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The health movers tackling inequalities

Nesta has long championed a vision of people powered health. We believe that people are the experts in their own health and that placing people and communities at the heart of health systems and delivery is the best way to improve health - for individuals and indeed the nation.

In November 2018 we launched a new programme designed to magnify the voice of marginalised groups working to bring about changes in health and health systems.

The Social Movements for Health programme is a partnership with the Dunhill Medical Trust. It builds on our work researching the theory and practice of social movements seeking to change health. Despite a wide range of initiatives over many years, many of the health inequalities experienced by different groups across the UK are not improving (and in some cases they are worsening). By collaborating with seven different movements, this programme seeks to explore how funders like Nesta and the Dunhill Medical Trust can support people working to change health and care for the better.

Last week we brought together the seven movements we will be collaborating with for two days at the People’s History Museum in Manchester.

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Their ideas and plans are creative, bold and engaging. The change they want to see is profound and ambitious and their energy is uncompromising.

It is a privilege to be able to work with them over the year ahead, understanding how best to support their activity and learning from them as we go. They are:

BlackOut UK - bringing visibility to the sexual and mental health inequalities experienced by black queer men across the UK.

Owning Our Health in Our Community: ‘East Brighton Campaign for Health and Wellbeing Equality’ - a resident-led movement fighting for improved primary care and challenging health inequalities.

Health Through Rights Self Advocacy - a rights-based movement led by self-advocates building a national voice for people with learning disabilities.

Professionalising Care Work - led by care workers, this movement hopes to improve the perceptions of, resources and working conditions for people in care work.

Mental Health Rights Movement - acting to prevent suicides by challenging the underlying causes of mental health issues in Northern Ireland.

Social Approaches in Mental Health - creating grassroots solidarity for change in mental health systems to focus more on tackling social inequalities, social injustice and promoting self-determination, social support and rights.

Social Prescribing - What Matters to You? - led by a group of medical students, this movement aims to integrate social prescribing into early clinician training and bring about medical education reforms across the UK.

Over the course of two days together, the movements uncovered shared energy and purpose as they considered the work ahead. They are all in different places; some have been building their social movement for a while, others are at an early point in the development cycle. However, they are united in their passion to bring about change. They will be sharing their experiences and learning, their triumphs and challenges - and we are delighted to be working with them.

Use #HealthMovers on Twitter or Facebook to follow or join the conversation.

Author

Damian Hebron

Damian Hebron

Damian Hebron

Programme Manager, Social Health

Damian will be working with colleagues in Y Lab and the Creative Economy team to develop a new Arts in Health programme in Wales.

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Sally Zlotowitz

Sally Zlotowitz

Sally Zlotowitz

Programme Manager, Social Health

Sally is a Programme Manager in the Social Health team of Nesta, she is working on Social Movements in Health and Good Help.

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