House of Lords Recognition
On Tuesday, 7th February, City and Hackney Community Health Champions were delighted to receive recognition at the House of Lords, as part of an evening hosted by the Rt Hon the Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top, entitled “Celebrating Community Champions Across London”.
Community Champions programmes are based on research demonstrating that residents, particularly those from underrepresented communities, are more likely to develop an understanding of and engage with healthcare services when they’re recommended by someone known and trusted within or with established connections to their community.
The impact → improved, more positive health outcomes for residents and reduced health inequalities.
The programme, initially started in response to COVID-19, continues with a focus on wider health topics across City and Hackney, e.g. diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, including wider determinants of health, such as the cost of living crisis. Today, the City and Hackney programme supports 200+ Community Champions, representing 85+ Voluntary and Community Sector organisations and residents.
The House of Lords event highlighted the continued and vital contributions of Community Health Champions, both within City and Hackney and across all of London, while also providing an opportunity for Champions to share knowledge, skills and experiences.
“It was my inaugural visit to the House of Lords, and I must say that it was an awesome and exciting experience for me. It was also inspiring to gain insights into the remarkable work other Community Champions are doing in various boroughs. Thank you, City and Hackney Community Health Champions team for the opportunity and experience.” – Rebecca Rendel, City and Hackney Community Champion and Project Lead/Life Skills Tutor for ELATT.
Rebecca joined fellow City and Hackney Champions Amina Begum (Hackney Carers), Melissa Vanachter (Disability Sport), Rabbi Schapiro and Mrs. Rapaport (Kol Bonaich), along with Joanne Hunt, Community Health Champions Programme Manager at Volunteer Centre Hackney. These Champions were chosen by lottery to represent City and Hackney Community Health Champions at the event.
‘Participating in the recent gathering at the House of Lords, was not just a celebration event for community champions; it was a profound convergence of minds and missions. It was a testament to the power of community and collaboration, where the exchange of ideas was not merely about networking but about weaving a stronger social fabric together. In the historic corridors of the House of Lords, we didn’t just share space; we shared visions for a better world. This event underscored the critical role of community champions in driving change and highlighted the impactful work being carried out by all involved. It was a privilege to be part of this collective journey towards creating more inclusive and supportive communities across the nation.‘ Rabbi Schapiro, City and Hackney Community Champion and founder of Kol Bonaich.
‘As a community champion it was an honour to be chosen as one of the lucky ones to attend the community champions celebratory event at the House of Lords. Born and raised in London I had never had the pleasure of going inside the house of lords so this was a real treat! It was lovely to meet in person with my fellow Hackney Community Champions and spend a lovely evening with them and hearing from other community champions in London. It’s an evening I will remember for a very long time and I would like to thank the Community Health Champions Programme for allowing me to be part of this.’ Amina Begum, City and Hackney Community Champion and Office & Finance Manager at City and Hackney Carers Centre
‘The event highlighted the power, influence, insights and knowledge existing within local communities. It was an amazing opportunity to collaborate with and celebrate Community Champions from City and Hackney and across London. Each borough is very different, all operating within different contexts, and there is a lot to learn from each other.
Champions support and empower communities to work towards positive health outcomes, collating and sharing community insights to influence health service provision. They also link in with clinicians and healthcare services for advice. Healthcare services are constantly learning from Champions about the residents they are supporting, so focus remains on what communities really need. Overall, a very enjoyable event, celebrating the important contributions and continued commitment of Champions in support of positive health outcomes for local communities.’ Joanne Hunt, Programme Manager, Community Health Champions, Volunteer Centre Hackney.
For more information on how to get involved with the City and Hackney Community Health Champions programme, email us at email@example.com.