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Health Development & Connections Programme

Health Development imageAim

East Belfast Community Development Agency’s Health Development & Connections Programme will seek to support local individuals, groups and community workers engaged in improving health and well-being. The capacity building of local people to play a key role in making choices about the information they need in relation to their own health and well-being will be at the heart of the Programme. 

Values & Approach

The Health Development & Connections Programme believe that prevention and early intervention are crucial in increasing life expectancy from preventable illnesses such as cancers, heart disease & stroke. 

Using underpinning principles of community development we will work within the social model of health to improve the health and well-being of people in east Belfast. 

The work of the Health Development & Connections Programme has two main aims: 

1 - Development

To deliver a health improvement programme that will build the capacity of local people to improve health and well-being within communities in east Belfast.

This will be achieved through a network of voluntary lay health information workers, who will be involved in: 

  • Partnership working with the Belfast Trust & other key stakeholders to support interventions on health screening;
  • Advancing health improvement through health promotion events in local communities;
  • Targeting groups with specific health needs;
  • Influences on HealthTargeting geographical areas in east Belfast;
  • Specialist lay health information worker development training.

Health issues we address:

  • Mental health & emotional well-being;
  • Older people's health
  • Health inequalities.

What support is there?

  • Health information sessions
  • Training such as lobbying skills, working in partnership, hate crime, group work skills, and lots more;
  • Life coaching for community workers;
  • Provide information on potential funding opportunities

2 - Connections

To establish and support connections and collaborative relationships that will allow health issues to actively be bought to decision maker and policy agendas.

This will be achieved through ensuring people within communities are better connected together to support and develop the health agenda within east Belfast. Furthermore, it will: 

  • Inform the statutory, community and voluntary sector and policy makers of the work of the local community;
  • Ensure communities are aware of and able to influence the impact of the Investing for Health agenda;
  • Ensure health development work is better co-ordinated;
  • Ensure statutory agencies have access to relevant processes within communities;
  • Increase the level of understanding, involvement and expertise of the local community on the theme of health improvement.

The EBCDA Health Development and Connections Programme links in locally with the East Belfast Health Development Framework. At a regional level it links into the Northern Ireland Healthy Living Centre Regional Alliance.