The ‘Level Crossing’ project has run for the past 18 months as an intervention project to support local people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes who struggle to make behaviour changes to prevent further health problems. West Lancs CVS has been working in partnership with Skelmersdale Community Food Initiative and the University of Central Lancashire.
The Level Crossing project has been training people across West Lancashire as health champions and local connectors to sources of help, and has now trained 45 people as fully qualified health champions. A further 21 individuals have completed a short course on how to promote health.
The Level Crossing twitter account has been posting news and health tips (@levelcrossingwl), and the project now has a webpage with details of the health champion role and a story of change – it only needs to start with one person!
For more information, go to www.wlcvs.org/level-crossing
Dr Dawne Gurbutt, Clinical Lead for Interprofessional Education, Faculty of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, says “This was a complex project involving community engagement and liaison across a wide geographical area of West Lancashire. Whilst maintaining a focus on the key issues that the project sought to address, West Lancashire CVS was able to utilise its role as an umbrella organisation to maximise other links and enhance the project in various ways via establishing connections, mapping against other projects and creating an interface between this and other projects which was mutually beneficial.
The links made via West Lancashire CVS and the willingness to listen, engage and adapt led to some good insights into the area, as well as the development of training which was fit for purpose for the client group and a sustained engagement across the community for the duration of the project. This project has given good insights into the locality, the communities and the challenges of provision and has taken a solution-focused approach to developing initiatives.
There is scope to build not only on the project, but on the connections and links which were developed around this piece of work”.