Health Equalities

Supporting The National Lottery Community Fund’s Health Equality Development Grantees to reduce health inequalities through effective and sustainable partnerships between the voluntary and statutory sector

As part of their Health Equalities programme, The National Lottery Community Fund awarded £700,000 to support 14 local areas in the developmental phase of establishing effective and sustainable partnerships between the voluntary and community sector, the NHS and local authorities to improve health and wellbeing, reduce health inequalities and empower communities. These place-based partnerships have the potential to bring about significant change, promoting the role of the voluntary sector and the value of cross-sector partnerships.

In addition, The National Lottery Community Fund has commissioned the Innovation Unit to support the 14 Health Equality Development Grantees and are working together with the aim to:

  • Connect and convene the Health Equality partnerships
  • Generate and share learning
  • Communicate this learning to wider audiences in both the voluntary and statutory system.

This has involved the Innovation Unit in facilitating a series of learning activities with the Health Equality Development Grantees across the nine months, as well as some events aimed at sharing the learning with a wider audience.

The activities with grantees so far have included:

  • identifying and prioritising features of successful partnerships
  • training grantees to run influencing events in their localities using Mark Moore’s Strategic Triangle
  • identifying solutions to common barriers grantees face in engaging NHS colleagues
  • hearing from voluntary and statutory partnership experts
  • one-on-one coaching calls with grantees
  • sharing different approaches to governance and delivery structures that grantees are working within in their local areas.

Together with the Health Equality Development Grantees we have prioritised some key learning questions to guide our work. These include:

  • How do we work across sectors to deliver improvements on persistent inequalities that are rooted in social issues?
  • How do we ensure engagement from all parts of the community, focusing on seldom heard groups?
  • How do we ensure engagement is meaningful and integral to the process, and how do we keep all groups engaged long term despite a historical lack of trust between some communities and statutory services?
  • How do we turn interested NHS advocates into active agitators and cheerleaders for the voluntary sector?
  • How do we capture the value of VCSE activities and local trusted relationships in a way that has traction with statutory funders?
  • How do we create and sustain capacity in VCSE to contribute effectively to place based partnerships?

All learning from the programme will be shared on this page. For more information please email