South London Listens shortlisted in the Best Community Initiative category at the CorpComms Awards 2021 | Press releases

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South London Listens shortlisted in the Best Community Initiative category at the CorpComms Awards 2021

South London Listens: Preventing a mental ill-health crisis programme has been shortlisted in the Best Community Initiative category at the CorpComms Awards 2021.

In direct response to the impact of Covid-19, the three mental health Trusts in south London (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust) mobilised quickly, with South East and South West London Integrated Care Systems and Local Authority partners, to determine how we could protect our communities’ mental health. We have made incredible progress to form a two-year programme of prevention and recovery which will be published this autumn.

Having created a Taskforce, with membership from across statutory and community organisations, to drive this work, we launched South London Listens with our charity partner Citizens UK and trained nearly 300 people in community listening. We managed to hear from almost 6,000 south Londoners between November 2020 – March 2021. These were small group sessions or individual conversations to understand the challenges people were facing and what solutions they felt would have the biggest difference. A further 600 people completed a survey.

Using the outputs of the listening, we refined our plan into four specific areas ‘children, young people and parental mental health’, ‘access to services for migrant and refugee communities’, ‘work and wages’ and ‘social isolation, loneliness and digital exclusion’. At the heart of this prioritisation was working with members of our communities, through co-design workshops, to make sure that actions identified remained grassroots driven, relevant and achievable.

On 16 June 2021 our community, taking the four priority areas shaped by the listening programme, called a virtual summit meeting where over 800 people joined to ask NHS and Local Authority Leaders to pledge their commitment to 22 actions over two years that would improve their mental health and support their recovery from the impact of Covid-19. The full action plan will be published in Autumn this year.

Martin Wilkinson, Mental Health transformation senior lead at NHS South East London Integrated Care System, said:

"This programme is a fantastic example of how statutory organisations across the public sector can come together quickly to work hand in hand with our communities to listen and identify real solutions that matter to them. We have a very genuine opportunity to work with local people to make a tangible and lasting difference to their lives and support their recovery from the mental health impact of Covid-19. I would like to thank everyone who got involved in the work so far and for sharing their experiences on what put pressure on their mental well-being over the pandemic which has helped to shape the priorities for South London Listens."

Ranjeet Kaile, Director of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"South London Listens has been a programme of genuine co-production – identifying the needs of our communities in partnership with residents and service users. We are thrilled to be shortlisted for this award. Despite the obvious barriers to engagement posed by Covid-19, we managed to engage with so many south Londoners and have co-designed a two-year programme of mental ill health prevention as a result. We are very grateful to all our partners and communities for supporting South London Listens and we are looking forward to working together over the next two years to deliver on these priorities."

The South London Listens Story

South London Listens began life as the Mental Ill-Health Prevention and Recovery Programme. Launched in 2020 in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of our communities, it was driven by the three mental health Trusts in south London (South London and Maudsley, South West London and St Georges, and Oxleas).

Over the following 12 months, through community meetings, group conversations and a listening campaign in partnership with Citizen’s UK, we heard from more than 6,000 people across south London about the impact the pandemic had had on them and their ideas for how we can support them to recover.
At a community summit in June 2021, the mental health Trusts, along with local authorities, public bodies and community groups pledged their support to the community’s asks. South London Listens is the programme of work that will deliver those pledges. Find out more about South London Listens

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