What works: Successful health and wellbeing community businesses

This short report takes a look at the enablers to success for community businesses in the health and wellbeing sector. It is part of a series of reports into ‘what works’ for community hubs and sports and leisure and health and wellbeing community businesses. It was produced by SERIO, an applied research institute at the University of Plymouth.

Health and wellbeing community businesses noted the importance of developing strong partnerships. For some, this meant raising their business profile amongst health commissioners and promoting their reputation more generally. For others it was about being flexible in making partnerships with other providers to ensure services offered were beneficial to the community (e.g. appealing to the local authority to work with under-resourced and under-represented groups). This is often about balancing the relationship between the need to be financially sustainable and the social aims of the business. Being adaptable in delivering health contracts and delivering services, securing long-term contracts with the NHS and local authorities and having skilled staff and volunteers in key roles were all seen as important for the financial success of businesses in this sector.

We looked at MSH Health and Wellbeing, The Sweet Project , Unlimited Potential , Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, Zest Community.