Community Bridges is a community interest company which aims to transform health and social care by empowering individuals to use their community for support. They are doing this through:
- mapping community projects and charity organisations in Southwark and, soon, all of London
- developing a mobile app showing local events and community projects along with information and lessons to help develop health awareness
- publishing local magazines built by the community for the community. These magazines will focus on localities across London with information and articles on local events, activities, and community projects, as well as local business advertising.
This movement addresses the disempowerment and medicalisation that current healthcare provision means, for some, by focusing on community prevention and growing local support networks. Currently, the NHS is the first port of call for people’s health and wellbeing, but the NHS can’t keep up with demand. Austerity means that people go to the GP with stress and anxiety associated with food poverty or benefit issues. Resources to address these concerns exist in the community but many are not embedded enough in their local community to know. Community Bridges want to make it easy for people to access community activities and get to know their neighbours so people can find a diverse range of support which works for them. They hope to see increased attendance at local community activities and, in the long-term, fewer GP visits and improved life satisfaction in the areas they operate.