Mental Health Concern is a proud core partner of the Northern Inclusion Consortium (NIC), alongside Changing Lives, Humankind, and Groundwork NE & Cumbria. This summer, the NIC is relaunching with a new vision and refreshed agenda to deliver three key aims:
- To encourage sustained health in our region
- To help nurture a stable economy
- To improve social wellbeing
The NIC’s primary objectives are to co-design more robust services for the most vulnerable people; leading the way with colleagues and partner organisations; to support a lasting, systematic change by giving everyone a voice. It calls for collaboration between service users, charities, the public sector, and government.
A deeper look at the North
England has some of the starkest regional inequalities in Europe. For instance, the employment rate for people with a disability in Tyne and Wear is 9.1% lower than the rest of the country. Middlesborough is said to have the highest rate of alcohol-related harm and opioid use in England, while the North East continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the country and the highest rate of economic inactivity in the UK.
There has never been a more important time to bring people’s needs to the forefront.
How can we move forward?
Following last year’s appointment of Jessie Joe Jacobs as the NIC’s new Director, the NIC embarked upon a research phase to better understand the challenges and opportunities faced by the individual organisations and the sector.
For too long there has been a power imbalance between those who hold funds and make policy and those who face issues or who are working at the coal face to support people with these issues. We see this particularly in the North East where Whitehall and Westminster seem a million miles away.
The NIC will seek to be a bridge between those with power and resources and those who need them, working together to find new ways to deliver services, share from our vast amount of expertise in working with the most vulnerable, whilst really listening to voices from the ground.
Paul Hayes, Chair of the NIC, added:
If we don’t come together to fight the issues, a lot of what we do is a wasted effort. Our communities and those who are in place to serve them are in need of new ideas, innovations, and ways of meeting the needs of our region. The NIC is a charity collaboration which pledges to build a bridge between those with power and resources and those who need them.
The NIC partners deliver collaborative projects around the North East: Step Forward Tees Valley and Moving On Tyne & Wear are programmes which, since 2017, have been helping people in their areas to break through complex barriers to employment. Both projects are funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund.
This summer, the NIC will relaunch with a new vision of becoming a sector-shaper and influencer, aiming to build partnerships and collaborations with a growing number of non-profit and public sector organisations. Mental Health Concern and the NIC’s other core partners are looking to co-design services, providing opportunities for people to be empowered and have their voices heard by policymakers.
Brendan Hill, Chief Executive of Mental Health Concern, said:
We are working in challenging times where the vulnerable are often struggling to get what they need to maintain their own health and wellbeing. We need to rethink how we can work together to better support the people we serve, transforming services to provide a system response to meet need. We look forward to playing our role within the NIC to help make this transformation a reality.
If you are interested in working with the NIC, get in touch directly to discuss possible opportunities.