Community engagement and involvement

Community engagement and involvement

Delivering the priorities set out in the JHWS cannot be done by the individual member organisations of
the Lincolnshire ICP on their own. Community support networks can play a vital role in enabling communities to flourish and play a vital role in ensuring that our residents are able to be healthy and live well.

Communities are usually best placed to solve the specific challenges they face. We can help to ensure that the right support and facilitation is in place. We want to see our communities being better able to bring about the changes they want to see.

This means we need to be clear how we will work with communities to:

  • Remove unnecessary obstacles and bureaucracy; and
  • Direct limited resources where they can have the biggest impact.

Our approach to delivering this priority enabler mirrors that set out in Lincolnshire County Council’s ‘Stronger Communities: Lincolnshire’s Community Strategy’, which consists of five themes. These are:

  • Theme 1: Consultation, engagement and collaboration
  • Theme 2: Community networks
  • Theme 3: Volunteering
  • Theme 4: Funding for our communities
  • Theme 5: Tools and data

  • Theme 1: Consultation, engagement and collaboration

    We want to develop new ways of engaging and collaborating with our residents, communities and their representative groups.We want to make sure they have a strong voice at the table, the independence to act and solve problems and the ability to thrive. We will enhance our approach to engagement and involvement to make it even easier for people to share their views to ensure we can be more confident that what we are doing has the backing of our communities and taken into account a broad range of needs. To achieve this we will:

    • Have more commonality around the way we work with our communities to hear their views and keep them up to date with the improvements that we are making.

    • Have more community based conversations. This will enable people to become more empowered and closer to the decisions that have the biggest impact on them.

    • Be clear where we do not need to play an active role in decision making. We appreciate that some decisions sit better with our communities and representative groups, but we will be able to provide expertise where necessary.

    • Develop our relationships with community groups to influence our decisions and enhance the community voice in all that we do.

    • Ensure our decision makers have access to more current and meaningful data about our communities and their wishes and aspirations.
  • Theme 2: Community networks

    Enabling everyone to enjoy life to the full requires strong community networks. We know there are examples of where the local community and health and care system work really well together. We will:

    • Set out and utilise a clear framework for engaging with community networks that represent adults, children and the places in which we live, work and play.

    • Use these examples to shape the way we deliver services and improve the offer to communities.

    • Do even more to develop our connections with, learn from and understand communities so that we have a shared understanding across the system.

    • Develop clear engagement plans so that people know what we are working on and how they can get involved.

    We will also work with communities to understand where our help and support can be best directed and what we jointly want to achieve. We will work with our partners and community groups to develop solutions in relation to prevention and health and care, and develop strong relationships to modernise the way our services are delivered.

    Throughout the pandemic, we have seen amazing examples of communities working together to support each other, both in person and through innovative digital solutions We want to build on this to:

    • Help communities become even stronger and more self sufficient.

    • Develop a better understanding of where communities are well placed to meet needs.

    • Understand where gaps in provision exist.

    • Be able to access community level expertise to help us to make informed decisions and better design our services.

    We want people to know what is available and to be able to access it when they need it, irrespective of who the provider is. By working with communities we will be better able to develop solutions together that will improve the quality of life for our residents

  • Theme 3: Volunteering

    Volunteering has never been more valuable to Lincolnshire and our way of life. Nationally, in 2019, 19.4 million people engaged in volunteering activities through groups, clubs or other organisations. In 2019 and 2020, volunteer centres in Lincolnshire were able to attract over £1.5m of funding with 2,787 people supported to access volunteering. Through increasing the level of community participation we can help communities to become more self sufficient and sustainable. We want to work with others to promote opportunities to volunteer and the benefits that volunteering brings.

    We recognise people will volunteer for lots of different reasons, whether to gain new skills or simply to give something back. We want to work with those closest to communities to improve opportunities for skills development through volunteering.

    This is often a really effective way of helping somebody to:

    • Take the first steps into employment.

    • Gain the confidence and experience that they need to thrive.

    We will develop more robust arrangements by working across sectors to support training, personal development, and volunteering opportunities to help our communities to thrive.

    We also know that those working within Lincolnshire’s health and care system often volunteer within their local communities. They utilise their time, skills and expertise to help others. We want to celebrate and support this amazing contribution and encourage more to come forward. As part of this we will
    encourage our partners to get involved and support community initiatives.

  • Theme 4: Funding for our communities

    One of the ways that we invest in communities is through grants to groups and organisations. These often provide valuable support to our residents at a time of need or crisis. Recently we've seen an increased need for these services due to the impact of the pandemic on people’s health and wellbeing.

    We will work collectively to review the effectiveness of our current approach by looking at how funding to voluntary sector infrastructure bodies is used to identify opportunities to learn from best practice, deliver better outcomes for our communities, and get the best use of the Lincolnshire pound.

    We will engage nationally and aim to attract more money into Lincolnshire, and look for opportunities to target funds to those most in need and achieve the maximum impact. We will enhance the content of the Lincolnshire funding portal and work with groups to ensure they:

    • Are aware of the funding that is available to them from others.

    • Can access the help that is available on how to secure additional financial support.

    • Can evidence the social value that grant funded activities deliver within Lincolnshire.

    • Are able to demonstrate scalable solutions that tackle the challenges faced in different parts of the county.
  • Theme 5: Tools and data

    We know communities increasingly want more open dialogue with us through a range of mechanisms.

    To achieve the ambitions set out above, we need to invest in our teams so they have the right tools to support high quality engagement and are able to capture data and analyse it to share meaningful insights. We will continue to train and develop our teams so that they can apply best practice techniques and advise others on how to gain the maximum benefit from engagement activities.

    This, together with the new technologies, will enable us to:

    • Embed new approaches to engagement.

    • Improve information sharing practices to ensure improved insight and shared understanding of needs or views.

    • Standardise our approach and increase the number of people to participate in dialogue with us.

    • Support us to develop policies and practices that have the voice of communities at their heart.