ENSURE has been granted more than 2.5 million euros of European Regional Development Funding via the Interreg VA 2Seas programme. The project runs from February 2020 to September 2022 and includes 9 partners from the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

ENSURE will break the cycle of disadvantage which prevents vulnerable people from being socially included. In doing so it will ensure that this disadvantage does not repeat itself in future generations. Furthermore, as the initial support is drawn from within the local community, it will be there for an individual over the long term & ensure they don’t slip back into vulnerability. ENSURE will create a holistic model: it will provide radical system redesign led by front-line workers to break down existing professional silos as well as a bottom up peer-supporter approach. By acting at both levels simultaneously it will reach people in a timely fashion, reducing the cost to society of the bigger ‘labelled’ problems further down the line, creating less vulnerable communities, providing support where ‘everybody counts’ & enabling positive community development, moving people & their area from a downwards cycle to an upwards one.

ENSURE will produce:

  1. A new cost-effective, evaluated model to reduce & prevent vulnerability & the gap between people & state services, building on partner De Mussen’s highly successful ‘Moms for Moms’ network of peer-to-peer community volunteers & linking 3 groups into a successful solution: professionals, peer supporters & vulnerable people
  2. 2 training programmes for: 1) health, social care & welfare professionals/volunteers/NGOs, based around mentalisation (walk a kilometre in my shoes) led by front-line workers; 2) peer-to-peer community volunteers acting as intermediaries between the vulnerable & state services; plus evaluation of these programmes.

These outputs will benefit vulnerable people: migrants & culturally, socially and economically vulnerable individual adults and families & creating healthy communities. In particular trained professionals will be able to work more effectively & the trained volunteers will have opportunities for personal and professional growth.

The Health and Europe Centre is the Lead Partner and will be working with:

  • IGEMO (BE)
  • Kent County Council (UK)
  • HZ University of Applied Sciences (NL)
  • University College Artesis Plantijn (BE)
  • Community Centre ‘De Mussen’ (NL)
  • AFEJI (FR)
  • Goes City Council (BE)
  • Community Arques (FR)

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