A guide to Health Partnerships for Community Radio

This information is designed to guide community radio stations through the current health and social care landscape and to help raise awareness of the impact of community radio stations on health and wellbeing. We aim to equip stations with the skills, knowledge and confidence required to engage in conversations with health partners and explore opportunities to work together which are aligned with relevant policies, strategies and national thinking.

Community Radio has a unique and relatively unexplored role within the way that we transform how health and social care is developed and delivered. As conversations around sharing the stories of local people, reaching people in different ways and strengthening the voices within neighbourhoods continue, there presents a new opportunity to build upon the strong links that community radio has. We need to explore new ways of sharing messages and enabling local people and communities to share their experiences and start new conversations about health and wellbeing as equal partners.

This is a community development approach that enables local communities to use the medium of community radio to share information and stories but in equal partnerships with colleagues in health and social care who are often grappling with the challenges that working in an asset-based, community-led way present.

Community radio can bring people together and has a direct relationship with people in their own homes. It can help public sector partners combine personal stories with important health messages in a way that matters to the participants and makes sense to the listeners. It can bring together people’s expertise with the resources of the local community to improve health and wellbeing by designing content that is relevant and credible to the target audience.Community Radio is often how a specific community of people organises itself to have a voice. This could be in terms of geographic place, or identity, and it carries a weight of knowledge about its local area and demographics, plus how to reach and engage with specific groups of people in a way that enables them to actively participate, not just respond. Community radio stations are often embedded within local communities, and being part of an active and connected community is a key enabler of health and wellbeing and has an influence on the wider social determinants of health.

Here we look at some key opportunities and practical steps that Community radio stations can take to fully engage in this agenda and maximise the opportunities.

We start with a Greater Manchester focus both for local stations but also as an insight into where things could go in the rest of the UK. While the names of organisations may change in other parts of the country the rationale and language will be similar – especially with the emphasis on ‘voice’, ‘asset-based’ approaches and partnership.

  1. Greater Manchester: The Devolution of Health and Social Care
  2. A Healthier Manchester. A local perspective
  3. Health and Wellbeing. The Real Story
  4. The national picture – beyond Greater Manchester
  5. The opportunities
  6. Jargon buster/ terms to use
  7. Case Studies