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Housing chiefs take part in 2025 movement’s plan to end health inequality in North Wales

Plans to improve the health of people living in some of the poorest communities in North Wales were discussed during a meeting of leading figures from the housing, health and local government sectors.

Around 100 leaders gathered for the 2025 movement’s annual conference, which was used to explain how organisations across the region are working together to create new and improved services and tackle major health challenges facing North Wales.

The event, which was held at the OpTIC Technology Centre in St Asaph, was the second annual meeting of the 2025 group, which was established in 2015 and is aiming to stamp out avoidable health inequalities in communities across the region over 10 years.

So far the group has more than 200 members from organisations such as health bodies, housing associations, councils, charities and universities.

“The enthusiasm and innovation we’ve seen from the 2025 movement to date has been inspiring,” said Clare Budden, chief officer for community and enterprise at Flintshire County Council, who also serves as chair of the 2025 movement.

“All organisations are facing big challenges on funding and are having to make tough decisions on how many of the services they provide are delivered. By working together and sharing expertise and resources, the 2025 movement allows members to develop new and improved ways of working that will not only save money but also make a lasting impact on people living in our communities.”

A series of sessions were run throughout the day to share ideas on how different organisations could work collaboratively to tackle challenges around mental health, homelessness, fuel poverty, community regeneration and bed blocking in hospitals.

Glynne Roberts, programme director from Well North Wales was joined by Dr Katherin Thomas and Jackie Irwin from Public Health Wales in outlining how health professionals are adopting a new approach to working with communities across North Wales to help people keep active and make lifestyle changes to prevent ill health before it starts.

Ffrancon Williams, chief executive at housing association Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd Cfy explained how improved housing can save millions of pounds for health services, while Debbie Sorkin from The Leadership Centre told the audience that strong leadership would be needed as new ways of working were introduced.

Joe Rafferty, chief executive at Mersey Care NHS Foundation, spoke about how organisation was working collaboratively with patients to change its approach to tackling mental health.

The 2025 movement will use the feedback from the day to support a series of pilots and projects that are currently being developed to improve the way services are delivered.

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