Community engagement for health and wellbeing 2010 to date

The contribution of postgraduate students in health and social care education at the Bridge Community Education Centre in Moulsecoomb

School of Nursing & Midwifery – The Bridge Community Education Centre

The aim is to facilitate an exchange of knowledge and good working practices between two providers of educational services aimed at different audiences. The project aims to raise awareness in the two student populations respectively: The aim is for university students to gain in-depth knowledge of a community learning context through observation and participation/facilitation and, for the community learners, to gain access to relevant and up-to-date knowledge on relevant health topics. Longer term impact may include improved health and wellbeing for the families of the service users and resultant reduction in generational cycles of poverty and poor health.

The two project partners are neighbours in a very real and physical sense. Working together constitutes a neighbourly way of helping each other progress and taking a keen interest in what goes on “in each other’s lives”. The hope for the project is that bringing representatives from the university into the community setting will help raise awareness of university life, raise aspirations of local residents by creating awareness of the opportunities and pathways of learning available in the local community, open lines of communication between health practitioners and community representatives and help the process of promoting integration and furthering understanding between local residents and the student community, a process already initiated via CUPP.

The evaluations from the work highlighted that the participants enjoyed the pace of the workshop and the wide range of methods of learning, with quizzes, games, demonstrations and practice of gentle exercise. Some participants were encouraged to look at their diet and undertake more exercise. The evaluation forms identified the desire for more similar workshops and exercise programmes for the over 50’s and 60’s at The Bridge.

The opportunity to work with The Bridge and access teaching observation opportunities and offer workshops on relevant health and social care topics has now become a mainstream part of a teaching module.

The On Our doorsteps project enabled Helen Stanley to develop her role as a trustee at The Bridge and offer something tangible to the centre in a project format.

The project has received coverage in university publications and the local news. Project Partners Jayne Ross (The Bridge Community Education Centre)

Sofie Franzen (The Bridge Community Education Centre)

Helen Stanley (School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Brighton)