Developing your product or service
One of the first things to do is think about the service or product you offer, including
- Who benefits from your activity?
- What does it cost?
In order to be able to commission a service, the commissioner needs to understand how this fits with their priorities.
Understanding your local context
You may not have much time to spend reading lots of documents but if you only do two things:
- Identify your local contacts: Can you find contacts in the Clinical Commissioning Group, Health and Well Being Board and Public Health contacts.
- Find out your local health priorities: Do a web search using the name of your local CCG and search for JSNA (Joint Strategic Needs Assessment). The JSNA analyses the local needs and priorities to inform and guide the commissioning process. It underpins the local health and wellbeing strategies.
Developing a consortia or partnership
One of the key things to think about is what you are offering the commissioners in terms of your service. Commissioners may not have the time or inclination to deal with lots of small groups so think about what partnerships or collaborations could offer, including:
- Other similar but different services that appeal to wider groups.
- Activities that cover the winter season e.g. cooking.
- Organisations that offer similar activities but in a different geographical location.
- Larger organisations who can take on the challenge of dealing with CCG.
- Smaller organisations who can offer a real grassroots services.
It is also important to think about the type of arrangement that you want to have with these organisations, ranging from an informal situation where you all get together to promote yourself to a more formal partnership or consortium, governed by a document that sets out the status/ lead/ roles etc.
Whatever you decide it needs to be appropriate to your situation, but we would advise putting something in writing between partners, no matter how informal to avoid confusion. Contact your local council for voluntary services for more information or take a look at the links below:
Working with the health service
A lot of information has been written about the benefits of a partnership between the health services and voluntary sector. To find out more visit www.socialenterprise.org.uk/advice-services/publications/the-power-partnerships-working-with-the-vcse-sector-for-healthhere
Growing Health: Growing Health is a national project run by Garden Organic and Sustain, which is funded by the Tudor Trust, to see how community food growing can be routinely used by the health and social care services as a way of promoting health and wellbeing for a range of individuals and population groups.
You can get involved
We are keen to hear from anyone interested in or running a project that links community food growing with health and wellbeing or looking to develop this area.
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