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Huntingdonshire District Council's (HDC) Health Inequalities Project, funded through the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System, is progressing as the first two projects are agreed.

£48,750 had already been distributed across 15 local community groups to assist with community consultation. HemingfordHub and Kimbolton Parish Council have been running pilot sessions with this funding, including Strength and Balance, Aqua classes and Love to Move (dementia-friendly exercise). A further £11,500 has been approved for projects being delivered through Brampton Hub and Social Echo, Yaxley.

Brampton Hub will fund a dedicated Youth Worker with a mental health responsibility, to deliver mental health informed positive activities with therapeutic intentions in their established Youth Club.

Chairman of Brampton Hub, Peter Menzcer, said: "Cambridgeshire County Council services for young people and Brampton Surgery both report large increases in young people with mental health issues and a shortage of professional resources to support them.

"This grant will enable us to employ a person with young people's mental health counselling training to work with young people within the recently established Brampton Youth Club, linking with Brampton Surgery and Hinchingbrooke School.

"Key objectives are to reduce the need for expensive further intervention in adulthood by providing coping strategies to increase wellbeing and to provide a model that others might copy."

Social Echo will extend The Hobby Hub Artist Led Day Sessions - workshops that will bring together local residents, in a safe warm space and engage in art with themes around health and wellbeing. Alongside this, they will establish a Men's Shed, a community space for men to connect, converse and create.

Director of Social Echo, Yaxley, Ollie Ayres, said: "The demand for our existing Hobby Hub has been ever growing, and with this funding we are able to deliver day sessions, and a Men’s Shed in the new year, in conjunction with local artists and crafters.

"Demand for these has been from local residents, of Yaxley and Farcet, conducted via surveys, and coproduction events.

"The Men's Shed will offer a first of its kinds space locally for residents, as well the artist led sessions will tackle, isolation, connection, sense of place and offer warmth."

Executive Councillor for Community and Health, Cllr Ben Pitt, said: "The Health Inequalities project is providing local community groups with invaluable support, not only financially, but by providing them with dedicated expertise from officers at HDC.

"The enthusiasm of the community groups to support their residents is remarkable and it is wonderful to see the range of different ideas for activities coming forward.

"I look forward to seeing Brampton Hub and Social Echo's projects get off the ground, and see the other 13 groups develop their ideas in the coming months."

Find out more about the Health Inequalities Project.