Empowering individuals to improve health and wellbeing

On this page, we list some of the projects and services which have been set up in the Healthy Hastings and Rother area to empower local people to improve their health and wellbeing.

To read more about our other programme objectives, click on the links below:

HHR social marketing

Social marketing

We commissioned specific behaviour change initiatives for five defined population life-stage (LS) groups. Evaluation reports evidencing the impact of these initiatives have been produced and the learning shared with our key stakeholders. They have also been used to inform the commissioning of our services, including the Hastings Safe Space (see below).

The initiatives focused on: 

Open for Parents

Open for Parents (formerly Triple P)

A positive parenting programme that aims to improve parents’ understanding of child behaviours and the ability to reduce conflict and its negative health impacts. Services are available for parents and carers of children aged 2-19 years.

During the period April 2017 to December 2018, 3982 parents/carers received brief parenting advice and 1469 parents/carers received focused parenting interventions delivered through group and one-to-one sessions. See our directory of key services for the full service description and access information or visit www.openforparents.org.uk/.

In September 2018, Open for Parents was recognised as national best practice for its work in promoting and protecting the emotional well-being and mental health of children, young people and families, when it was included in the Department of Education's "Social Mobility: Opportunity Areas - building the foundations of change" publication.

Safe Space logo

Hastings Safe Space 

A service for vulnerable young people in the Hastings night-time economy (Saturdays 10pm to 4am) where they can access support, advice and first aid. The Safe Space opened its doors in December 2017 following extensive co-design with local young people and other key stakeholders, including South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Sussex Police and the voluntary and community sector. Clinical and non-clinical staff have been appointed and 22 volunteers trained and regularly contributing to the project.

In the first three quarters of 2018/19, 290 young people have been supported with 59 signposted to other local support organisations. 90 ambulance call outs were averted. Early findings have indicated health and wellbeing benefits for young people and reductions in hospital attendance.

In November 2018, the service was a finalist in the Health Service Journal Award in the Community or Primary Care Service Design category for London and the South East.

HHR maternal and infant wellbeing baby

Promoting maternal & infant wellbeing

This project is focused on improving access to breastfeeding support services for younger women living in deprived communities. Peer volunteers have been successfully used to enable less confident parents to access services.

During the period April 2017 to December 2018, 5630 parents accessed a range of courses, drop-ins and 1-2-1 sessions. 95% of parents report feeling better prepared for the birth of their baby and 83% of parents report making positive changes to their lifestyles. The project has contributed to a 5.89% increase in breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks in Hastings and Rother, from 2016/17 to 2017/18.

HHR self-help group

Helping Self Help

Hastings and Rother have significantly higher percentages of people with bad or very bad health compared with the rest of England with high rates of long-term illness, disabilities, cancer, lung disease and heart problems. Hastings and Rother CCG in conjunction with East Sussex County Council, commissioned activity from Hastings Voluntary Action and Rother Voluntary Action to undertake a mapping exercise and set in place measures to support the development and capacity of local support groups for people with long term health conditions (LTHC).

Specifically, the aims of this project were to:

  • Identify and engage existing self-help groups for people with long-term conditions

  • Identify community assets that could contribute to the development of new and existing self-help groups

  • Work with self-help groups to support them in developing their groups

  • Gain an understanding of the support and development needs of new and existing self-help groups and their potential to contribute to self-management

  • Co-design a toolkit of resources for new and existing self-help groups to enable them to sustain and develop activities over time

  • Facilitate the development of a self-help group network for peer learning and mutual support

The project took place in 2016/17. Click here to download the final report.

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