Engagement - News and Updates

Pride in Priorswood 2023

Pride in Priorswood 2023

The Engagement team were invited host the Health Tent at Pride in Priorswood for five Tuesdays throughout the summer holidays. This was a unique opportunity for us in the engagement team because often our work takes us from place to place – to return to this community and by the end of the programme be waving ‘hello’ to residents of Priorswood was a very special experience for us.

Before we arrived on day one, we put the call out to our colleagues across the Integrated Care System to invite others to join us. Being part of Pride in Priorswood gave us the opportunity to reach out to partners who we have got to know as we have set about putting in place the engagement structures for the Integrated Care System (that came into being on 1st July, 2022). By calling on our colleagues to join us, each Tuesday had something different about it.

Picture of table at an event advertising sun cream
Picture of an information board and activities at an outside event

The Pride in Priorswood Health Tent hosted colleagues from across the health and care system who came to Priorswood ready to talk to people and communities about how they stay fit and healthy, what makes for a safe neighbourhood and do they know where to go to look after their mental health.

Each Tuesday gave us the chance to build greater and more meaningful connections with the Priorswood community. We talked to mums caring for children while working night shifts, we met multiple generations of the same family including a great grandmother who was there with her great-grandchildren having bought their parents her grandchildren) when they were younger and were able to talk to a few families who had recently moved to Taunton from overseas. And, it was just thoroughly enjoyable being part of something so important to its local residents.

Picture of people at an outside event

Although there were different stands each week, Priorswood Community Centre created a beating heart centre point where families could picnic, kids play and jumble sale fans could explore the bric a brac.

Picture of art work completed by children at an outside event

There were lots of families and groups with younger children. Determined to hear from the very youngest, we asked 'what makes you happy?' and were gifted a mural as a result.

Picture of NHS Somerset Digital Team at an outside event with information on the NHS App

Keen to engage with parents, carers and community colleagues, Julie-Ann and Vici from the Digital Team at NHS Somerset came to promote the NHS App.

Picture of people at an outside event

On the last day, the kids were treated to a pirate show. The previous Tuesdays had featured an array of involvement including SASP playing sports with the kids, a mobile radio unit playing song requests adn hosting a talent competition, and a bouncy castle.

Picture of people at an outside event

The Pride in Priorswood Health Tent was also the place to 'Guess the fruit', practice pinning the organs on the body and became a hot spot for colouring in competitions.

Picture of engagement worker at an event talking to a young child

Being part of Pride in Priorswood was a great experience for me and my team. We were able to interact with people of all ages and build rapport - taking part in community events make a real difference to the quality of conversation we are able to have with local people and communities.

Laura Alexander

Engagement Lead, NHS Somerset