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Plymouth is one of 5 projects nationwide that are exploring how to tackle complex health inequalities https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/projects/healthy-communities-together. In Plymouth we are developing a network called Belong in Plymouth; connecting individuals who aspire to make Plymouth a city where no one feels forgotten. The sheer scale and complexity of isolation and it’s effects on health mean we cannot carry on working with soundbite answers as solutions. We know we need to explore and search for answers together – NHS, Statutory Services, the VCSE and individual citizens – we all experience isolation, loneliness and connection differently. Our experiences, carefully told, are powerful. We have to listen to each others stories to open our eyes to  new ways of working. Together we can recognise where the strong relationships are that support and build resilience, and highlight the gaps to create a clear picture of what the needs are. 

Healthy Communities Together has funded a core team who are:

  • Listening through Community Conversations on the ground, one to one phone calls, online communities, learning from each other and building awareness of the vast amount of connections that are needed if we want to be really serious about working together for the good of our city.
  • Facilitating training to release others to listen well, ask considered questions to open up the complexity of the issue and map the themes and stories that come back.
  • Looking at what Leadership means in our complex world – how do we drive action without knowing the answers?
  • Building and supporting Networks of concerned people and organisations across Plymouth who want to do things differently.  
  • Supporting and learning from the amazing Action happening across Plymouth by looking at how we connect the small actions to the big picture and supporting existing action through capacity building support.

It’s a huge aspiration for Plymouth to become a city where  feels forgotten. In a sense all of us have to become agents of change, empowered to see this happen, regardless of whether we are traditional decision makers or not.

We have open invitations for anyone to be involved.

The story behind the bubbles

“After speaking to many people involved in Belong In Plymouth, some common themes emerged with the most important being connections and fragility. The bubble idea was created to embrace this, showing the creation of connections (bubbles connecting with each other), isolation/loneliness (bubbles operate from each other) and also fragility. The logo is designed to embrace these connections in its application, with different versions being able to have other logos or images places inside the main bubble motif, the logo to be used as a stamp on top of other images/logos, or as a stand alone logo in it’s own right. The purple and cream colour palette has strong associations with compassion and care.”

Joe Meldrum, Plymouth Design