Celebration event marked third anniversary of Community Innovation Fund

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Richard McIntosh (left) and Munwar Hussain (back, centre) with attendees at the celebratory event

A showcase event was held in The Steeple in Dundee yesterday to celebrate the success of community projects funded by NHS Tayside’s Community Innovation Fund.

Representatives from over 30 funded projects from across Tayside presented their work and shared their ideas and information with other projects.  Over 150 community groups have been awarded money since the launch of the Fund three years ago.

The Community Innovation Fund helps community groups to develop local improvement projects that will benefit the health and wellbeing of their local population. The Fund is financed through Tayside Health Fund, the charity for NHS Tayside.

Trustee for Tayside Health Fund Munwar Hussain said, “I am delighted to see such a wide range of community activities being supported by the Community Innovation Fund. Building resilience in communities is a vital way of helping people to live healthy lives, and is a key part of the strategy of NHS Tayside to improve the wellbeing of our local population.

“The examples of the projects highlighted show really inspirational ways through which people all across Tayside have come together to develop exciting ideas that are now coming to fruition and delivering major benefits to society.”

Dave Barrie, project manager from ADDACTION, said, “We are delighted with the opportunity that the Community Innovation Fund has given us. Our Community Garden has been so successful in creating a safe, healthy and calming space, the project has significantly improved the lives of people throughout Dundee who experience many health inequalities.

“We have found that the wellbeing of everyone who has accessed the garden space as a volunteer or a service user has been uplifted.  The garden has enabled individuals to engage in their community thus improving their overall wellbeing leading to improvements in the local community too. None of this would be possible without the support of the community capacity building officer and the Community Innovation Fund.”

Richard McIntosh, community capacity building officer with NHS Tayside, said, “This was a celebration of the incredible work of community groups across Tayside where people have come together to make their lives healthier, to make the lives of other people better and, ultimately, make a better society for us all.

“NHS Tayside is a strong believer in the role community groups play and how their activities make a vital contribution to a healthier society. Community groups build their activities from firsthand experience and maximise the local knowledge and connections available.

“The Fund can really go to the heart of a community to make a difference, supporting local people to make decisions about the changes they want to see to help them improve the health, wellbeing and resilience of their own communities.”

The Community Innovation Fund aims to support new, innovative projects which will work in partnership with communities in disadvantaged areas, promoting quality of life, overall health and wellbeing and creating a stronger sense of community and social relationships.

Community groups can apply for any amount between £500 and £25,000 over a three-year period to establish new and innovative projects.

Anyone interested in applying or finding out more information should visit the website www.communityinnovationfundtayside.scot.nhs.uk

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