Charities to combat health inequalities with £2m funding package

A number of UK charities have joined the Voluntary Community and social enterprise (VCSE) Health and Wellbeing Alliance, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced.  

The new members will “ensure strong, diverse representation to reduce health inequalities” according to the statement from the DHSC.

The newly created Office of Health Promotion, which will officially launch later this year, will be part of the plans to eradicate health inequalities in the UK.  

Health Minister, Helen Whately said: “The Health and Wellbeing Alliance is one of the key ways to ensure a range of voices are heard and reflected in government policy – their insight is invaluable. 

“Over the last few years members have made an enormous contribution to a number of important policy developments ranging from improving access to services for groups affected by health inequalities and more recently ensuring the COVID-19 vaccination campaign reaches all communities. 

 “This refreshed membership of 19 charities is a fantastic opportunity to ensure we continue to hear from the most underrepresented voices and make sure important health messages reach those they affect the most.” 

The 19 charities are part of the voluntary community and social enterprise (VCSE) Health and Wellbeing Alliance, and their membership tenure starts from 2021 and ends in 2024.  Members include well-known charities such as Age UK, Barnardos, British Red Cross, and Samaritans.

The pregnancy charity Tommy’s is also leading a maternity and neonatal consortium, which will contribute to a new women’s health strategy that is due to be launched later this year.  

Naomi Phillips, Director of Policy and Advocacy, British Red Cross said: “The British Red Cross is proud to become a member of the Health and Wellbeing Alliance and work with partners from the statutory and voluntary sectors to promote equality of access, experience and outcomes across our health and social care system.” 

The alliance benefits from £2 million in funding each year, and the members aim to represent marginalised groups such as LGBTQ+ and minority communities.  

The full list of charities who are members of the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Health and Wellbeing Alliance is available, here.