East and North Herts Hospital Trust - 

#theFUTUREismembership campaign

In 2015 East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust picked up three prizes at the Sustainability Day Awards including the community and overall awards.  We talked to the Trust’s Head of Engagement David Brewer about the awards, his role and the importance of sustainable development for the Trust.

What’s you role and what does it involve?

My role as Head of Engagement is based at the Lister hospital in Stevenage. I focus on partnership working, community engagement and membership development, as well as looking after the Trust’s voluntary services, charity and our new Community Hub. 

My role is about developing opportunities for the Trust to work in partnership on wider agendas across our local communities involving health and wellbeing, prevention / public health and sustainability. Our 2015 NHS Sustainability award winning project - #theFUTUREismembership is a great example of how we work with our young members and wider communities to deliver social sustainability. The case study shows how a range of projects have made a real positive difference to the patients and public we serve. Who would have thought our public health champion trained young members could tackle social isolation in Stevenage by befriending older people and teaching them ICT to help connect them to relatives, far away communities and the wider world?

Why is sustainable development important for your work and the Trust?

Sustainable development is important for us because we recognise we can make a significant difference to the sustainability of our local communities. Our patients, public members and wider communities tell us it is important! We have involved them in developing and delivering our strategy for sustainable development.  As well as delivering a big headline carbon reduction we also recognise our unique role in leading social sustainability. Again, our work with young members demonstrates this commitment and gives practical examples of how we’ve made a difference. Our approach to sustainability is therefore both balanced and well developed. We think it is important to champion sustainability as a community leader.

How did it feel winning several NHS Sustainability Day Awards last year?

Winning the awards was a fantastic experience. We invited along some of our young members that had contributed so much to our social sustainability (community development and public health work). Our ethos is to invest in the learning and personal development of our young members and we think their attending the awards was a great experience for them!

Did winning change anything for you, the team, the trust and your work? And if so how?

Winning made us realise that we are doing the right thing in investing in social sustainability through our community engagement and membership development. Winning has made us more ambitious to take on and develop the work to the next level – watch this space!

You can read more about  #theFUTUREismembership campaign in the case study here.