Agenda item


This report provides a summary overview of how this underpinning HWB Strategy, “system capability” for Empowered and Thriving Communities has been progressed to date. Positive examples are highlighted, particularly in some of the Key Neighbourhoods where there have been focused efforts to work more creatively and collaboratively alongside communities.





Daniel Shurlock - Design Lead for Empowered and Thriving Communities, Surrey County Council

Mari Roberts-Wood - Managing Director, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council (Priority 3 Sponsor)

Dr Gillian Orrow, Co-Founder of Growing Health Together, Programme Director and Healthy Horley PCN Lead

Dr Beccy Bowden - Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundation for Surrey


Key points raised in the discussion:

1.    The Design Lead for Empowered and Thriving Communities (SCC) noted that:

·         When the Health and Wellbeing Strategy was first refreshed with the goal to narrow health inequalities, there was a commitment to review how the system was working alongside communities and the identified Key Neighbourhoods were prioritised as they had the poorest health outcomes.

·         There were some fantastic examples across the system to be proud of in terms of building on learning and connecting more closely with communities; that work was being shared and done in a way that was understandable.

·         That engagement, listening and understanding of what was going on in Surrey’s communities, could be applied to other work and more needed to be done; looking at investment into community-led action for example, through various funds such as Your Fund Surrey and the MHIF.

2.    The Priority Three Sponsor provided an example of the joint work in Merstham:

·         Merstham was the most deprived area in Surrey, looking at the 21 Key Neighbourhoods it had some of the most concentrated challenges. Reigate and Banstead Borough Council had been investing in community development work within Merstham for the past fifteen years. She encouraged Board members to visit the Merstham Community Hub - including a library and a community café - which was resultant from the engagement and co-design work with residents and it was supported by volunteers; it had played a key role during Covid-19.

3.    The Co-Founder of Growing Health Together, Programme Director and Healthy Horley PCN Lead provided an example of Health Creation in East Surrey:

·   Health Creation had been game changing for East Surrey through Growing Health Together, which developed key working relationships with Surrey County Council and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council’s Community development team, building on the fantastic work that Reigate and Banstead Borough Council had been developing over the past fifteen years. Focused Health Creation work was undertaken in Nailsworth Crescent housing estate in Merstham, through engagement and listening the residents highlighted their priorities which included improving the quality of their housing, improving the social provision for young parents and their families, and improving the local environment in terms of green spaces and air quality. Through partnership work the various sectors worked alongside local people to affect the changes requested by the community, evidence from elsewhere in the country suggested that approach could catalyse significant and sustained reversal of even entrenched health inequalities.

4.    The Chief Executive Officer (Community Foundation for Surrey) provided an example of future investment opportunities:

·         The Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS) was established in 2005 and its mission statement was to grow philanthropy to change the lives of local people for the better, using donors’ money to make the most impact over the long-term, bringing together key people and organisations. Over the last three years the CFS had £4 million worth of grants out in the first few months of 2020; and so far it had awarded over £20 million into Surrey, focusing only on local charities and community organisations, and it had generated over £37 million in endowed funds. The £17 million of invested funds were split into 89 different funds for a particular cause or area, each was run by a panel of local volunteers. The CFS sought to change the narrative, particularly in those Key Neighbourhoods to focus on the huge resources that were available in Surrey. She noted the grant awarded to the Merstham Community Hub to grow and develop their business. She noted that the CFS sought to use the 16 area funds to build capacity in local communities, for example Guildford Philanthropy was set up in 2014; over £1 million had been raised for the area. She noted that it would be good to engage people more to help them to manage that investment.

5.   The Design Lead for Empowered and Thriving Communities (SCC) concluded that the report set out the commitment to the work and the need to engage and understand Surrey’s communities in terms of data and insights and how that informed the commissions and service designs. Going forward, it would be vital to undertake that capacity building, local listening and looking longer-term concerning how the system could leverage other types of investment into community action, looking at the detail through working in partnership.

6.   The Chairman noted that the work would align with the towns and villages initiative, with the detail to follow early next year.




1.    Noted the progress to date, examples and key reflections from efforts to work more creatively and collaboratively alongside communities.

2.    Confirmed that the development of the Empowered and Thriving Communities system capability be further embedded into ways of working right across the Surrey system, with a priority focus on partnership work alongside communities in the 21 Key Neighbourhoods.

3.    Agreed that over the next 12 months there will be a focus on specific actions for (i) strategic direction and alignment (ii) data and insights (iii) capacity building (iv) investment.


Actions/further information to be provided:




Supporting documents: