Department of Health Lecturers Dr Nikki Coghill and Dr Jessica Francombe Webb received a GW4 initiator grant of just under £20,000 to fund work on the development of a new community health project.

Formed in 2013, GW4 is a consortium formed by the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter to bring together world-leading scholarship, infrastructure and expertise.

The project

The proposed work, Health inequalities in older people: a plan for action, brings together experts from the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. The project also has a collaborator from National University of Colombia (UNAL), with whom the University of Bath have an official agreement, and another from the University of Namibia. Both Colombia and Namibia are low-middle income countries receiving official development assistance monies.

The grant will fund an international, residential sand pit that will take place in Bristol in March. The aim of the sand pit is to identify and build a comprehensive network of researchers and lay members with expertise in inequalities in older people across GW4 and from at least two Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries.

Coming from public health, academia, the community and the third sector, the delegates will develop two or three ideas in preparation for funding applications related to health inequalities in older people. They will then pitch these to community leads from the GW4 locations using a Dragons’ Den approach.

Expected outcomes

  • Develop relational database of experts, in reducing health inequalities among older people across the GW4 and international partners
  • Develop two or three potential research projects in preparation for any future, related calls
  • Form a platform to develop community-led public health education initiatives, identified by the local communities, through their local community mentors or equivalent

Dr Nikki Coghill said: "We feel it is crucial to involve local community members in the decision-making process behind initiatives to improve the health of individuals within their own communities.

"We hope that this will focus our future work, at health-related areas that are important to these communities."

The sand pit will take place at the Novotel in Bristol on 8 and 9 March 2018 and is open to delegates from relevant fields.