We want to support a range of local community led solutions that keep people healthy, cared-for and connected to their community.

The aim is not to address illness and poor health, but to build on the community strengths in rural areas to focus on wellbeing and prevention, with strong links to local care and medical health services.

We are looking for ideas for enterprising solutions to the challenges of rural health and care in England. This may involve:

  • existing community groups and co-operatives introducing a new service
  • a new enterprise being developed, perhaps involving more than one stakeholder group such as clients, workers, volunteers and partner organisations

Good health is an enabler, letting us get on with what's important to us – having a family, enjoying time with our friends and in our communities, or working. Yet it is the concept of ‘ill health’, rather than ‘good health’, that dictates our health services and defines their measures of success. (Innovation Unit Report: 10 ideas for 21st century healthcare)

What do we offer? 

Whilst the role of co-operatives in health and social care has not been a major one in the UK in recent times, particularly not community co-operative models, it is not so elsewhere.

Across the world, 300 million people are supported by health and care co-operatives. These take various forms, so as a first step we are looking into:

  • international co-operative approaches to health and social care
  • rural health challenges in England
  • potential solutions, including existing and emerging case studies

From this, we will develop a set of ‘stimulus materials’ to help community entrepreneurs explore ideas for solutions to health and social care challenges in their community. These materials will be:

  • reviewed and finalized at a workshop with experts from the co-operative, health, social care and community sectors in London in May 2017
  • shared both online and at three regional events for interested community entrepreneurs and groups across England in June and July 2017
  • supplemented by free specialist advice and / or study visits for 10 pioneer groups who want to develop their ideas further

At the end of 2017, we are looking to have helped the pioneers turn their ideas into business development plans.

Who can get involved? 

We would love to hear from anyone who is passionate about exploring new community-led models to taking care of health and well-being in rural England. You could be a:

  • health or care professional – looking for ways to involve clients and their families in designing and producing services
  • commissioner of local services – looking for ways to increase wellbeing and reduce need for more costly services, e.g. through social prescribing
  • policy expert or funder – with ideas about new models, internationally or in the UK, that use social enterprise in health and care
  • community co-operative – with ideas about improving local health, wellbeing and connectedness
  • charity or social enterprise – looking to share experience or explore benefits of co-operative models, such as multi-stakeholding

We are not prescriptive about the area of health or social care you are interested in, but open to all ideas as long as they are community-controlled and have the potential to be sustainable. Just take our 'Interested in Being Well Project' Challenge.

How do I find out more? 

Join us at one of our three regional events open to Plunkett members and other rural community groups or entrepreneurs interested in this project

'Interested in Being Well Project' survey!

Our survey is open to all interested in the project and can be found here. The survey should only take about 5-10 minutes to complete. 

If you have any further questions please email us or call the project advice line on 01993 810730.