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Integrated Care Systems – what it means for our customers

Friday 1 July sees Integrated Care Systems take over from Clinical Commissioning Groups – one of the most significant changes in NHS procurement for many years.

Here at BiP, we have been working hard to ensure our brands and clients have all the information required to take advantage of this change.

The research team has been busy updating our extensive NHS contacts database with details of the 42 new ICS organisations and the staff who will be working within them.

Our research is meticulous – after all, this is much more than a public sector re-branding exercise. New organisations, new roles, new responsibilities and new routes to engagement – it’s a major change that any business supplying to the NHS needs to be across.

We’ll be publishing transition updates on the Cadence Marketing website and our upcoming P4H England event on 7 July will provide further insights into the changes and what they mean for the NHS supply chain.

P4H England

Speakers at P4H England include Alyson Brett, Chief Executive of NHS Commercial Services; David Williams, Chief Commercial Officer and Director of Procurement at NHS England and NHS improvement; Preeya Bailie nee Madhoo MCIPS, Director Of Procurement Transformation and Commercial Delivery at NHS Improvement; Andy Windsor, Commercial Director of NHS Supply Chain; Keith Rowley, Managing Director of the NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative (NOE CPC); Simon Walsh MCIPS, Group Procurement Director and Joint GM Procurement Lead at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust; Michelle McCann, Director for Sustainability at the NHS London Procurement Partnership and Liam Horkin, Head of Clinical Procurement at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

P4H England is sure to provide delegates with a wealth of information on the health sector, the new change to ICSs and how you can become a supplier.

What is an ICS?

Integrated care systems (ICSs) are partnerships of organisations that come together to plan and deliver joined up health and care services, and to improve the lives of people who live and work in their area.

Each ICS includes a broad alliance of partners concerned with improving the care, health and wellbeing of the population, with membership determined locally.

The move brings local authorities in the ICS area, which are responsible for social care and public health functions as well as other vital services for local people and businesses, together with the health care providers to create a more cohesive service.

By collaborating on these healthcare services, providers will achieve the benefits of working at scale across multiple places and one or more ICSs, to improve quality, efficiency and outcomes.

New staff hatch from incubator

Following a four-week nurture process, we’re delighted to see new colleagues Ciaran, Dave, and James complete their BiP induction and hatch out into the Business Intelligence sales team.

Our new team members have undergone an initial induction to the company, combining sales and product training. The public sector marketplace is a huge beast to get to grips with and BiP is working hard to ensure every team member has a good understanding of the public sector landscape, how it’s changing, and how we can help with procurement and tendering.

Comprehensive training

Comprehensive training has been delivered to the new team members on their product – Tracker – ensuring that they have a full overview of its benefits and services and understand the system completely before demonstrating it to customers.

New staff hatch from incubator

Ciaran, Dave, and James.

As well as dedicated time with head of training ‒ Colin Stewart ‒ the new ‘onboarding’ approach has also been actively supported by a number of stakeholders from across the business, who provided an overview of their products/marketplace and how the jigsaw of BiP’s holistic services fits together.

Team leaders, senior key account managers, product owners and researchers have all been involved in sharing their knowledge with the new team members, providing invaluable insight into the company.

Colin Stewart, Sales and Product Trainer, said: “These were invaluable sessions, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their engagement.”

Following each module, the new team members successfully completed assessments, returning great scores in each.

Incubate and integrate

Colin continued: “The group have responded really well to the training and have been engaged and enthusiastic throughout the initial weeks. All are now on the phones and putting it all into practice.

“The next phase is an incubation on the sales floor working through leads to engage our customers and secure demonstrations of Tracker Intelligence before their integration into the Team.”

There’s still lots to learn for our new team members and the training process will be ongoing, as procurement never stands still! Big changes are on the horizon, which were outlined in the Government’s Procurement Green Paper ‘Transforming Public Procurement’.  These will overhaul the public sector procurement process and BiP will be able to guide you through these new challenges.

Brilliantly innovatively People

BiP is committed to investing in new colleagues and ensuring they are nurtured through their initial employment, while incumbent staff benefit from regular knowledge sessions and updates from the procurement training team.

We’re dedicated to developing our Brilliantly innovatively People!

Spotlight On: Vivien Chan

This month our spotlight falls on Media City again as we talk with one of our newer faces, Vivien Chan.

Vivien joined BiP as part of our DCMC and Cadence Marketing services in August 2021, she has quickly established herself as a vital part of the survey team – bringing some great new ideas and problem solving skills, along with some amazing baking skills and Chinese dumplings to the team!

She was also nominated for our New Employee of the Year award – a thoroughly deserved nomination.

In what capacity did you start at BiP?

Research Executive

What did your previous job entail?

Project management – meaning I had to be organised and detail minded, with a good pair of eyes!

Why did you choose to join BiP?

I like the market proposition of Cadence and it’s good that I can continue working in a research related job role.

This month our spotlight falls on Media City again as we talk with one of our newer faces, Vivien Chan.

Vivien Chan, Research Executive at Cadence.

How has your BiP journey been so far?

Exciting, I’ve been working with various clients on different research topics, and I’ve been given great the support by all my lovely colleagues.

Is there anything we could do differently to welcome new colleagues?

A team welcome tea break in the pantry? ​​​​​​​

Can you sum up what your job involves?

Understanding a client’s research needs, and transforming that into a survey which will engage the target audience. Then it’s a case of analysing that data collected and turning it into a meaningful research report/whitepaper for the client.

How is working at BiP different to your previous roles (company and position)?

In terms of the target audience, it is quite different. In my previous role, the projects were more related to commercial/consumers/employees. Now it is more focused on public sector audiences.

When are you at your most productive?

Morning time is the best.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Baking, cooking and enjoying delicious food!

Quick fire:

  1. Joggers or Jeans – Jeans
  2. Dresses or T-shirts – T-shirts
  3. Coffee or tea – Coffee
  4. Lager or ale – neither – cider please if you’re buying!
  5. Book or film – film
  6. Football or rugby – neither, haha
  7. Cat or dog – cat
  8. Hot or cold – hot
  9. Salty or sweet – sweet
  10. Tattooed or not – not
  11. Night out or night in – night in

The power of procurement ‒ GO Awards 2022

Celebrating procurement across the UK at the UK National GO Awards.

May 25th saw the procurement community from across the UK come together to celebrate the achievements they have realised over the past year at the National GO Awards.

The well-established GO Awards bring together the best procurement has to offer, for a night of recognition and celebration of the people and teams who make it happen.

Celebrating procurement across the UK at the UK National GO Awards.

These Awards celebrate people and teams from across the entire UK, with many of our finalists previously successful in the GO Awards Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland.

It was not just all about procurement, as our guests were entertained by the mind-bending Graham P Jolley!

Procurement in the spotlight

The profile of public procurement has never been higher. This is an area of massive strategic and operational importance with influence over billions of pounds of public money and many millions of lives. Recent events have underlined just how critical it is.

Celebrating procurement across the UK at the UK National GO Awards.

This year’s nominations included some amazing, transformative projects, as well as responses to the pandemic. In their deliberations, the judges commented how impressed they were with the calibre of projects that had been nominated and what a difficult time they had deciding on the winners – which was confirmed by the number of Highly Commended awards that were presented on the night.

Judges for the Awards boasted a huge amount of procurement experience from across the UK and the entire public sector: Preeya Bailey, John Coyne, Nick Ford, Ying Han, Tracy Harrison, Alison Lisett, Jane Lynch, Eddie Regan, Steven Sinclair, Grahame Steed and Keri Wilkins.

EXCEL-lent nominations

With 14 awards categories, and a final award presented to the overall winner, it was a packed night for procurement. The categories were closely contested, and the overall winner showed just what a difference procurement can make to society.

The overall winner of the GO Excellence Award was Scotland Excel for its New Build Residential Construction project, which so far has created 2800 affordable homes across Scotland

Having consulted extensively with local authorities and the market, Scotland Excel established a framework agreement that constituted an efficient, comprehensive and quick route to market for buyers.

In addition, the winning project focused not only on social value but on environmental sustainability ‒ including energy efficiency and offsite construction ‒ to enable framework users to procure gold and silver standard homes, all at an affordable price.

Partners have received an approximately 300% return on investment and the project has exceeded its savings target by 40% ‒ so affordable, green and a creator of savings. A thoroughly deserved winner!

A full list of winners can be found here.

Valuable support

BiP Solutions is the event organiser. For 38 years we have been part of public procurement’s incredible success story: and since 2002 we have been measuring its evolution as a profession and public service through the GO Awards programme.

Headline sponsor for the evening was London Construction Programme, with category sponsorship coming from: Centrica Business Solutions, Commercial Services Group, Delta eSourcing, EDF Energy, Greenham, ISS, Lyreco, Service Graphics and Tracker.

Inspiring examples

Simon Tse, Chief Executive ‒ Crown Commercial Service, commented on the Awards:

The importance of public sector procurement has been in the spotlight during this crisis. I have seen some inspiring examples of innovation, speed of action and dedication. Each year the GO Awards feature yet more remarkable features of customer service, collaboration and creativity. As always at this event, we will celebrate and share what we have learned.”

Stand with Ukraine

The night was not all about celebration. Standing with Ukraine, BiP Solutions held a raffle in aid of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. With some amazing prizes on offer, including: a Tyson Fury boxing glove, kindly donated by BiP Solutions, two bottles of champagne donated by the NEC, an overnight stay at the Hilton and three Executive Club tickets for Manchester United, the raffle and donations throughout the night raised an amazing £3250.

Thanks to all the attendees who contributed to the fund.

We’re delighted to announce the launch of GO Awards Scotland 2022/23, alongside an exciting new website, we've also launched our 22/23 categories.

Join the winners at this year’s Go Awards, Scotland nominations have opened!

Send in your entry here.

Scotland Awards are GO!

We’re delighted to announce the launch of GO Awards Scotland 2022/23.

Alongside an exciting new website, we’ve also launched our 22/23 categories – bringing new opportunities to enter the Awards and have your procurement exercise recognised amongst some of the best public and private sector projects.

Make sure you register to enter today to ensure you are the first to receive updates and exclusive registrant benefits!

Due to be hosted on 27 October 2022 at Crowne Plaza, Glasgow, the GO Awards are Scotland’s leading public procurement excellence awards, celebrating the very best procurement achievements from across Scotland’s public, private and third sector organisations.

Register to enter today

We’re delighted to announce the launch of GO Awards Scotland 2022/23, alongside an exciting new website, we've also launched our 22/23 categories.

The GO Awards Scotland – supported by the Scottish Government – recognise the achievement and successes of all involved in the delivery of Scottish public sector services – whether from the public, private or third sectors. Judged by leading procurement figures from across Scotland and the UK, these are the Awards everyone wants to win.

Register to enter today to ensure you are the first to receive updates on full category details being announced and our brand new, exclusive entry pack!

‏‏”We are absolutely delighted, really surprised and quite emotional! We have a fantastic team and work very collaboratively and we’re all very passionate about procurement. It’s such a privilege to win.”  2021/22 Winner Glasgow City Council

Showcase innovation

The GO Awards Scotland 2022/23 are a unique opportunity for organisations from the public, private and third sector to showcase the innovations, initiatives and advancements that make Scotland a world leader in smart and effective public procurement.

We’re delighted to announce the launch of GO Awards Scotland 2022/23, alongside an exciting new website, we've also launched our 22/23 categories.

This year several new categories have been added to the list, reflecting the diversity of procurement across Scotland’s public sector. Take this opportunity to ‘step out of the back office’ and into the spotlight by entering the GO Awards and ensuring that your procurement success story is told!

Motivate your team and gain recognition

There is no better way to inspire your team than by attending the GO Awards. Learn from other excellent examples of best practice throughout the year and set new goals for the future.

If your organisation has demonstrated outstanding work in procurement, then this is a cause for celebration. The GO Awards offer an evening of showcasing achievements to industry leaders and your procurement peers alike.

“The team will be absolutely delighted! There’s been a lot of hard work put into everything over the last couple of years so absolutely delighted to be recognised for this” 2021/22 Winner Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, NHS Grampian & NEOS Networks

Make a real difference

The GO Awards showcase the valuable work organisations do and how procurement is making a difference for everyone. Sharing your experiences, journey and lessons learned will help shape the future of procurement for all.

“‏‏‎It shows what the public and private sector can do when they come together and it now gives us the benefit of having proved a concept and we can now go forward and apply this to other areas” 2021/22 Winner Sykes Global Services Limited, part of the Sitel Group, & NHS National Services Scotland

New Categories for 2022/23

New categories have been launched for the coming year, keeping in line with the ever-evolving procurement landscape.

We’re delighted to announce the launch of GO Awards Scotland 2022/23, alongside an exciting new website, we've also launched our 22/23 categories.

This year several new categories open to public, private and third sector organisations have been added to the list, reflecting the diversity of procurement across Scotland’s public sector. Take this opportunity to ‘step out of the back office’ and into the spotlight by entering the GO Awards and ensuring that your procurement success story is told!

The new awards in particular highlight the moves in procurement to improve the environment, social value initiatives and collaboration.

The new categories are:

  • Best Net Zero Initiative Award
  • Contract and Supplier Management Award
  • Supply Chain Diversity Award
  • Collaborative Procurement Initiative Award

Full overviews and questions will be released next week.

Get involved

The GO Awards are your unique opportunity to celebrate procurement excellence and network with the most influential buyers and suppliers from the UK’s public sector procurement community.

The GO Awards present you with a chance to showcase your brand in front of the most influential public sector buyers across all areas of the public sector including local and central government, healthcare, education, housing and emergency services – providing a high-value opportunity to create or develop the relationships that matter most to your organisation.

We’re delighted to announce the launch of GO Awards Scotland 2022/23, alongside an exciting new website, we've also launched our 22/23 categories.

Register to enter now to be the first to receive updates on full category details being announced!

Celebrating success at the BiP ONE Annual Employee Awards

Friday 10th June saw BiP Solutions come together to celebrate the achievements of its amazing staff.

As part of the BiP ONE Recognition programme, the Annual Employee Awards were back with a bang after a two-year pandemic related hiatus.

Colleagues were more than ready to celebrate the achievements of the past few years in person again. Seeing colleagues from both our Glasgow and Manchester offices enjoying their evening and building relationships across our many diverse teams was fantastic.

Taking place at The Village hotel in Glasgow, our Annual Awards provided the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the amazing contribution of individual colleagues and teams across the last period.

Simon Burges, CEO of BiP Solutions said: “It was a real pleasure to bring our colleagues together once again for this very special evening of recognition and celebration. With our Award winners and many other talented individuals in our team we’re looking forward with confidence to an exciting future.”

Seven Awards were presented on the evening, culminating in the main category of our Employee of the Year. All categories were keenly contested with strong nominations in each.

Our winners were:

New Employee of the Year – Rachel Neil (Events)

Manager of the Year – Chris Logue (Business and Client Services) and Simon Inman (IT Operations)

Sales Employee of the Year – Ben Trail (Business Intelligence)

Team of the Year – Events & Exhibitions

Sales Team of the Year – Customer Success (Business Intelligence)

This year, we announced a new award, the BiP Values Award, designed to recognise colleagues who embody the spirit of BiP. The inaugural winner was Stephen Donlan, from the Digital Content Marketing and Communications (DCMC) team.

As part of BiP ONE Recognition, the Annual Employee Awards were back with a bang after a two-year forced hiatus.

Stephen Donlan

Simon said: “I’d like to congratulate Stephen on being voted the very deserved winner within this category, as he continually and positively demonstrates our core company values within his role as Production Manager within the DCMC.”

The culmination of the evening was the highly-anticipated Employee of the Year Award, with three places up for contention. Rob Atherton (DCMC) and Claire Young (eSourcing and Supply Chain) secured third and second places respectively, while the overall winner, with a cash prize of £1250, was Rachael Connor-Laughlin from the Marketing team.

As part of BiP ONE Recognition, the Annual Employee Awards were back with a bang after a two-year forced hiatus.

Rachel Connor Laughlin

“Huge congratulations to Rachael Connor Laughlin on being crowned Employee of The Year – a thoroughly well-deserved award.” said Simon.

Further events and incentives are planned as part of the BiP One programme, which also focuses on areas such as personal development, giving back and engagement in addition to recognition.

BiP Solutions raises £5,800 for Ukraine crisis

BiP Solutions has helped raise close to £6,000 for people affected by the Ukraine crisis.

The public sector supply chain specialist ran raffles at their flagship GO Awards event to help collect for those in need.

With a range of fantastic prizes on offer – from a pair of Tyson Fury’s boxing gloves to a spa day to corporate tickets to see Manchester United – the events team managed to sell hundreds of tickets over the two nights.

And generous delegates dipped into their pockets in support of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

The popular awards, which celebrate excellence in procurement, raised £2,551 in Glasgow on April 19 at GO Awards Scotland.

And a further £3,250 was raised at the GO Awards Nationals on May 25, bringing the grand total to £5,801.

All the money raised will help families fleeing the conflict, helping to provide food, water, shelter, healthcare, and protection.

CEO of BiP Solutions Simon Burges said: “After the tragic events which have unfolded in Ukraine this year, we wanted to show our support to those affected by the conflict.

“The DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal is an important charity, doing vital work to support those in need by delivering on the ground aid.

“I would like to thank everyone who donated to our raffles as we had some fantastic prizes available on the night.

We are delighted by the generous response of our GO Awards delegates and thank them for their support.”

For more information about the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, or to find out how to donate please click here.

Time to recognise talent at awards 2022

People are the most valuable asset of any business; without our talented individuals and hardworking teams we would not be able to deliver such a great service to clients.

It’s why BiP Solutions runs the GO Awards – a celebration of people and procurement.

And it’s why we run our own in-house awards to show appreciation of our staff, which provides our Senior Management Team a great opportunity to recognise colleagues across the company.

two women hands up standing beside body of water

The annual awards are back! 

After two very long years, the BiP One Annual Employee Recognition Awards is back in person at the Village Hotel, Glasgow, and staff are excited to finally get together in person once more.

Our Employee Recognition Awards are undoubtedly the highlight of our annual employee engagement and rewards programme and both staff and managers are looking forwards to letting their hair down and celebrating all that has been achieved.

The annual awards is a much-anticipated evening of entertainment, food, drink and dancing on the cards – not the tables!

We have many new faces at the company who have never experienced this annual highlight and we hope to give them a night to remember – as well as the anticipation of who will win new employee of the year!

What are the categories?

All members of staff have the chance to vote for their colleagues and teams from across the business within the following categories:

  • Manager of the Year
  • Sales Employee of the Year
  • Sales Team of the Year
  • Team of the Year
  • Values Award
  • New Employee of the Year
  • Employee of the Year

A word from the CEO

Chief Executive of BiP Solutions, Simon Burges, said: “As part of our internal BiP ONE programme, I’m very pleased to welcome the long-awaited return of our Annual Employee Recognition Awards in person live event, taking place on the evening of Friday 10 June.

“Our Employee Recognition Awards are undoubtedly the highlight of our annual employee engagement and rewards programme.”

We very much look forward to seeing everyone on June 10.

Celebrating public procurement at GO Awards Scotland

Hundreds of procurement experts gathered at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow to celebrate their achievements at the GO Awards Scotland.

Organised by BiP Solutions and sponsored by Lyreco, the GO Awards celebrated the delivery of critical public services in Scotland over the past year, with eight different awards up for grabs.

Nick Ford, Director of Procurement and Commercial at the Scottish Government delivered the opening address while Sarah Heaney was host for the evening.

“I think it’s fair to say that the profile and importance of public procurement has never been higher; in Scotland and across the rest of the UK”, Heaney stated. “So these are an awards for everyone involved – buyers and all involved in the supply chain that delivers vital public services.”

“But of course, we must recognise the achievement of each of our finalists. Regardless of the outcome tonight, each has taken the time to put their work in the spotlight and to help progress standards in procurement for all.”

Winning the biggest prize of the night – the GO Excellence Award, was Scottish Government Digital, in partnership with NHS National Services Scotland and Public Health Scotland for creating a service to collect contact data from visitors for various venues during the height of the pandemic.

They were eligible for this award after also winning the COVID Outstanding Response Award (Public Sector) for the same project.

Also picking up double accolades, The City of Edinburgh Council, won the Continuous Improvement Award and the Health and Wellbeing Award for their Thrive Edinburgh project, which helped to simplify the delivery of vital mental health services in the city.

The first award of the night, the Social Value Award, went to Aberdeen City Council, who along with Aberdeenshire CouncilNHS Grampian and Neos Networks, were rewarded for their work relating to the ‘Gigabit Connectivity Framework’ to improve and deliver digital connectivity to public sites.

“I can’t take the credit for this project but it was a real team effort and they will all be delighted back at the office. With any collaborative project there is always difficulties but they did a great job and this award is testament to that”, said Fiona Conti, Strategic Procurement Manager at Aberdeen City Council.

Scotland Excel were crowned winners of the Best Procurement Delivery Award for their support in the delivery of the Scottish Government’s £3 billion Affordable Housing Supply Programme, while Sykes Global and NHS National Services Scotland won the COVID-19 Outstanding Response Award (Private Sector) for their creation and delivery of COVID test kits.

“It has been fantastic to be back at government awards and to celebrate the success of the team together. The biggest challenge on this project was the sheer scale of delivery with so many people involved, but we were driven by wanting to get the best outcome for people and we’re proud to have one that”, said Steve Brannagan, Head of Customer & Business Services at Scotland Excel.

Finally, Glasgow City Council won the Procurement Team of the Year Award following their successful procurement of a new fleet of green vehicles for their city.

Among those presenting the awards was Grahame Steed, Content, Research and Communications Director at BiP Solutions. “Given the challenges we have seen facing public procurement in recent years, the GO Awards Scotland were a fantastic opportunity for some teams to earn the recognition they deserve for their hard work in such difficult times, and the standard was as high as ever.”

“It was great to see everyone in person again, and we congratulate all those who took home a GO Awards Scotland trophy, as well as all the finalists who submitted such strong entries. We look forward to seeing all our category winners again in Birmingham on 25 May for the UK GO Awards.”

For those hoping to join Scotland’s winners at the GO Awards UK, the deadline for entries has been extended to Monday 25 April, so submit your entry while there’s still time, and we may just see you at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham on the big night!

Find out more about entering here, and good luck! https://www.goawards.co.uk/national/

Mental Health Awareness Week at BiP

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and here at BiP Solutions we’re conscious that our people are our most important asset.

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and here at BiP Solutions we’re conscious that our people are our most important asset.

Helping them keep happy and healthy, both physically and mentally, is crucial to our success.

Stepping up

As part of the range of BiP ONE activities in May we are promoting and encouraging colleagues to take part in National Walking Month, and the challenge of walking 80 miles in May. Owing to the connection of physical health in supporting overall wellbeing, this is something we are keen to get behind and support.

Several of our colleagues have taken on the challenge and are stepping up their game. With more than 50 miles walked between them this first week!

Always learning

In addition to the positive role that physical health plays, we also recognise the significance of mental health within the workplace, and our Senior Management Team have recently been undertaking Mental Health Awareness for Managers training.

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and here at BiP Solutions we’re conscious that our people are our most important asset.

This is just a part of our commitment to evolve our overall approach to wellbeing in the workplace, which includes fruit and healthy snacks available in each of our offices.

Throughout the week, BiP will be encouraging colleagues to take part in mental health activities, creating more awareness of this aspect of our wellbeing programme.

Engaging with the community

Colleagues will also be reminded that we provide free community days to allow them to help a favourite charity – helping others is often hailed as a good route to improving your mental health.

Lucy Roue at the RSPCA

We have seen colleagues volunteer for the RSCPA, as well as take on preparations for the gruelling 4x4x48 challenge. That is, running 4 miles, every 4 hours over 48 hours for National Cancer Survivors Day.

As a company, we’re committed to evolving our approach to mental health and encourage colleagues to work with our management team to develop new ways to support overall wellbeing.

Useful links

For more details on the Mental Health Awareness Week, visit the below link to the charity’s website.

This contains some really interesting information and tips on supporting overall wellbeing and we encourage anyone who is struggling or wants to help someone who is struggling, to take a look at the useful resources provided.

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

Eleanor Rigby – All the lonely people

This year the theme of this year’s week is loneliness.

The Mental Health Foundation says that one in four people in the UK experience loneliness and tackling this problem within communities is essential to mental health.

The week will focus on what we can do to tackle loneliness within communities, raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental health and the practical steps we can take to address it.

The Mental Health Foundation started Mental Health Awareness Week 21 years ago and it has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally.

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