People living in the Borough of Boston will benefit from a major health and wellbeing programme following a grant of almost half a million pounds from the Government’s Community Champions Fund.

The funding has been secured by Boston Borough Council and will be used to deliver a focussed programme of work through a Council-led scheme called ‘Empowering Healthy Communities’, which is being delivered to support residents during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Through this programme of work the Council will be able to diversify, enhance and accelerate community engagement with a focus on building trust and confidence in public health information and build strong relationships in our local communities; ensuring that community leaders play a central role.

Work to deliver the year-long programme will begin immediately, however, the Council is keen to see a long lasting impact.

The Programme will include:

  • Increased translation and support services – accessible by community leaders and key partners
  • A dedicated housing, health and wellbeing officer to focus on engaging with landlords and tenants
  • Behavioural insights research to improve understanding of what works and potential barriers to engagement and impact
  • Funding for local groups
  • Supporting ongoing work and impact of volunteers including through Good Neighbour Schemes
  • A focus on language support through education as an effective engagement opportunity
  • Support for young people as ‘youth ambassadors’
  • Pride of Place – as part of Boston Borough’s recovery from the impacts of Covid-19
  • ‘Community Conversation’ ensuring a meaningful understanding and response to what is needed and what works
  • Maximising the diversity, strength and influence of local community leadership
  • Mental health first aid training for community groups and volunteers

This programme also provides an important opportunity to share at a national level what works, what doesn’t and what can be done differently both locally and nationally in the continued efforts to reduce the spread and impact of Covid-19.

Further information about the Empowering Communities Programme will be shared in the coming weeks.

Cllr Martin Griggs, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: “This latest funding will make such a difference, enabling us to develop and accelerate a range of initiatives to engage and support our communities now and in the future. This funding comes at a really important time in the local and national Covid-19 efforts; our focus will include, but will not be limited to Covid testing, self-isolation, vaccination and responding directly to situational factors that we know can present risks of Covid-19 transmission and impact. Working collaboratively with key community leaders will allow us to reach our communities more effectively and we look forward to delivering an ambitious programme of work for our Borough.

“Our success in securing this funding is another example of the impact the Strategic Alliance between Boston Borough Council and East Lindsey District Council is having on our collective efforts to reduce the impacts of Covid-19 for our communities. Sharing knowledge, skills, experience and capacity is making a real difference”