Cradley Community Day 22nd June 2024

Letter from Herefordshire council thanking all for their input last Saturday, sounds like a great day was had by all

Dear all,

I hope you and yours have all had a wonderful weekend.

I wanted to share some good news with you about a piece of partnership working that has yielded some wonderful results!  

I’ve been working closely with Amy Roberts, the Senior Social Prescriber from Cradley and Nunwell Surgeries to understand the needs of the community at The Leys and Buryfields estates in Cradley. The area scores quite highly on the index of multiple deprivation, and we have anecdotal evidence of unmet needs in the area from our colleagues in health and some joint work we’ve undertaken with Platform Housing, a SHA that owns most of the properties on the estates.  

Amy, Nicholas Richardson, the Community Engagement Lead from Platform Housing and I met with local residents a few months ago to discuss how we might go about improving engagement in the area, understand local needs, and bring the community together to build a foundation for working with them in the longer term to address some of the health inequalities there. After a great suggestion from Jo Jones, our Talk Wellbeing Healthy Lifestyles Trainer, a pilot community event was decided on.

It has taken all involved a few months of hard planning to get things organised, and more than one or two disasters (!), but on Saturday we held Cradley Community Barbecue and it was a great success.

Amy Roberts has worked incredibly hard – well beyond her remit – and has done everything from baking cakes, arranging leaflet drops and even securing a Residents’ Bake Off competition prize from the two GPs at Cradley surgery personally. Despite being incredibly busy and taking great care of patients, she’s been so generous with her time and expertise and I can’t thank her enough.

Platform Housing have also been wonderful and covered all of the funding and staff for the free barbecue and refreshments, Nicholas even went as far as completing a food hygiene course to ensure residents were safely fed, and after he had to drop out of the event with a medical issue, his manager Chris Pinson-Bradley and some of his team stepped in and saved the day! Chris picked everything up at short notice and did all he could to ensure the event went ahead. He spent the whole of the event at the barbecue and kept everyone fed and happy, as well as chatting to residents and listening to their concerns. It wouldn’t have been the wonderful day it was without them.

We were supported on the day by our brilliant partner services, who gave up their Saturday to offer help and advice to local residents, at a time when so many organisations are under much pressure, have limited resources and are facing difficult times. We are so fortunate in Herefordshire to have such responsive and committed community organisations and services, and it’s a privilege to work with them.

We were joined by Sue from Age UK WMHHL (and Badminton Champion!), Ken Stone from Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire, Sarah from the Community Prevention Team with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service, Lyn Johnson, the Community Engagement Officer from West Mercia Police, Martin Honey and a lovely clinician from Talk Wellbeing (who completed 7 health checks in 2 hours, amazing!), Charlie and Jo from the Talk Community Healthy Lifestyles Team, Housing Officers from Platform, Amy and Mark from the Wellbeing Team at Cradley Surgery (plus a bonus visit from Lauren Keen, who took our snaps and my  lovely PowerPoint attached), Cradley parish council, my marvellous colleague Kelcea Turner from the Talk Community Broker Team and local resident Mr T  who did everything from fetching toilet paper to making tea and connecting residents to services.  

There was a great turn out of residents, including 95 year old lady  who looked after her 9 siblings in central Birmingham during the second world war, and now does all her own grocery shopping online with Ocado, and the feedback was wonderful. We carried out surveys on the day and have lots of information to collate and understand, and we’ll then be working together a bit more (sorry Amy!) to start planning how we can work together to address the community’s unmet needs and help them to feel safe, happy and healthy where they live.

My genuine and heartfelt thanks to everyone who made Saturday the brilliant day that it was. You’re amazing and I love working with you!

Kindest regards,