The Life Rooms Social Model of Health is delivered in Liverpool through a three-pillar approach to support learning, social prescribing, and community.
To further support our three-pillar approach to health and wellbeing, we’ve commissioned VCSE organisations in Liverpool to help address identified areas of need within our communities.
Together, we will work to prevent the impacts of social factors from having a negative effect on the health and wellbeing of people in Liverpool.
Areas of identified need
The Life Rooms micro-commissioning support is aimed at targeting the cost-of-living crisis and how this impacts health and wellbeing, with particular emphasis around helping to support:
- Those who are unemployed, or employed on precarious short-term contracts
- Families (including working families)
- Single parents or carers (this could include grandparents caring for vulnerable children, and those caring for relatives)
- Elderly, isolated people
The VCSE organisations that we have commissioned have demonstrated that they are able to support one of the above categories (1-4) in terms of:
- Food poverty
- Fuel poverty
- Accommodation (to include the support of those who are or about to become homeless)
Throughout the commission, The Life Rooms’ Research Team will gather and analyse data to measure the reach, impact and successes of each of our commissioned organisations in supporting communities in Liverpool.
Our commissioned VCSE organisations
The Life Rooms have awarded funding to the following organisations for a 12-month period:
Age Concern Liverpool and Sefton was the first older adults focussed charity in the world, founded in 1928 by the social pioneer, Eleanor Rathbone. Their Mission is to promote happy, healthy and fulfilled lives for older people by creating opportunities to connect with others and discover purpose through the provision of exceptional care and support services. In 2014 the charity were awarded the freedom of the City of Liverpool in recognition of the high quality work they undertake with local older people.
In partnership with The Life Rooms, across Liverpool, Age Concern will provide a holistic suite of services designed to help older adults combat the impacts of the cost of living crisis. These services will specifically support community members facing food poverty, fuel poverty and employment challenges. They will deliver this support through a dedicated information and advice (I&A) service that specifically focuses on helping older adults access welfare benefits, government funding, energy supplier trust funds, and any other package of support that may be available (e.g. benefits, form filling, food banks, warm hubs etc.). In addition to this I&A service, they will also collaborate with local partners to offer employment support for older adults looking to re-enter the job market.
Citizens Advice Liverpool (CAL) provide clients with the knowledge and confidence they need to find a way forward with problems that seem complicated or intimidating. They help more than 20,000 clients each year with more than 85,000 different issues including benefits, debt, housing, and energy. Many of their clients are vulnerable including 66% with long-term health conditions/disability and more than 29% over age 60. Positive outcomes for clients from April 2021 to March 2022 include more than £8m in income gains.
Income Maximisation Project 65+ aims to address fuel and food poverty for 150 elderly isolated people through income maximisation across Liverpool. They will be focusing on the take-up of Pension Credit and Attendance Allowance as these are two benefits that they typically see underclaimed but can make a huge difference to income, allowing access to social activities and reducing isolation.
Everton in the Community (EitC) is one of the UK's top sporting charities and as Everton FC’s official charity, it is considered one of the Premier League’s leading community schemes due to the quality and reach of its various programmes. Since 1988, Everton in the Community has been at the forefront of social intervention across Merseyside, not afraid to tackle issues which others shied away from.
Through its 240+ dedicated full-time staff and 160+ volunteers, the charity offers more than 50 programmes covering a range of social issues including health, employability, anti-social behaviour, crime, education, dementia, poverty, youth engagement, youth justice, and disability. Operating seven days a week, 365 days a year, Everton in the Community supports the most vulnerable and underprivileged members of local communities, and the charity aims to instil confidence in others by creating life-changing opportunities.
The Life Rooms will support EitC in the delivery and sustainability of its Blue Base Pantry, which was launched in June 2022 and provides participants and people living in Liverpool 4 with access to discounted food and wrap-around support, such as advice and guidance on benefits, welfare and housing support, access to a registered GP, and wellbeing activities.
Delivered in partnership with Fans Supporting Foodbanks, St Andrews Community Network, and Fareshare, the Blue Base Pantry is now the fourth busiest ‘Your Local Pantry’ in the UK, with more than 400 active members registered on the system.
The Blue Base Pantry is currently operating at capacity and funding from The Life Rooms will help to reduce waiting lists and allow for an increase in food supplies, expansion of the team and additional wraparound activities and emergency provision.
Feeding Liverpool is the city’s food alliance. They connect, support and equip people and organisations in Liverpool working towards Good Food for All.
This micro-commission from The Life Rooms will enable Feeding Liverpool to expand the Queen of Green’s mobile greengrocer service, to improve access to good food in communities across Liverpool and Knowsley. The Queen of Green’s, which Feeding Liverpool operates in partnership with Global Feedback’s project Alchemic Kitchen, currently visits 27 places each week including children’s centers, GP surgeries, hospitals, and schools. The mobile greengrocer accepts Healthy Start cards and Alexandra Rose vouchers, to support low-income households to purchase fresh produce. The micro-commission will enable Feeding Liverpool and Alchemic Kitchen to develop a second route, targeting new stops in some of the region’s ‘food deserts’ – places with poor access to affordable fresh fruit and vegetables – and extending opening hours to provide greater access for working households.
The development of the Queen of Green’s is a priority project for Liverpool’s Good Food Plan, the city’s strategy to build a city where everyone can eat good food.
Granby Toxteth Development Trust (GTDT) is an independent, local charitable organisation which is based in the Toxteth area of Liverpool. They are the Community Anchor organisation for south-central Liverpool.
GTDT have been in existence since 1994 and their main aim is to help improve the social and economic well-being of residents and businesses within the area and its surroundings.
As the Community Anchor Organisation, GTDT wants to help and encourage local people to take an active role in civil society. They believe that the most sustainable form of community development comes from deep within the community itself.
The Joseph Lappin Partnership is a community hub, providing facilities in the interest of social welfare, relieving financial hardship and improving the social, physical, mental, and educational wellbeing of children, young people and adults in Old Swan and surrounding neighbourhoods. Services and activities delivered include weekly food pantry, dementia cafe, employment programmes, daily youth clubs, fitness for all ages, anxiety/motivation workshops, children's nursery, and adult learning courses.
Achieve, Eat Well and Feel Good is an employability and food security project. The Joseph Lappin Partnership will support people looking to return to work/change careers, helping them remove barriers, providing work experience and training. We will establish a men’s peer support group aimed at breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health and providing a safe space for them to share their concerns.
They are also delivering a Soil to Fork course, enabling participants to appreciate the benefits of fresh healthy foods whilst creating a vegetable garden. The beneficiaries will be those struggling with social isolation and low self esteem.
As part of the food elements of the project, they will deliver cookery courses, lunches for families in receipt of Free School Meals over school holidays, and ensure adequate stocks are maintained to meet demand for their food pantry.
Liverpool Arabic Centre (LAC) is a local charitable organisation developed by local people to advocate the social and economic well-being, improve the health and advance the education of the Arabic community whilst strengthening the awareness of the community within wider society through the celebration and promotion of all aspects of Arabic history, language, cultural heritage and identity.
LAC offer a range of services tailored to meet the needs of their communities, with activities for families and education, arts, heritage and culture, community resources and advocacy, and health.
Merseyside Refugee Support Network (MRSN) is one of the longest established refugee support services/charities in Liverpool and has an excellent track record of offering practical help and advocacy support through a person-centred casework model.
By helping refugees with their integration needs, MRSN can help them avoid the threat of homelessness and financial crisis and hence build their resilience and improve their health and wellbeing. The cost-of-living crisis is already putting increased pressure on all communities across our region, so where other vulnerabilities exist, MRSN want to be able to offer additional practical advocacy and employability support which meets the commissioning objectives.
Their aim is to help reduce the stress and anxiety from the risk of homelessness and/or financial crisis when refugees move on from the asylum system, which supports their wellbeing and employment chances by helping them to access and learn about statutory services (e.g. help to apply for benefits and housing), and also supports the development of their basic skills for managing benefits in the context of the added stress of the cost of living crisis and not having to choose between food or fuel.
The project is also underpinned by MRSN’s 1-2-1 employability support work, helping with CVs, basic job search and using volunteering tasters and opportunities to build people’s digital literacy skills and improve their general confidence – all in an empathetic and client centred approach, supporting onward social, economic and wellbeing integration pathways.
Merseyside Refugee Support Network are co-located with Asylum Link Merseyside (ALM) who provide support to people whilst they are still in the asylum process or when they are refused and destitute. Within this project, MRSN will access their complex-needs social work support and emergency food support as required. The links with Asylum Link are central to offering wider social engagement activities – for example gardening, cycling, singing, table tennis, and rock-climbing activities.
All project beneficiaries can access hot drinks and a meal Monday-Friday.
Women’s Health Information and Support Centre (WHISC) is a women’s community health hub, in Liverpool City Centre. Monday to Thursday they offer open access drop-in sessions, providing immediate support at the point of contact, in a safe and supportive space.
Their programme, funded by The Life Rooms over the next 12 months, will provide support to address money worries, inconsistent or unstable employment, and women experiencing social isolation.
The wrap-around support offered at their centre, includes one to one Listening Ear sessions, peer support groups, training courses, workshops and activities, which can support women’s physical and mental wellbeing.
YMCA Together in Liverpool is part of a charity working across the North West of England to support people who are experiencing challenging times in their lives.
Founded in 1844, throughout the years the YMCA has been a sanctuary of safety and a beacon of light and hope to everyone who needs them. Quietly working to support people who are vulnerable, in need, lonely, isolated and overlooked. The people they support are at the heart of all they do.