South West AHSN announces successful applicants for 2022 Health Equity Innovation Challenge

South West AHSN announces successful applicants for 2022 Health Equity Innovation Challenge

Following a rigorous assessment process, the South West Academic Health Science Network is delighted to announce the finalists of its second Health Equity Innovation Challenge.

This year’s Challenge, which is supported by funding from the Office for Life Sciences (OLS), has been designed to focus on identifying and spreading innovative practice to help close health equity gaps for Children and Young People’s Mental Health, with a specific focus on supporting those experiencing, or at risk of, anxiety.

Forming a key component of the South West AHSN’s Regional Health Equity Programme, the Challenge offered up to three ambitious innovators grants of up to £25K, over a 6-month period, to fund their proposed solution and will provide real-world evaluation support to help innovators to generate the evidence needed to bring their innovation to market.

Due to the strength of this year’s applications, we are delighted to announce that we are able to support six innovations in total, with funding combined from the OLS and the South West AHSN’s Regional Health Equity Programme Fund.

The successful applicants are:

  • The Wave Project: a surfing and stand-up paddle-boarding intervention, designed to reduce anxiety amongst 8–18-year-olds experiencing health inequity. 
  • BFB Labs: a game-based digital therapeutic intervention for children aged 7-12 years, from lower socio-economic rural and coastal areas, designed to improve self-management and reduce anxiety. 
  • Good With Limited: CBT-informed digital financial wellbeing support app for young people who are experiencing sub-clinical anxiety. 
  • The Apricot Centre: food and mood work, and sensory integration in nature, designed to reduce anxiety amongst looked after children/care leavers aged 7-13 years. 
  • Resilient Young Minds, NHS Devon: therapeutic nature-based groups to reduce anxiety amongst young people aged 18-25 years experiencing health inequity. 
  • TellMi & NHS Somerset: a digital peer-support service being tested and evaluated for scale up by NHS Somerset, targeting 11-25 year olds from rural areas and lower socio-economic groups. 

South West AHSN Programme Manager, and organiser of the Challenge Fund, Rosie Graham said:

The panel were absolutely blown away by the strength of the applications submitted to this year’s Challenge, and the ways in which the initiatives put forwarded responded to the issue of inequity across Children and Young People’s Mental Health, Anxiety. To be able to support not just three, but six, innovators to expand their projects across the South West region is a pleasure and we are really excited to see the impact that these projects will have across the lives of Children and Young People in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.”

Over the coming months, we will be sharing more details on the activities being undertaken by this year’s successful Challenge applicants, and the impact they’re having across the South West.

Please keep an eye on the South West AHSN’s Health Equity Challenge webpages to stay up to speed, contact innovation@swahsn.com for more information, or follow us on our social media channels.

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