Community Explorers is a network that meets on a regular basis in north, central and south Manchester. It is a partnership between Manchester Health and Care Commissioning and Macc, and aims to bring together anyone with an interest in health and wellbeing from across voluntary and community sectors to influence, connect, share knowledge and build relationships.
It is an informal and valued opportunity to collaborate with others, whilst sharing information about services and activities and directly influencing some of the key strategies across the city.
North Manchester Community Explorers meet monthly. South and Central Manchester Community Explorers meet bi-monthly, as the meetings are alternated with the eight bi-monthly Neighbourhood Partnership Forums supported by the GP Federations.
This creates a useful balance between sharing, connecting and influencing at a locality level at Community Explorers, and working practically at a neighbourhood level at the Neighbourhood Partnerships. The Neighbourhood Partnerships also provide a great opportunity to connect with primary care and other statutory health and social care providers at a neighbourhood level. These meetings are facilitated by a neighbourhood GP Transformation Lead.
Following feedback from Community Explorers, quarterly city-wide events have been added to the 2019 meeting dates. These meetings will enable Community Explorers to influence and inform strategic discussions and themes across Manchester. Recent city-wide events have enabled Community Explorers to be informed and involved in the development of the Population Health Plan and how the Manchester Local Care Organisation works with the voluntary sector.
Community Explorers creates a space to build relationships between VCSE and public sector staff and work across the usual organisational boundaries to look everything that has a positive impact on health and wellbeing beyond access to healthcare services.
Over the past year, Community Explorers have influenced the Manchester Health and Care Commissioning outcomes framework and are working in partnership with us to promote the Lung Health Checks due to start in April 2019 in North and East Manchester.