Why we’re excited about the 2020 PlanH Healthy Community Grants

UPDATE: In light of COVID-19, BC Healthy Communities has both extended the application window for these grants (to July 15) and amended the Connectedness Grant stream to address the community connectedness challenges of the current situation. Read more on PlanH.ca.

Since 2013, PlanH has provided cash grants and in-kind support directly to local governments through over 180 projects around the province. Nearly $1.2M has been distributed to build healthy communities so far, and we can’t wait to see the kind of innovative projects that will be initiated by communities this year.

2020 marks the sixth round of PlanH grants, and this year PlanH will distribute $150,000 to local governments through two grant streams. The first is a Community Connectedness stream (up to $5,000 plus customized BCHC staff supports) and the second is a Healthy Community Engagement stream (up to $15,000 plus customized BCHC staff supports).

Why are we excited about these grants?

Communities are tackling poor health outcomes—before they happen.

By taking an upstream approach, communities will be tackling the social determinants of health by addressing the root causes of poor health and well-being. For example, improving positive mental health outcomes in an upstream way could take the form of increasing connectedness and bringing community members together. Fostering a sense of belonging counteracts depression, cardiovascular disease and overall risk of mortality.1

We’re firmly rooting equity at the centre of our work in 2020.

We want to help local governments hear directly from their communities, especially those groups who are seldom heard from. In the Healthy Community Engagement stream, we are seeking proposals from communities who will strive include an equity lens when considering how to help their public participate in decision-making. To learn more about applying an equity lens to Healthy Community Engagement, check out our equitable engagement webinar and Community Engagement Action Guide.

Our staff are eager to learn with and from grant communities.

BC Healthy Communities is inspired by the communities we’ve worked with in the past—and committed to building on what we’ve learned moving forward. Our team will be partnering directly with communities to move their projects forward over the year by providing input on goal and policy development, co-creating evaluation and reflection strategies, developing engagement processes and more to support the creation of healthy communities across B.C.

Applications will be accepted until April 6, 2020, with funded projects taking place between May 2020 and May 2021. Find information and the applications on our PlanH website. Feel free to email grants@planh.ca or call 250-590-1845 to discuss a potential project with our team!


References:

1. Leigh-Hunt, N., Bagguley, D., Bash, K., Turner, V., Turnbull, S., Valtorta, N., Caan, W. An overview of systematic reviews on the public health consequences of social isolation and loneliness. Public Health (152). 2017 Nov 1:157-71.

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