Because it is so broad, the concept of “wellbeing” is sometimes difficult to place in the strategic agenda in any measurable way. This becomes even more complex when trying to address the inequalities in wellbeing across and within local communities.
MACC believes that the way to raise awareness of inequalities and create challenge around tacking them is to support and strengthen the voices of those who are most affected. We have sought to approach this by promoting community engagement and involvement of those who are marginalised or disadvantaged by the artificial barriers created by policy and services. We continue to promote this principle at all opportunities, for example:
• at a North West a ‘Wellbeing Hearing’, the work being done by the Care Service Improvement Partnership
• in discussions with the with the Manchester Joint Health Unit
• in discussions with the Manchester Public Health Development Service
• at meetings of the Adults Health and Wellbeing Partnership Board
• in supporting the development of the Local Involvement Network for Manchester
• in supporting the development of NHS Manchester's patient and public engagement
In order to provide a practical demonstration of how engagement could be made to work by working with the voluntary and community sector, MACC undertook a programme of commissioning other network members to hold meetings or events for their service users to gather their views on wellbeing:
• People First held an event for people with learning disabilities. The results were recorded in a report which can be used both as a model of good practice and as a contribution to the Adults Board agenda.
• Manchester Somali Women Connection
• The Asian Parent Carers Project