Find a course
Knowledge Hub » Care » Community Health Initiatives – Promoting Wellness Locally

Community Health Initiatives – Promoting Wellness Locally


As demand for healthcare increases and healthcare needs change in the UK, there is a growing appetite for providing healthcare and services to people of all backgrounds and ages in the community rather than in traditional healthcare settings. Not only does this reduce the burden on healthcare services, but it also reduces health inequalities and empowers people to have more say regarding their health and lives.

Vulnerable people and those from marginalised backgrounds often have the worst health but often struggle to access and benefit from healthcare services due to their individual characteristics and societal factors, e.g. protected characteristics, geography, vulnerable or inclusion health groups and socio-economic status and deprivation (Office for Health Improvement & Disparities).

Community health initiatives play a crucial role in improving the health and well-being of people in communities by identifying how to engage people, addressing local health disparities and promoting healthy lifestyles. It ensures that people of all groups, regardless of age, health and background, can access services, leading to positive health outcomes.

The purpose of this blog post is to shed light on the importance of community health initiatives in fostering wellness at the local level. It will cover the significance of these initiatives, the various forms they can take, and their impact on individual and community health.

Community Health Initiatives - Promoting Wellness Locally

Understanding Community Health Initiatives

Before looking at community health initiatives, it is helpful to understand what is meant by ‘community’. It is a group of people with common characteristics, experiences or shared attitudes and interests living in the same place or a particular area. Communities may be defined by:

  • Race.
  • Ethnicity.
  • Age.
  • Sexuality.
  • Geographical location.
  • Occupation.
  • Cultural, spiritual and religious interests.
  • Social isolation.
  • Health needs, e.g. diabetes, or disadvantages.

Community health initiatives differ from traditional services, as they are projects or programs that aim to improve the health and well-being of people living in communities, especially marginalised groups and vulnerable individuals, and address health inequalities and disparities in access to healthcare. They can also be known as community ways of working or community health services, which are delivered in community settings, such as:

  • People’s homes.
  • Care and nursing homes.
  • Community hospitals.
  • Intermediate care facilities.
  • Clinics.
  • Schools.
  • Outdoor settings.
  • Places of worship.
  • Community halls and centres.
  • Private facilities.

People’s physical and mental health are not just influenced by genetics, behaviours or medical care. Other factors also have a significant impact, such as environmental, economic and social, which are also known as wider determinants of health and can include:

  • Education.
  • Income and social protection
  • Unemployment and job insecurity.
  • Housing and amenities.
  • Working life and environment.
  • The built and natural environment.
  • Food insecurity.
  • Access to services.
  • Power.
  • Discrimination.
  • Crime.

These factors can be interconnected and significantly impact health, hence why community health initiatives adopt a holistic approach. They consider how medical and non-medical factors influence the health and well-being of individuals and communities and the actions needed to address this.

Community Health Initiatives - Promoting Wellness Locally

The Importance of Local Health Initiatives

People residing in communities understand what health and healthcare issues their community faces, what they need, what is and is not working, and what improvements are needed. They have a voice in local decision-making, social connections and community life, which are invaluable in improving health and well-being and effectively addressing health disparities and wellness.

Local initiatives and community-centred practices incorporate participatory approaches and provide ways to engage vulnerable and marginalised people to be active and willing participants. They have a direct impact on residents’ quality of life as they:

  • Give individuals and communities more control and a say on what matters to their health and well-being.
  • Identify the wider determinants of health affecting individuals and groups within communities.
  • Identify and remove barriers to involvement.
  • Can influence how people behave regarding their health and manage their long-term conditions.
  • Improve their health, well-being and overall quality of life.
  • Reduce health and social services costs, which can benefit the economy and society.

Listening to communities and working with them can help design local health initiatives that are effective and sustainable and can make a positive difference in their lives.

Community Health Initiatives - Promoting Wellness Locally

Types of Community Health Initiatives

Community health initiatives cover various research, projects, strategies, activities and services, and there are many examples such as (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Food access initiatives – aim to positively influence families’ eating habits in low-income communities and make it easier for them to make healthy food choices.
  • Health education programs, i.e. health promotion – provide information or resources that individuals and communities require to improve their health and well-being, e.g. balanced diet, alcohol, smoking, sexual health, exercise, sleep, etc.
  • Fitness programs – focus on increasing physical activity and making it safe and accessible for all people in the community, especially those in areas of deprivation or with health conditions.
  • Wellness clinics – usually occur in community centres and mobile clinics. Residents can access various services, such as dietary and exercise information and advice, tests, e.g. blood pressure and help with appointment bookings.
  • Social activities – can include initiatives to reduce loneliness, especially for older people, e.g. community coffee mornings, walking groups, knitting groups, book clubs, dancing, etc. Social isolation and prolonged loneliness are equivalent to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day (Age UK).

According to Public Health England, community-centred ways of working are important for all aspects of public health. Some initiatives involve place-based and whole-community approaches aiming to address the complex causes of health inequalities, e.g. the wider determinants of health, and not just consider medical factors and causes and treatments of disease.

Other initiatives, such as community-centred and asset-based approaches, allow community members to participate in project design, implementation and evaluation. It puts emphasis on community assets and capabilities, such as knowledge and skills, and gives people control over decisions affecting their health and well-being.

There are many successful community health initiatives, and here are some examples:

  • Lunch Positive – is a voluntary community organisation that helps people living with HIV. They run various community initiatives, including a weekly lunch club where they provide advice and peer support. They received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2022.
  • BEEP Doctors – is a small local charity that provides emergency medical care to patients across rural and urban Cumbria. In 2022, they attended 262 callouts and 303 casualties. They provide additional support from highly skilled paramedics and air ambulance staff and aim to provide enhanced pre-hospital care to all patients who need it across Cumbria. They received The King’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2023.
  • Thrive LDN – is a citywide public mental health partnership that aims to reduce mental health in London, promote equal opportunities and ensure those residing in the city have good mental health and well-being. More than 1.3 million people have participated in activities
  • Northumberland Log Bank – aims to address fuel poverty in Northumberland by providing seasoned wood fuel to those with long-term health conditions, financial constraints, isolation, disabilities or advanced age. They received The King’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2023.
  • Community-led blood pressure programme in Manchester – an initiative offering free blood pressure checks to help tackle cardiovascular disease. It has been launched by Nuffield Health, in partnership with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, and they will train volunteers (Community Champions) to undertake blood pressure checks for interested local residents.

Health Action Research Group has further examples of successful initiatives here. There are also examples of other voluntary services with community health initiatives that have received the King’s Award for Voluntary Service here.

Community Health Initiatives - Promoting Wellness Locally

Collaborative Approach

It is vital to collaborate, i.e. many groups or individuals working to help improve health and well-being and reduce health inequalities in communities. It is also known as a multi-agency partnership, and alliances may include:

  • Community members.
  • Local businesses.
  • Healthcare providers, e.g. NHS trusts.
  • Voluntary organisations.
  • Community interest companies.
  • Religious and faith groups.
  • Social enterprises.
  • Local authorities.
  • Independent providers.
  • Local networks.
  • Policymakers.

NICE Guidelines on community engagement recommend that professionals responsible for planning, commissioning or providing health and well-being initiatives should encourage local communities to participate by supporting the development of collaborations and partnerships. The Health Action Research Group also recognises that multi-agency partnership working was common in most of the successful UK initiatives they looked at.

Collaboration is important in implementing effective community health initiatives, as it:

  • Helps agencies to meet their statutory duties and provides accountability and transparency.
  • Allows agencies and communities to bring various knowledge, skills and experiences to identify priorities, make better decisions and help organise and deliver activities.
  • Provides an opportunity for different groups to come together to discuss ideas, solutions and challenges.
  • Encourages community involvement, which can empower people to address any barriers to improving their health and well-being.
  • Helps to build trusting relationships with people in the community if they can see agencies have their best interests at heart and involve them in decisions affecting them.
  • Helps prioritise the needs of those in the community by identifying the wider determinants of health to provide personalised and holistic initiatives.
  • Provides the resources and support communities need for success, e.g. funding, equipment, training, education, new services, information and advice.
  • Improves efficiency in service provision due to better communication and coordination, which can also reduce healthcare costs.
  • Improves health and well-being and reduces health disparities when working effectively as a team.

Collective action is powerful in promoting wellness, which is “the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health” (Global Wellness Institute). Everyone in the partnership has shared interests, visions and values and works together as a team to achieve a common goal. In this case, the goal is to ensure the initiative is successful and the health and well-being of those in the community improve, especially in the vulnerable and marginalised.

NHS has statutory guidance on working in partnership with people and communities here.

Community Health Initiatives - Promoting Wellness Locally

Addressing Health Disparities

The Office for Health Improvement & Disparities defines health disparities as:

“A particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic and/or environmental disadvantage.”

Whereas health inequalities are (NHS England):

“Unfair and avoidable differences in health across the population, and between different groups within society. These include how long people are likely to live, the health conditions they may experience and the care that is available to them.”

The terms health disparities and health inequalities are often interchangeable. Health disparities can negatively impact people’s physical and mental health and well-being, affect the quality of life of those affected and impact society. A major study found that people in the poorest areas of England, on average, have more diagnosed illnesses over ten years earlier than those in affluent areas (The Health Foundation).

Addressing health disparities can be tricky due to the many interconnected causes. However, community health initiatives can target specific health disparities, such as access to healthcare, nutrition and mental health services.

Access to healthcare

Health disparities are often associated with communities that have difficulty accessing healthcare services, especially those who are vulnerable and marginalised, e.g. those with protected characteristics, mental health problems, physical or learning disabilities, alcohol and drug problems or social isolation.

Communities may face barriers to healthcare access, such as health illiteracy, denial, low social interaction, health beliefs, discrimination, stigmatisation, etc. For example, sex workers may not attend cervical screening and antenatal appointments due to discrimination and stigmatisation.

Community health initiatives can help people by:

  • Identifying the barriers communities face regarding healthcare access.
  • Ensuring everyone can get appropriate healthcare in line with their needs.
  • Providing information to people in a form that they can easily read and understand so they can make decisions regarding their healthcare, e.g. translation.
  • Providing additional support where needed, e.g. helping with booking appointments and providing appropriate transport.
  • Recruiting lay health workers from the same ethnic groups and/or life experience, which can help build trust.
  • Providing community healthcare services, e.g. at home and mobile clinics.
  • Taking action to reduce discrimination and stigmatisation.
  • Signposting through social prescribing schemes.

Examples of initiatives include:

  • Groundswell Homeless Health Peer Advocacy (HHPA) service that supports people experiencing homelessness with physical and mental health issues. They have volunteer Peer Advocates that help homeless people increase their confidence and ability to access healthcare independently.
  • Wiltshire Link Schemes that are community-based and run by charities. Volunteer drivers provide lifts to those with limited transport access, e.g. the elderly and infirm. They can take them to medical appointments, pick up prescriptions, etc.
  • Second Step Bristol – support people with mental health problems to stay in their homes and live as independently as possible. They work with the NHS to provide access to mental health services to ensure people get the support and treatment they need.

Access to nutrition

Poor diet can lead to malnutrition, e.g. undernutrition, overweight and obesity, and 90% of those either malnourished or at risk of malnutrition live in the community (the Association of UK Dieticians). People at a higher risk of diet-related ill-health include those who are:

  • Disabled.
  • On low incomes.
  • In deprived areas.
  • From some minority ethnic backgrounds.
  • Vulnerable, e.g. homeless.

Community health initiatives can help people by:

  • Improving access to food for low-income families.
  • Increasing the self-reliance of communities, e.g. allotments and growing schemes.
  • Encouraging healthier shopping and promoting healthy eating.
  • Providing information and advice on food safety, healthy eating and balanced diets.
  • Helping them develop skills such as meal planning, cooking and preventing food waste.
  • Offering more social support and helping people experiencing social isolation

Initiatives can include community cafes, food co-ops, cook-and-eat sessions, food buses, etc. Examples of initiatives include:

  • Lunch Positive – an evaluation of their lunch clubs found that 54% of people with HIV ate healthier meals regularly because of this initiative.
  • The Community Food Initiative (CFI) programme – works with low-income communities to positively influence their eating habits. They provide further information on specific initiatives around Ireland
  • Be Enriched – have numerous projects that enrich the community through food. They provide free meals for those in need and who are lonely and have a food bus and kids clubs when schools are closed.

Access to mental health services

According to Public Health England, those with severe and enduring mental illnesses are more likely to be in poor physical health and have a lower life expectancy. Vulnerable and marginalised groups, especially those with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, also face health disparities in mental illnesses, e.g. ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, homeless people and those with disabilities (NHS Digital)

A lack of knowledge and information on the community initiatives available can mean a lack of involvement. In a 2019 survey conducted by Rethink Mental Illness, 61% of people affected by mental illness were not involved in community projects, as they did not know what was available in their area.

Community health initiatives can help people by:

  • Addressing the social and structural determinants of health, e.g. housing and loneliness.
  • Tackling issues such as discrimination, stigmatisation, social isolation and social exclusion.
  • Helping with access to mental health services and treatments.
  • Providing a social support network to create a sense of belonging and self-worth and to share experiences and empathy with others.
  • Increasing community safety, as crime can significantly impact people’s mental health.
  • Providing information and signposting to other services.
  • Providing advice and guidance on factors that could be worsening mental health issues, e.g. debt, relationship problems, employment, etc.
  • Providing social activities and volunteering opportunities to help them build confidence and resilience and learn new skills.

Initiatives can include befriending, social activities, signposting, peer support, mentoring and access to nature. Examples of initiatives include:

  • Sutton Crisis Café – run by the Sutton Mental Health Foundation. It provides a safe and non-judgmental space for people in a mental health crisis to talk and help them cope. It is a non-clinical alternative to A&E.
  • The Nurture Project – a garden project that supports adults living with mild to moderate mental health issues. They have a case study here that details Pippa’s positive experience of the project.
  • Talk Club – a talking and listening club for men that helps keep them mentally fit by offering sports groups, talking groups and therapy. Further information on how this initiative is helping men in North Somerset is here.
Community Health Initiatives - Promoting Wellness Locally

Engaging Vulnerable Populations

If someone is vulnerable, they need special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect (Office for Health Improvement & Disparities). Vulnerable groups within communities can face poor health and health inequalities. Therefore, it is crucial to engage and involve them in the process. O’Mara-Eves, et al. 2015, in their study, found that community engagement in public health interventions can positively impact various health outcomes.

Some strategies for engaging and providing support to vulnerable populations include:

  • Identify any barriers to involvement – vulnerable groups may struggle to get involved for various reasons. They could have disabilities, learning difficulties, social exclusion, physical or mental health problems, etc. Therefore, it is crucial to identify any issues that could affect how vulnerable people engage with initiatives.
  • Determine the communication methods to increase interest and involvement – some vulnerable groups may not be able to find out about community initiatives or do not understand them, e.g. those with low literacy or do not or cannot use digital or social media. It is important to inform communities about initiatives in ways that they find interesting and can access to enhance engagement.
  • Use community health champions – these are volunteer community members who can help address the barriers to engagement, create local groups, strengthen social networks, improve links between services and disadvantaged communities and motivate and empower vulnerable people to get involved. It will help to recruit people who have had the same experiences, e.g. Groundswell volunteer Peer Advocates have all experienced homelessness.
  • Provide a safe environment – some vulnerable communities may prefer informal settings and environments, such as their own homes or local supermarkets, halls, mobile clinics, etc. Therefore, it is crucial to find out what settings and environments they would prefer to engage in and get them involved.
  • Social prescribing (community referral) – is where healthcare professionals, e.g. GPs, nurses and others, can refer vulnerable people to local, non-clinical services. It empowers people to look after their own health and well-being. It can include various voluntary and community sector organisations providing activities, such as volunteering, arts, gardening, healthy eating, cookery, etc. (Office for Health Improvement & Disparities).

The strategies needed will depend on the needs of vulnerable individuals and communities.

The UK is a diverse country with people from various cultures. Numerous cultural factors can affect health and healthcare, such as language, communication styles, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours (Butler, et al. 2016), leading to barriers to accessing services and health disparities. For successful community health initiatives, it is vital to interact and work with people from different cultures, which is cultural competence.

Cultural competence requires relevant knowledge and skills to enable those involved in planning, organising and delivering community health initiatives to engage and collaborate better with people from different cultures, as they understand and respect cultural differences.

Community Health Initiatives - Promoting Wellness Locally

Impact on Public Health Outcomes

The COVID-19 Pandemic highlighted the role that communities have to play in improving people’s physical and mental health. Neighbours looked out for one another, ensured they had sufficient provisions, provided help and support where needed and looked after those who were self-isolating. Communities rallied around and were a lifeline for some people.

Since the pandemic, the need for community involvement in public health and the development of community health initiatives are becoming widely recognised as being essential aspects of health and healthcare services, as they can have many positive impacts on public health outcomes, such as:

  • O’Mara-Eves, et al. (2015) summarised in their research that “community engagement interventions have a positive impact on a range of health and psychosocial outcomes, across various conditions”.
  • Hackney School Streets – a scheme that began in 2017 to improve air quality around school gates and make it easier for children to walk and cycle to school. An evaluation of the project in 2019 found that total vehicle emissions dropped by 74%, and the number of children cycling to school increased to up to 51%.
  • Promising Approaches to Reducing Loneliness – Age UK launched this programme following the Promising Approaches to Loneliness and Isolation in Later Life report. It is run by local Age UKs to test and improve loneliness service provisions. During the trial, they found that 88% of older people were less lonely due to the support and intervention from their local Age UK.
  • The Sing Your Heart Out (SYHO) initiative – is a community-based network offering free weekly singing workshops in Norfolk that can help people with mental illness. Research conducted by UEA’s Norwich Medical School found that those with serious mental health issues could function better in day-to-day life after singing and mixing socially (BBC News).
  • Community Health Champion in Bedford – provides a vital connection between patients and healthcare services/opportunities and has led to health and wellbeing improvements in a deprived area.

There is currently a three-year study (Common Health Assets) led by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) on the positive impacts that community organisations can have on people’s health and well-being (NIHR).

Community Health Initiatives - Promoting Wellness Locally

Volunteer and Participation Opportunities

Volunteers are unpaid community members who are essential in local community health initiatives. They can provide a vital link between people in the community, especially the vulnerable and marginalised, and help deliver health initiatives that can improve their health and well-being.

There are numerous types of volunteering roles in the community, such as befriending, peer support, information and advisory, organising and delivering activities, etc. In some cases, volunteering opportunities may also form part of a social prescribing action plan (Tierney, et al. 2021) to help engage people in community health initiatives.

Getting involved in local community health initiatives is a fantastic way to participate in worthwhile causes and help people and the wider community. It can also be beneficial to volunteers, as it allows them to:

  • Meet new people, boost their confidence and self-esteem, and help them to feel less isolated and lonely.
  • Help organisations that could not afford to pay salaries for all staff so they can use their funds to help more people.
  • Make a difference in other people’s lives, which can be rewarding and fulfilling.
  • Develop new skills and experiences that they can use in other aspects of their life, such as their careers.
  • Improve their own health and well-being. According to NVCO, 77% of volunteers believed that volunteering improved their mental health and well-being. Research has also shown that people who volunteered had their risk of dying reduced by as much as 22% (Age UK).

Here are some real stories from people who volunteer:

There are many volunteering opportunities in local communities, which are on the following websites:

People could also contact local charities and authorities to see if community volunteer roles are available in their areas.

Community Health Initiatives - Promoting Wellness Locally

Sustainability and Long-Term Planning

Sustainability means “the quality of being able to continue over a period of time” (Cambridge Dictionary). It is an important concept in community health initiatives, as it underlies their success and ensures stakeholders meet intended goals. If they are unsustainable, they may not get past the planning stage, fail to be implemented, and be short-lived and ineffective.

Anyone responsible for designing, planning, organising and implementing community health initiatives will want to ensure they are long-lasting and deliver the anticipated benefits to communities. They should consider the following:

  • The target community – understanding who the initiative is targeting and their needs and preferences is essential before planning. It will require extensive research into the community’s values, barriers, aspirations, demographics, history, culture, etc. Asking people in the community through various methods, e.g. surveys, focus groups, forums and interviews, is a good way to identify their needs, preferences and wishes regarding involvement.
  • Building relationships – it can often be difficult for those in vulnerable and marginalised communities to trust healthcare providers and state-funded systems, as they do not believe they have their best interests at heart (British Medical Association). Therefore, they must build relationships with the community to gain their trust and have someone from the community assist at all stages of the initiative.
  • The project vision – all stakeholders involved in the initiative should have an aligned vision and agree on the aims and objectives of the project. If they do not, it is unlikely it will succeed if those involved are not on the same page. They should also make their goals SMART and align them with the mission, stakeholders and communities.
  • Adapting and evolving – initiatives must adapt and evolve to be effective and appropriate for the target community. Some things will work, and others will not, and it may require tailoring initiatives to the area in which people live, i.e. rural or urban. Adjustments may also be needed if funding, resources and people change. Therefore, they should be flexible and adapt to changes, challenges and feedback.
  • Monitoring and evaluating – it is crucial to monitor and evaluate the impacts of initiatives on communities, as it can help determine whether they are effective and sustainable and identify their strengths, weaknesses, challenges and possibilities. Having this information can assist in making improvements to ensure it benefits the community.
  • Funding – having sufficient funding to set up the initiative and to continue the project is critical to the success of a community health initiative. Without it, a project is likely to fail at its first hurdle and unlikely to be long-lived. It can also be devastating to communities if the initiative fails after they have seen improvements in their health and well-being. It is vital to plan where funds will come from in the short and long term, e.g. sponsors, fundraising, government funding, grants, etc.
  • Long-term planning – the future can be uncertain. Therefore, planning for the long term is crucial, as it anticipates future possibilities and challenges and their implications on initiatives. It helps assess any risks and opportunities that could occur, evaluate the options available if they arise and maintain success over a period of time.

Here are some examples of initiatives that have thrived over time:

  • Incredible Edible – started in 2008 and uses growing to connect communities. They received Big Lottery Fund investment in 2017 and now have over 100 groups across the UK, and the initiative has spread globally.
  • Ambition Lawrence Weston – established in 2012 by a group of residents to improve living and work in Lawrence Weston. They have had many achievements, such as securing £1 million of funding from the Big Local Lottery Trust, preventing a youth club from closing, bringing investment to the area and many more successes.
  • Coin Street Community Builders – in the 1970s, residents created a community plan and campaigned for people, homes, and community facilities to be a priority due to feeling increasingly marginalised. Coin Street Community Builders was established in 1981 with the support of the Greater London Council (GLC). The purchase and redevelopment of a 13-acre site in 1984 led to a thriving neighbourhood with community programmes and activities.
  • Junior Neighbourhood Wardens scheme – Southampton City Council celebrated a successful 20 years of its Junior Neighbourhood Wardens scheme in August this year. It aims to empower young people to positively contribute to their city by involvement in community activities, projects, and events.
Community Health Initiatives - Promoting Wellness Locally

Personal Stories of Impact

Behind every community health initiative are the people and communities they are targeting. Here are some personal stories and testimonials from community members who have benefited from local health initiatives:

  • Community Health Champion in Bedford – has patient testimonials of the positive difference a health champion has had in their community. They have helped one patient lose weight through walking and a food activity and exercise diary, and the other with their anxiety so they could join a group.
  • AberNecessities – provides children from disadvantaged families with essential and basic necessities to ensure that ‘No Child Should Go Without’. They have messages here that they have received from service users who share how the support has helped them.
  • Shropshire Rural Support – helps farmers through difficult times, e.g. if they are struggling to pay bills because of rising prices and provides support and signposting for those injured while farming. They have testimonials at the bottom of their homepage.
  • Crisis UK – provides local services for homeless people. There are numerous stories from people who they have helped here.
  • Cavalier Centre – provides riding opportunities for disabled people to improve their well-being through horses. They have numerous success stories from volunteers and service users here on how this initiative has helped them.
  • York Womens’ Counselling – provide one-to-one counselling services to women regardless of financial circumstances. There are testimonials from their clients and a case study on the homepage detailing how they have helped them.
  • Assist Teignbridge – offers various services to older people to live independently in their communities, e.g. community support, home care, home help and nail trimming services. They have testimonials from clients on their website.

There are numerous initiatives up and down the UK, and far too many to mention here. However, what they all have in common is that they make a significant difference in people’s lives and continue to do so. They only remain successful because of the valuable contributions of people in their communities who spend their time helping and supporting others and making the place they live happy and healthy.

People can help their community in various ways, even if they haven’t got much free time. Not only will it benefit others, but it will also have many positive impacts on those who volunteer.

Community Health Initiatives - Promoting Wellness Locally


The vital role that the community has regarding health and healthcare is becoming increasingly apparent, especially for vulnerable and marginalised communities and those with low incomes and from deprived areas. Community health initiatives can provide valuable connections between communities and services that help to address health disparities and promote health and well-being.

Community health initiatives rely on collaboration, engagement and involvement to achieve goals and be successful in the long term. They must also address community needs, wishes and health disparities and break down barriers preventing them from accessing help, support and services. While funding is essential, an initiative will not get far without the support of the targeted community and other stakeholders.

There are many types of community health initiatives across the UK that provide numerous benefits to communities and the people who live there. Most, if not all, rely on volunteers and will also require people’s support and advocacy. People should be encouraged to consider their role in promoting wellness in their own communities and get involved in some way to ensure continued success and longevity. They could start by considering their own interests and the matters close to their heart and contacting relevant initiatives to see what help they need.

Please use the comments to share experiences, questions, or insights related to community health initiatives. Use the space to foster a sense of shared purpose and action.

CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Working in the Health Sector

Interested in working for the NHS?

We offer the CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Working in the Health Sector through our online campus.

Learn more about our CACHE Level 2 course

Read another one of our posts