the winter months.
  • Proposals also include the development of training and resources to enhance the knowledge and skills of the Nottinghamshire 0-5 workforce, including bespoke infant mental health workshops for early years staff. The training will incorporate a workshop to help teams identify how they can promote good infant mental health in their day-to-day roles. This will focus on understanding of brain development, relationships and interaction, social and emotional development and the impact of parental mental health. Staff will also explore their role in promoting infant mental health.

Councillor Matt Barney, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “Good health and wellbeing for people, no matter where they live and what their background, is central to the Nottinghamshire Plan. It enables more people to fulfil goals such as living independently for longer, securing employment, having relationships and being part of their community. We believe that our proposals will give people in all areas of Nottinghamshire the best opportunities to live happy, healthy lives.

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“The priorities we have identified have been informed by the feedback we had from residents and partners as part of our recent Health and Wellbeing Strategy engagement. Over half of the respondents in our Big Notts Survey also identified being healthy as a personal ambition for the next 10 years.”

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