Health report shines a light on community groups ‘at the heart’ of Wirral

Wirral people have shown us that when times are tough, they are there for each other.

This was never more true than throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, when communities and residents rallied, working together to ensure that even our most vulnerable were looked after.

Many local groups and organisations were instrumental in these efforts from delivering food hampers, supporting families to isolate, to walking their dogs and more.

Julie Webster, Wirral’s former Director of Public Health, said, “Looking back over the past two years it’s fair to say that everybody stepped up to really help each other during the pandemic.

“It’s been a really tough time for the whole community and for individuals. And I want to say thank you for all the hard work and effort you’ve all done to help to keep us safe.”

This year, Wirral’s Public Health Annual Report shines a spotlight on the hard work and dedication of these groups and others across Wirral’s Community, Voluntary and Faith sector.

The report, titled ‘At the heart of our communities: Realising the value of people and communities’, centres voices from organisations across the sector. Produced this year in video form, the report gives residents a first-hand look at how local groups responded to the unique challenges they were faced with at the start of the pandemic.

Julie Webster said, “This year the Public Health Annual Report is focusing on the role of the Community, Voluntary and Faith sector who really stepped up to the mark and helped us to ensure that we had a really good, robust response to the pandemic.

“I want to thank all our Community, Voluntary and Faith sector colleagues and friends for the work that they did during the pandemic.”

In the video, residents will hear from four groups who have worked closely with Wirral communities including:

  • Wirral Deen Centre, Birkenhead
  • Make it Happen, Birkenhead
  • Seacombe Family Centre
  • Quirky Café, Hoylake

While the video focuses on how these groups, met the immediate response of the pandemic, it also looks at how they, and others, are responding to the new challenges we are facing both locally and nationally.

The report also acknowledges that in Wirral, like other areas, health inequalities are stubbornly persistent. Even prior to COVID-19, Wirral already had some of the poorest health outcomes in the country, with high numbers of socially and economically vulnerable people.

This year’s Public Health Annual Report illustrates the key role that the Community, Voluntary and Faith Sector plays in taking forward action to address these inequalities. This is also reflected in the Health and Wellbeing Board Strategy as a priority with the sector as a key partner to develop and deliver the plan.

Julie Webster said, “What the pandemic has done, has shone a spotlight on the deep-seated health inequalities that we have within our borough, which unfortunately have been with us for far too long.

“We need to be where people are at, not where we think they should be. We need to walk alongside them and for everybody’s health to be important to everybody – as it was right at the beginning of the pandemic.”

Image: GOOGLE

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