2018, an event was held which brought together health and care frontline staff,
local people and representatives from lots of different community organisations
to talk about what’s important for health and care in Merton.
We talked about the kinds of things which no single organisation can achieve alone – like improving mental health and supporting people with diabetes. Discussions were centred on whether we are focusing on the right areas for Merton, and how to ensure the action we take has maximum impact for local people.
More than 130 people attended the day – including around 50 local people who had been specifically recruited to represent the diverse community in Merton and who had never worked with us before.
We worked with a specialist organisation to reach out to a representative cross section of the community using online advertising and on-street recruitment. As a result, we heard from a range of people we wouldn’t ordinarily have reached including from those in deprived communities, young adults and people from multicultrual backgrounds.
Community groups in attendance included; Merton Voluntary Service Council, Inner Strength Network, Mitcham Town Community Trust, Mental Health Forum, Healthwatch, London in Your Language, South Mitcham Community Centre, Merton Seniors, LGBT forum, Friends of St Hellier, BAME Voice, Ethnic Minority Centre, Wimbledon Guild, Polish Family Association, Carers Support Merton and MENCAP.
There was great energy and fresh ideas in the room. It was clear that people were passionate about health and care in our borough and wanted to support us.