A Healthwatch Shropshire report highlights the experiences of people in South West Shropshire who are living with food insecurity. As part of a pilot project, funded by Shaping Places for Healthier Lives programme, they worked with Shropshire Council Public Health, Citizens Advice Shropshire and the Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance members to hear from individuals and families with lived experience of food insecurity and those who work to support them.
Following the pilot project a detailed plan was submitted to the Shaping Places for Healthier Lives programme, supported by the Health Foundation in partnership with the Local Government Association. Following a rigorous process, Shropshire Council have been awarded £300,000, over 3 years, to tackle food insecurity in South-west Shropshire.
The key recommendations in the report include:
• The public and voluntary sector need to work in partnership to create services which are accessible and easy to navigate.
• Improved communication to support more joined up working across the community and public sector,
• Referral pathways to be streamlined to make sure people are able to access the right support at the right time
• Develop ‘wrap around’ support for people who are in financial need to prevent them reaching crisis
The full report can be found here
Lynn Cawley, Healthwatch Shropshire Chief Officer, said, “We are delighted to have played a part in the project ensuring that the voices of those experiencing food insecurity are at the heart of this work and we are really looking forward to seeing how this funding makes a difference to the health and wellbeing of those living with food poverty.”
Rachel Robinson, Director of Public Health Shropshire, said, “The findings from those with a lived experience of food insecurity are especially stark and highlight this growing problem and its impact on people’s health and wellbeing. I endorse the recommendations highlighted in the report and the need to work together with communities, the voluntary sector and with partners to tackle the stigma and issues raised through the research”
Healthwatch Shropshire is the independent health and social care champion in Shropshire. It gathers the views and experiences of patients, service users, carers, and the general public about services including hospitals, GPs, mental health services, community health services, pharmacists, opticians, residential care and children’s services. It also has statutory powers that it can use to influence service provision by encouraging improvements.