Aug 13 2020:Pioneering North Wales movement’s work fighting health inequalities explored in new book

A pioneering movement drawing people together to fight health inequalities – and how one Welsh university is helping it build a network of supporters- is explored in a new book.

The work of the 2025 Movement – which is aiming to end avoidable health inequalities in the region by the year 2025 - is the focus of a chapter in Emerald Publishing’s most recent edition, with an international focus on University-Community Partnerships for Promoting Social Responsibility in Higher Education.

In the book, Wrexham Glyndwr University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Claire Taylor and Head of Public Policy Engagement Nina Ruddle - alongside Clare Budden, the CEO of ClwydAlyn Housing and Chair of 2025, and Ken Perry, Director of leadership practice Do-Well (UK) Ltd - discuss how the university has worked to support the movement in North Wales and beyond

This work, which saw the 2025 Movement shortlisted in the national Guardian Public Health and Wellbeing awards last November, has changed the way the region is fighting inequality. Innovations include a community of practice for people working in social prescribing, revolutionary systems leadership designed to transform how organisations tackle issues, and small, mobile Just-Do teams, which tackle everything from homelessness to food poverty.

In their chapter for the book, the authors describe the role Glyndwr played in helping develop the work of the 2025 Movement.

They examine three key case studies – a co-created public service leadership programme, a ‘Made in North Wales’ social prescribing community of practice, and a study of one of the Just-Do teams’ success in fighting fuel poverty.

The development of the leadership programme saw the university work with key leaders in public services across North Wales.

While its design took into account the Welsh Government’s Wellbeing of Future Generations Act – and was shaped by the university with taster sessions, short courses and more – the programme was built by those key leaders, to help train the next generation of leadership across the region.

Ken Perry, Director of Do-Well (UK) Ltd, said: “The publication of this chapter has come at a really important time as health and social inequalities continue to widen nationally, laid bare by the effects of the pandemic.

“Tackling these entrenched wicked issues needs responders, which is what the growing 2025 Movement has been doing since we formed in 2015 and is now more important than ever. What this chapter really demonstrates is the difference that can be made by mobilising leaders across systems and boundaries to tackle some of the most significant challenges faced by our society.”

The book also looks at the work done by the university and the 2025 Movement to build a North Wales Social Prescribing Community of Practice. This community draws together people in diverse organisations across North Wales who are involved in social prescribing, which sees people recommended activities or community support to improve their health and wellbeing.

Funded in part through HEFCW, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales via Glyndwr, the community –in partnership with North Wales’ Betsi Cadwaladr University Heath Board – helps practitioners see the good work others in their area are doing – and how they can get involved.

The community of practice has also fed into both short courses and the design of new postgraduate programmes at the university – one of which was outlined at the most recent CoP event, held online in July.

Nina Ruddle, Head of Public Policy and Engagement at Wrexham Glyndwr University, said: “There is so much good work being done across North Wales in social prescribing – what’s key for the community of practice is bringing that work together and supporting each other.

“Making a space to allow those discussions to happen – whether that is physically, in places such as the university’s OpTIC Technology Centre, or virtually – as we have done recently – allows people to share, build and improve – and it is that engagement across the community which we, as a university alongside our partners in BCUHB, can drive.”

Finally, the book looks at the Healthy Homes-Healthy People work being done by a Just Do team in North Wales.