The Community Development and Health Network is Northern Ireland’s leading organisation working to empower communities and tackle health inequalities using community development.


Who can apply for funding?

You must be either a pharmacist who has commitment and support from a pharmacy contractor or a constituted community group or voluntary organisation. Statutory organisations eg HSS Trusts, Councils etc can not apply but can support applications and be involved in developing projects.

What do you mean by community development?

Community Development is a process by which a community defines its own health needs to bring about change.  The emphasis is on collective action within communities, working with other groups and agencies to redress inequalities in health and access to health care.  It values local support networks and recognises the benefits of involving people at the earliest opportunity in identifying their own health needs and exploring new ideas and finding solutions to problems they face.  It is about valuing and utilising people's knowledge, skills and expertise as well as that of the pharmacist and community/voluntary partner.

'Working with' as opposed to 'doing to' is encouraged as it helps us understand the situation in which people are living and to find solutions and plan collective action to meet needs appropriately.

On the one hand community development is about defining needs from a local perspective and on the other, it’s about the movement from; being involved in to working with local people to address their health needs. It is also about evaluating the needs of the targeted group and their current knowledge and expertise. For example, if you plan to work with teenagers, it’s important to see how they view their health, and the knowledge they have about it. Using this as a basis, you should then plan a programme to suit their needs and that will make use of their knowledge and skills throughout the project delivery. Community Development is about increasing local people’s understanding of health and the issues surrounding it encourage them to become more involved with their health and in activities in their local community.

CDHN recognise that community development is a long-term value based process that enables people to organise and work together to identify their own needs and aspirations; take action to exert influence on the decisions that affect their lives; improve the quality of their lives, the community in which they live and the societies of which they are a part.

Explaining why there is a need for your project.

Tell us about the needs of the target group you are seeking to involve and about the area you are operating in.  Relate this to why you want to utilise a community-pharmacy partnership to tackle this.  For example, can you tell us about the area you want to operate in e.g. village - what is it like, what issues are affecting people.  Then tell us about the specific group you want to target and what issues are affecting them.  This could be specific health issues but also wider issues that are impacting on their health.  It is then good to explain why you want to work with a pharmacist e.g. what can they bring to this project that will help tackle the issues.

Your current work and connections you have made previously should help you highlight why there is a need or a gap in current services/support available.

Information could be provided from local surveys and audits, examples of specific situations, case studies, individual stories and gaps you have identified that you have not been able to address within your current work.  Don't forget to ask the pharmacist what they know about the situation.

Whilst we value the importance of being able to define and address needs locally, it is important you are able to connect your proposed priorities to current policy and strategic thinking.  For example, are you aware of the current HSC priorities locally and regionally in relation to public health, community pharmacy, mental health and children's planning.  Only mention ones that relate to issues that you consider you are seeking to address e.g. mental health, and that are affecting your target group e.g. mothers.  Also be aware that there may be other policies, not specifically related to health, that you are seeking to target.

What costs can be applied for?

The rest of your application form and specifically your action plan should help you work out what funding you will need for your project.  We also use your action plan as a guide to work out if your costs are reasonable and offer value for money so try to state clearly what you are seeking to do.  The action plan should state clearly how often you will work with the pharmacist, indicating if they will lead on some sessions and attend/co-facilitate other sessions.  Also say who else will be involved and how often the project participants will meet.

Pharmacy costs

As a rough guide, in Level 1 applications of £2000, half of the funding will go to the pharmacist.  This would equate to 5 or 6 sessions with the group.

In level 2 applications of £10,000, between £2000 and £4000 would go to the pharmacist.  This would equate to between 12 and 25 sessions during your project, usually one or two sessions a month, that the pharmacist will work with the group.  If pharmacists are leading on a session, we allow them a half day for preparation and a half day for delivery.  This costs £180.  If the pharmacist is attending a session that is led by another organisation or attending an activity such as walking or cookery, you pay them for the time they are there.  This equates to £25 per hour or £90 for a half day of their time.

It is important to be aware as to why the pharmacist needs paid.  There is a legal requirement for a pharmacist to be present in a pharmacy.  Therefore, if the pharmacist is attending a BCPP project, the project needs to cover the cost of getting another pharmacist in to the pharmacy.

The rest of the funding can then be allocated towards costs you need to run the project e.g. monitoring the project, some administration, hospitality, rent for rooms and sessions, some staff costs.  This is paid at a maximum of £25p/h and it should be clear how they are connecting with the pharmacist.  Make sure you state clearly how you arrive at the costs e.g. rate for administration, how often room hire is needed, hospitality costs per head and per session etc.

We can not fund any capital costs, for example; data projectors, laptops etc. We want to make use of the funding available and thus costs should reflect the partnership nature of the project, so use your questions as a basis to decide what funding you need. For example; if you put down for ten hours of the pharmacist’s work – tell us why? We recognise that your project may involve most vulnerable people, so other professionals may be required to give them support, so you will need to think about costs for them as well. We are here to support both the community group and the pharmacist, but please note that a pharmacist will have to take in a locum to free themselves to work on the project so this too needs to be taken into account.

What happens if you're not sure who to work with?

Whether you are a Pharmacist or a Community Group, think about what people, groups, bodies etc. you could have contact with and what’s going on around you. Find out what is happening in your area; ask people, and then think about how you could connect with this. CDHN are a membership oirganisation and we will put all our energy into helping you make links and partnerships or putting you in contact with someone else. Sometimes you’ll be amazed about what is going on locally that you’re not aware of.

What do you mean by a partnership?

This project should be about valuing the skills of the pharmacist, local people and those working across the community, voluntary and statutory sector. It’s not about one person being the expert or having all the knowledge; the partnership is also about developing new skills by learning from others that are involved e.g. a pharmacist learning to work with groups. It’s important that you reflect this is a partnership approach on the application as the panel can easily see if this is not the case. However, we also recognise that partnership working requires time, energy and commitment. We too understand that for many of you this is new, it will be your first time working in partnership but you can learn from this initial stage.

What sort of things can a pharmacist do in a project?

We want you to use the pharmacist skills in different ways and in different settings. Please remember that your Community Pharmacy is a resource. For example, your pharmacist could work with your targeted group in the community setting or they may be needed to work with the more vulnerable people to give advice in the pharmacy or community settings. Don’t forget about the pharmacy, it is an important place were you can access other forms of information and support were appropriate the pharmacist and other staff to signpost people onto other areas. To enable them to do that they will need training and support to see what services are out there and what other people/organisations do.

Pharmacists are experts in medicines and how you should utilise them.  Discussions on medicines whether they are prescribed or Over the Counter medicines will naturally occur during your project.  This can happen during group based sessions or when offering 1-1 support.  It is important to remember there is a lot more knowledge the pharmacist can share with your target group.  They are also knowledgeable about a range of issues e.g. asthma, diabetes, mental health, arthritis, heart disease, children's health, cancer and alcohol use.  We also encourage the pharmacist to work with other providers that will help broaden the pharmacists, partners and participants' understanding of an issue and what is impacting on their health.  For example, if covering mental health, the pharmacist may have the opportunity to link with organisations such as Aware Defeat Depression.

Projects are often used as a means to help people develop a better understanding of how they can make better use of their pharmacy, pharmacist and pharmacy services.  Pharmacists can also offer health checks.  However, these are not the primary purpose of the project and pharmacists should be encouraged to cover a wide range of topics with a group using delivery and facilitation styles that encourage participation of the target group e.g. use quizzes and small group work etc to encourage shared learning.