Change 2: Invest in communities


Health and care partners investing in neighbourhood and community working to build community capacity and improve resilience. This means funding the community groups and services that work at neighbourhood level but also includes:

  • Investing in infrastructure or roles that help to make connections and drive integration.
  • Helping local organisations to develop their model or access other streams of funding.
  • Ensuring that health and social care staff have the time and training to allow them to work differently with communities.

Making it Real statements

I feel welcome and safe in my local community and can join in community life and activities that are important to me."

We invest in community groups, supporting them with resources – not necessarily through funding – but with things like a place to meet or by sharing learning, knowledge or skills."

Tips for success

  • Recognise that voluntary and community support isn’t ‘free’, and it needs funding to be sustainable.
  • Invest in local infrastructure such as umbrella bodies which can help to develop and sustain local networks.
  • Invest in and embed link roles to help bring stakeholders together. Ensure that these roles are focussed on sustainability and embedding business as usual changes not pilots or project work.
  • Work around a neighbourhood footprint that makes sense to local people and priorities that matter to local people.
  • Use service data and self-reported outcomes to quantify the impact of working better with communities.
  • Work with local organisations to make sure they have what need to support people, remain sustainable and ensure demand does not overwhelm capacity. Be careful to not overload neighbourhood groups with new referrals or push costs onto them without further funding.
  • Ensure that commissioning and funding arrangements encourage collaboration not competition and that procurement does not act as a barrier to smaller organisation.

Supporting materials


Case studies


To request a PDF copy of this resource, please email chip@local.gov.uk.