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Grand Union and Catalyst announce innovative new partnership with Public Health

Grand Union Housing Group and fellow housing association, Catalyst, are excited to be leading a new partnership with regional public health teams to create a blueprint for a new way of working between health and housing.

The approach is designed to help tackle health inequalities through partnership working to improve access to, and engagement with, public health services.

Grand Union and Catalyst are proud to be working with the shared Public Health service across Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Councils on this exciting and innovative new partnership which will benefit thousands of residents.

The links between health and housing are long established and well known, and housing is a significant determinant of health. Tackling health inequalities and preventing ill health is a focus for Public Health and this new partnership recognises that the social housing sector is a key stakeholder to help achieve these aims. Over the last two years, health inequalities have been highlighted and felt more acutely by many during the pandemic.

The partnership, which is currently being piloted, will focus on supporting residents in areas including stopping smoking, improving mental health, offering mini health MOTs and encouraging people to take part in physical activity.

Phil Hardy, Grand Union’s Executive Director of Operations, said: “We have strong evidence from our transformational work in Clifton, Bedfordshire that partnerships like this help deliver sustainable, thriving communities and great outcomes for our customers. Our mission at Grand Union is to build stronger communities and better lives and I am delighted that we are able to get more health and housing pilots underway in partnership with our local Public Health team.

“The cost of living crisis is not just hitting people financially but also affecting their physical and mental health so there is no better time for us to come together and deliver joined up approach that promotes and supports health and wellbeing alongside high quality affordable housing.”

Vicky Head, Director of Public Health (Milton Keynes, Bedford Borough & Central Beds) said: “We are pleased to be working with Catalyst and Grand Union to embed this new way of working between public health and housing.

“We see this as an important opportunity to provide housing association residents with accessible and appropriate support for their physical and mental wellbeing. This has many wider benefits including increasing their financial wellbeing, confidence and job opportunities. As these pilots become established, we look forward to sharing good practice and learning.”