About Us

Southampton City Council’s Public Health leads the multi-agency Big Lottery Chances4Change project; focusing on Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) migrant communities and asylum seekers. A model of community engagement and empowerment will be used to improve the health and well-being of the community (including homeless people), through development of volunteer community champions. Technology and social media will also be used to educate (both the community and professionals), encourage positive behaviour change and community integration and cohesion.

Chances4Change is a two year project ending in June 2015. The project aims to ensure there is enhanced support for the most vulnerable in the community improving outcomes for BME communities. There is a gap in these communities take up of services due to a number of barriers such as language, culture and faith. Diversity in Southampton is increasing according to 2011 Census Data, in Bevois Ward for example 55.4% of residents are of BME background. Southampton has a higher percentage of resident households where no one speaks English (7.7% compared to 4.4% nationally) this language barrier often has implications on health and well-being of these communities and increasing inequalities.

The project aims to help overcome many of these barriers for the communities through the development of champions focusing on three key strands: Healthy Eating, Mental Health and Physical Activity. Over the lifetime of the project we plan to deliver activities such as gardening, healthy cooking on a budget classes, volunteering courses, folk dancing, art therapy, healthy walks, food hygiene courses, mental health first aid training and safeguarding sessions.