Shropshire Council

Shaping Places for Healthier Lives

Solving food insecurity in South-West Shropshire

What is Shaping Places for Healthier Lives?

Shaping Places for Healthier Lives is a three-year programme funded by the Health Foundation in partnership with the Local Government Association. Shropshire was one of five council areas in England to win the funding after a three-stage application process. The objectives of the Shaping Places programme are to:

  • Mobilise cross-sector action on the wider determinants of health through sustainable system change at a local level
  • Support local authorities to facilitate and enable local partnerships for system change on the wider determinants of health
  • Learn how to make changes that impact on the wider determinants of health.

In Shropshire our focus is on reducing food insecurity in South West Shropshire.

Who is involved in our partnership?

In the application stages our partnership included the Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance, Citizens Advice Shropshire, Healthwatch Shropshire and the public health team at Shropshire Council. Over the next three years we will be expanding our group to include wider partners.

What did we learn in the discovery phase?

In the spring of 2021 the project team researched food insecurity in South West Shropshire. We held discussions with stakeholders and people with lived experience of food insecurity to understand the challenges faced by people living on low incomes in rural areas.

The key recommendations of this research included:

  • The public and voluntary sector need to work in partnership to create services which are accessible and easy to navigate.
  • Improved communication to support more joined up working across the community and public sector,
  • Referral pathways to be streamlined to make sure people are able to access the right support at the right time
  • Develop ‘wrap around’ support for people who are in financial need to prevent them reaching crisis

The full report published by Healthwatch Shropshire can be accessed online.

Mapping food insecurity in South West Shropshire

The project team looked at available data to create a food poverty risk score for each area of Shropshire. You can view the mapping online.

Healthwatch volunteers visited food outlets across South West Shropshire to compare the prices of 20 typical food and essential items found in a shopping basket. Their research demonstrates the additional costs faced by residents living in rural areas.

The team combined all the information collected in the discovery phase to develop a systems map of food insecurity in South West Shropshire. The map identifies 4 levers for change.

What will we do over the three-year Shaping Places programme?

Take a look at our plan on a page document for more information.

How is the programme funded?

This project is part of the Shaping Places for Healthier Lives programme supported by the Health Foundation in partnership with the Local Government Association. The programme provides local councils with funding to work with partners from their local area to improve health and address health inequalities. The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK. The LGA is the national voice of local government, working with councils to support, promote and improve.