Each year we've set aside funding to support local voluntary and community group projects that help us reach communities and people with “protected characteristics”, as defined in the Equality Act 2010.
Through support from this Community Investment Fund, the groups we work with are able to do more and also, in some cases, become more sustainable as our support leads to funding from other bodies too. In return, they become ambassadors for Healthwatch Dorset, spreading information about us in their own communities and enabling people to share their experiences of services with us. In that way, we increase the amount and diversity of feedback we hold from local people, which we use to influence positive change in local services.
Over the last 18 months we’ve funded and supported 18 local projects, covering a wide range of communities, from school and disability groups to homeless support and carers’ groups.
This report - Making More Voices Heard - gives a snapshot of those projects.