Multimillion pound health grant scheme shown to be improving lives in Leeds

A six-week pilot to help people with learning disabilities to better manage their health has been celebrated as one of dozens of crucial projects backed by a £2million fund in Leeds.

Successful grant applicants discuss their findings at the St Georges Centre in Leeds. Picture by James Hardisty.

In a bid to boost the health of communities in the city a total of 63 initiatives have been funded through the ongoing NHS CCG Third Sector Health Grants over the last year.

The 12-month milestone has prompted a celebration of all that has been achieved from the joint investment made by Leeds’ three NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCG).

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The showcase at Leeds’ St George’s Centre yesterday revealed that the grants are helping third sector organisations increase capacity by taking on extra staff and volunteers, broadening both their reach and skills.

Fran Rodgers is project manager at Purple Patch Arts which had a creative project funded to help people with learning disabilities learn how to manage their health through weight management, exercise and health checks.

She said: “We’ve been able to increase knowledge of health and wellbeing among an often under-represented group, who can find it difficult to access information in more traditional formats.”

The Purple Patch project also enabled the organisation to extend its creative approach to teaching, which uses interactive and sensory methods, to adults in day care settings.

Other projects to benefit from the fund, which is managed by Leeds Community Foundation, include the Dial Leeds trial of weekly advice sessions for disabled people accessing Leeds North Foodbanks and The Market Place’s pilot of fast access counselling for young people in crisis.

Philip Lewer, chair of NHS Leeds South and East CCG, said: “We are pleased to have been able to fund so many diverse – and much needed – services and projects to reduce these inequalities. We are excited to see how these are starting to benefit the health and wellbeing of people living in our communities.”