Making a difference
We improve people’s lives
Everything we do benefits our communities. We are a Community Interest Company. That means that any profits we make are reinvested to improve the lives of other people.
So, by working with us, you will be helping yourself and other.
Empowering communities to address their own Hypertension
Hypertension Heroes is a project that started in 2022 and aims to work with community partners to address health inequalities around self-management of hypertension.
We are very excited to be able to share the phase 2 report for Hypertension Heroes Summary Report.
The report evaluates the activities and outcomes of the second phase of this project. The report shows that the Hypertension Heroes hubs are becoming more rooted within their communities and overall, they supported over 900 individuals to take their own blood pressure.
Evidencing the success of our Hypertension work in Kent & Medway
Healthwatch Kent are experts at evidencing the social return on an investment. That's why we asked them to analysis the work that we've been doing in Folkestone, Gillingham & Gravesend to help people to monitor and manage their own blood pressure.
Healthwatch's analysis shows that for every £1 invested in the pilot in Kent, £3.11 has been generated in social value.
In Medway, that figure changes to £9.43 of social value generated by every £1 that was invested.
In total, 830 people were helped to measure their blood pressure and a total of £315,611 of social value has been generated.
Reducing social isolation & improving digital confidence
For the past year we've been working with a great group of voluntary organisations helping people in East Kent to learn new digital skills and grow their confidence in technology.
Check out our Social Return on Investment which evidences the impact this project has had on the people that took part.
For every £1 invested, we've generated £28.74 in social value.
We're pretty pleased with that! Read the reports to find out more.
Empowering communities to address their own Hypertension
For the last six months, we've been working on an exciting innovative project that has enabled people in Folkestone, Gravesend & Gillingham to manage their own blood pressure.
We been working with 38 volunteers who we trained to become our Hypertension Heroes. Together we have helped 830 people to check their own blood pressure and understand why it's important to have a healthy blood pressure reading.
"You don't know what you have done you for me - you might have saved my life!"
Helping Carers to be heard
We're supporting Carers First's new Lightening the Load campaign which is providing information and support for carers who may be struggling to cope financially.
We had the pleasure of interviewing five inspirational carers and analysing feedback from over 1,100 carers to help Carers First to create the campaign.
We're delighted that their voices are now being heard and are passionately supporting the campaign which aims to help as many people as possible during the difficult months ahead. You too can support it here
Reducing inequalities for the Nepalese community
Every year we reinvest any profits back into our communities. Before Covid, we invested in a project to help the Nepalese community in Folkestone to get online and build their confidence using the computer. Now two years on our Social Return on Investment (SORI) analysis evidences its success.
For every £1 we invested, we can see a return of £20.90 worth of social value. That works out as an average of £8,041 worth of social value for every participant.
21 people from the Nepalese community have now been trained.
These people now feel less isolated and have gained knowledge and confidence which has enabled them to access health and social care services online, book their Covid vaccines and help other people too.
The project leader has now secured further paid work to roll the scheme out to other parts of Kent.
Overall, the project has generated £209,086 worth of social value/ impact in its first year
Winning for our volunteers
We’ve won an Investors in Volunteers award for the second time.
Volunteers are central to many of our projects. Within both Healthwatch Kent & Healthwatch Medway they are involved in every aspect, from making decisions about our priorities, through to visiting services and listening to people about their experiences. It’s so important to us that our volunteers feel supported and valued and are constantly learning new skills, so we are particularly pleased that this award recognises that.
Helping migrant communities to access sexual health services
Traditionally, people who are over 45 and who weren’t born in the UK, are less likely to use sexual health services. Kent Public Health came to us because they wanted to understand what the barriers are, and how they can help people to get the support that they need.
We spoke indepth to 56 people about what stopped them from using sexual health services and helped them to understand that support is available.
We had to use all our creative skills to reach people and ensure they felt comfortable to talk to us about such a sensitive subject, but we’re excited that the feedback we’ve heard will be used to help other people to get the help that they need.
Maybe you need help to reach a specific community? We’d love to hear from you!
Helping D/deaf people in East Kent to get an interpreter
It’s taken years but we’ve finally done it! We know that D/deaf people often find it hard to get a British Sign Language Interpreter when they go to hospital.
Our Healthwatch Kent volunteers have been working with East Kent Hospitals to design a new, and free, credit card that enables them to clearly state that they need an interpreter.
"Thanks to you, I’ve been able to book the Covid vaccine for 10 people"
We are a community interest company which means we reinvest any profit back into the community. We funded a new project which is offering digital skills to the Nepalese community in Folkestone.
Tika Ram told us about his new found skills. “I had a laptop but I wasn’t confident in how to use it. Now, I know how to book an appointment with my GP, join Zoom meetings and do shopping online.”
Tika Ram has used his newfound skills to help other people. He completed the Census for nine Nepalese families and has booked the Covid vaccine for 10 people in his community. Without his help, they wouldn’t have been able to do that.
Influencing the development of the Complex Emotional Difficulties pathway
Through our work in mental health we’ve heard how challenging it can be for people living with Personality Disorder. Our Mental Health User Network has captured this feedback and shared it with the Mental Health Trust in Kent.
As a direct result of our feedback, changes are being made to the new Complex Emotional Difficulties pathway that is being developed and the Trust has committed to further improvements too.