During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ealing was one of the worst hit areas in London. While it is important to recognise the challenges and burden on Ealing communities, some good things emerged. One of them being cross-sector collaboration to foster community participation and engagement. Ealing Council has been successful in a bid to carry out some research with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) to develop and strengthen these links and to improve health equity in Ealing and West London.
As part of the bid submission, we identified several successful cross-sector collaborations during the pandemic, which included Ealing Together, a network of charities, local groups, businesses and concerned residents that came together to support and make a real difference to their communities. Another successful cross-sector collaboration, which has been recognised by the Local Government Association, was the joined-up approach taken to increase vaccine uptake in the borough. Crucially, significantly increasing uptake in groups associated with low uptake, such as low-socio economic groups and Black Caribbean and Pakistani communities.
For the IDS-led research study, Ealing Council will be exploring a community asset and research partnership with community, health and social sectors including NHS North West London, Southall Community Alliance, Voices of Colour and The Young Foundation for health equity in Ealing and West London. To find out more about the IDS research study, visit the IDS website.
The research study will also focus on the recently launched Community Champions programme, a dedicated network of local volunteers acting as a link between the council and community to support and promote health and wellbeing. To find out more, visit the Community Champions hub on the Ealing Council website.
Councillor Josh Blacker, the council’s cabinet member for healthy lives, said: “Ensuring that everyone across our seven towns is equipped to live a healthy life is at the centre of our work as a council. The pandemic has shown us that one of our strongest assets is our Ealing community. I am looking forward to working collaboratively with the IDS and others to explore these links, so we can address health inequalities and improve the health and wellbeing of the Ealing population.”