The King’s Fund launches new strategy alongside major £3 million grant-funding programme

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The King's Fund has published a new strategy for the next five years. The strategy focuses on three strategic priorities: building healthier places and communities; tackling the worst health outcomes; and supporting people and leaders working in health and care.

The new strategy marks a shift in how The King's Fund will work, with a stronger focus on improving health and care services for people who currently have the poorest health outcomes. It also signals a renewed emphasis on collaborating with partners, including the voluntary and community sector.

Following publication of its strategy, The King's Fund has also announced a major new partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund that will see up to £3 million of funding available to help voluntary and community organisations boost the health and wellbeing of their communities.

The Healthy communities together programme, which is due to launch in the coming weeks, will give charities funding and development support to build partnerships with the NHS and local authorities in their area. It will combine the health, care and leadership expertise of The King’s Fund with grant funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Many voluntary and community organisations are thinly stretched and unable to dedicate time to sharing their knowledge of the community in order to shape local health and care plans. Charities can also face difficulties navigating complex NHS and local authority contracting rules and the financial challenge of chasing short-term funding from national and local government.

Commenting on the new strategy and the Healthy communities together programme, Richard Murray, Chief Executive of The King's Fund, said:

'The King's Fund was originally established to support voluntary hospitals in London and now has a long history of working to improve health and care in England. I am delighted that this new chapter in the organisation’s history is starting with a major new programme to unlock the potential of the voluntary sector to improve people’s health.

'Voluntary and community organisations provide the types of care, support and advocacy that the public sector can struggle to offer. But despite organisations working towards the same goal, in the same place, often supporting the same people, the two sectors can struggle to work together.

'The Healthy communities together programme will provide the much-needed funding and leadership support to build long-lasting partnerships between local charities, community groups and public sector organisations. By working together hand-in-glove, voluntary sector, NHS and local authority organisations will be able to have a bigger impact on the health of their communities.'

Commenting on the Healthy communities together programme, Elly De Decker, England Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

‘Whether volunteers delivering a service or professionals striving to provide the best possible health and care, people understand, better than anyone, what is needed to improve their health. 

‘That is why we’re excited about this partnership, which will enable these sectors to work better together, encourage the exchange of information and ideas, and will empower people to bring about positive change. Because when people are put in the lead, our communities thrive.'

The Healthy communities together programme will be open to applications from voluntary and public sector organisations working together in a local area in England. Up to six pilot areas will be chosen to start work later this year, with the programme specifically designed to target areas experiencing the most disadvantage.

Notes to editors

For more information, contact:

Andrew McCracken
Head of Press and Public Affairs
The King's Fund
020 7307 2594
07774 907960

Information about the Healthy communities together programme

  • Applications for the Healthy communities together programme will open in spring 2020.
  • From Friday 24 January, organisations and collaboratives interested in the programme can sign up to the Healthy communities together mailing list via The King’s Fund website.
  • Applications will be open to partnerships of voluntary sector and health and care organisations working in a local area, such as a town or city. 
  • The programme will specifically target areas that experience the most disadvantage.
  • The Healthy communities together programme has been developed with the input of charity leaders and health and care commissioners.
  • The programme is expected to run for four years.

The King’s Fund is a leading independent charity working to improve health and care in England. Its new strategic priorities are to work with people in the health and care system to:

  • drive improvements in health and wellbeing across places and communities
  • improve health and care for people with the worst health outcomes
  • support people and leaders working in health and care.

The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. The organisation awards money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, The National Lottery Community Fund has made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people. The organisation is passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything the organisation does is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, funding is open to everyone. The National Lottery Community Fund takes pride in working with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.