Connecting Health Communities

We support cross-sector partnerships to tackle health inequalities.


We’ve been facilitating cross-sector partnerships to develop practical responses to local issues for over 18 years. We have enabled groups to reach their most isolated and vulnerable community members, ensuring that services meet local needs.

This page shares our learning about how voluntary organisations and local systems can work together to engage with complexity and achieve change: from co-production in Primary Care Networks (PCNs); to sharing learning across the Integrated Care System (ICS).

Resources and learning about…

Case studies

Access to cancer screening

We explored why uptake was low amongst culturally and ethnically diverse communities in East Sussex.

Rural access to healthcare

We worked with three rural communities in North Yorkshire address transport issues.

Reducing smoking

We supported Townships Primary Care Network in Hackenthorpe, Sheffield, to take a partnership approach.

Asking older people what works for them

We engaged older people in the Wirral to inform the design of better, more relevant local healthcare services.

Read the report: Not just ticking boxes

Read the full report sharing these stories that illustrate the power of community-led health service design.

How we support cross-sector partnerships

1. Getting started

We support local areas to build partnerships where no meaningful cross-sector relationship exists.

2. Getting to the next level

We enable areas with an existing cross-sector partnership to translate good intensions into actionable plans.

3. Making it stick

We support existing partnerships to make changes at the system level.

4. Getting unstuck

We support areas who are already involved in local collaborative working to address challenges on their partnership journey.

Meet the delivery team

Meet some of the people who help to connect health communities.

We are from the kinds of organisations and communities that we seek to serve. Having worked in and around the voluntary sector as volunteers, paid staff, leaders, trustees, teachers and researchers – we understand and care about the distinctiveness and independence of the sector.

Sonakshi Anand

Programme Manager and Facilitator

Charlotte Pace


Charlotte Pace, research associate at IVAR.

Katie Turner


A profile picture of Katie Turner, Head of Research, IVAR.

Helen Garforth


Photo of Helen Garforth

Annie Caffyn

Co-Facilitator and Researcher

Ammaarah Felix

Co-Facilitator and Researcher

With thanks to our funder for this work, the National Lottery Community Fund:

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We would like to thank the steering groups and partnerships in each area we have worked with. Particular thanks to the Connecting Health Communities 2021-2023 cohort, for sharing photos of yourselves and your work, and to Kirkbymoorside Wellbeing Hub/Phil Taylor Photography. 

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