Today we launched the latest round of NHS Health Improvement Fund, opening opportunities for organisations across the County to help improve local health.

The Fund, a legacy of the former County Durham PCT was set up in 2013 to support general health and wellbeing projects that enhance the work of the NHS across the county. The initiative has supported 44 projects with more than £500,000 across County Durham and Darlington. This year the Fund will make £100,000 available to further support projects that make a real difference to the lives of local people.

The impact of the funding is far-reaching. Tin Arts in Durham received funding in 2015 to run their ‘Creative Choices’ project. Their innovative arts and cultural activity programme engaged with 20 people with autism to help them develop self-confidence, improve communication skills and to help them to move closer towards being employable.

Visiting the project in February this year Dr David Smart, Chair of the North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group and a member of the Durham & Darlington NHS Health Improvement Fund said: “It has been fantastic to see this money being used in such a positive way. It’s really needed in the community and we look forward to considering the next round of applications later in the year.”

Martin Wilson, Director of Tin Arts said:
“We were delighted to be awarded this grant for our Creative Choices project and also for representatives of the panel and County Durham Community Foundation to visit. Funding like this makes such a difference to what we can offer to individuals who might need more help with communication and other skills.”