A new networks officer job vacancy is currently being advertised by the London Borough of Hounslow as part of the new Hounslow Wellbeing Network, which is based upon research we have conducted at the McPin foundation.
The Hounslow Wellbeing Network are testing a theory of change model; that working with people to increase their community connections can improve wellbeing and reduce reliance on services.
This is an exciting new job role that will involve meeting local individuals who sign up to the Wellbeing Network, to map their social networks, wellbeing and use of services, working collaboratively to produce an action plan focused on building their connections and improving wellbeing.
We have been helping to advise on this new service, including on the methodological approach to mapping social networks. The concept behind this approach is based on findings, innovations and insights from the NIHR research we have conducted at the McPin foundation on Community Health Networks. The use of network mapping and the concepts around how it can be integrated with recovery focused care are strains of work we are continuing to develop, including with our Senior Researcher Daryl Sweet’s PhD thesis building on the NIHR study and with other ongoing projects at McPin such as our Community Navigator study.
It has been great to see an example of how research can help inform practice and the delivery of care. An innovative new approach to understanding the social worlds of people with mental health problems has led to the development and trial of a new service and a different way of working with people, offering them a chance to develop social connections and wellbeing using the principles of co-production.
The animation below provides an introduction to the Hounslow Wellbeing Network’s purpose and approach. You can also read our briefing paper on wellbeing networks and asset mapping.