Our Health Matters

Addressing health inequalities in Hertsmere.

What is Our Health Matters?

The Communities 1st Our Health Matters project, part of the nationwide Core20PLUS5 scheme, aims to tackle differences in health care in specific areas of the UK. This project focuses on Hertsmere because research has shown that residents in this area are not always well-supported by existing health services. Residents often experience health inequalities, in particular with early cancer diagnosis, respiratory disease, severe mental illness and hypertension.

This project aims to learn from the experiences of people who have struggled to get help to improve their community’s access to health care in the future by:

  • Hosting health awareness events such as those held in Borehamwood in March and June.
  • Working with the community to understand the challenges they face in accessing health services.
Mould in your home?

Past Events

Support for Wellbeing (26th February)

On Monday 26th February 2024, Communities 1st held a Support for Wellbeing event in Borehamwood..

Many joined us for complimentary coffee and cake, and a chat with local professionals to about support services available to help improve wellbeing.

  • Inclusive exercise session by Para Dance UK
  • Performance of two songs by Purple All-Stars
  • Presentation from Hertfordshire Mind Network
  • Presentation from Alzheimer's Society
  • Presentation from Music for My Mind
  • Talk about health checks and diabetes by Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust's Physical Health team
  • Talk from Hertfordshire County Council's Learning Disability team about their role in the community

The following organisations hosted stalls

Alzheimer's Society UK, Citizens Advice Hertsmere, GP Surgeries: Fairbrook, Manor View, The Grove, Hertfordshire County Council's Learning Disability team and Stop Smoking Service, Hertfordshire Mind Network, Hertfordshire Public Health's Health Improvement Service, Hertsmere Borough Council's Healthy Hubs, Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust's Stop Smoking and Tobacco Dependency teams, Music for My Mind, Para Dance UK


Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Health (November 2023)

Chair Exercises

Our event on Monday 13th November was a resounding success! 270 members of the public attended to enjoy our talks, information stalls and complimentary refreshments. 190 blood pressure checks were recorded by the three GP surgeries in attendance, 25 people signed up to Hertfordshire Health Walks, and several discussed volunteering opportunities with stall holders!

  • Manor View at Theobald Surgery: Dr Hannah O'Keefe gave a talk on blood pressure and cardio-awareness.
  • My Physio at Home: Steph Horn led a fun, interactive chair exercise session on the benefits of keeping active.
  • Stroke Association: Andrea, a volunteer, shared her lived experience.
  • Learning Disability team: discussed how to make reasonable adjustments for those in need of extra support.
  • Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust: explained healthy eating for a healthy heart.

The information stalls were hosted by Diabetes UK, Fairbrook Medical Centre, Hertfordshire Healthy Hubs, Hertsmere Borough Council, Public Health's Health Improvement team, Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care's Compassionate Cafe, and The Grove Medical Centre.


If you missed this event but would like your blood pressure checked, you can visit your GP surgery or a local pharmacy. Click the button below to find your nearest.


Health and Respiratory Awareness (June 2023)

Mould in your home?

Thank you all for coming to our event on 14th June. Over 125 people attended for chair-based exercises and talks by:

And we were delighted to offer information stalls from:

Health and Cancer Awareness (March 2023)

On 29 March 2023, Communities 1st hosted a health and cancer awareness event in Borehamwood which was attended by eight cancer charities and health organisations, and four local GP surgeries. More than 170 Hertsmere residents watched presentations, visited information stalls, and learned about cancer signs and symptoms and support available to them in a bid to tackle health inequalities.

Have a story to share?

Do you live in Hertsmere (Hertfordshire) and have experience accessing health services and treatment as a patient, family member, or carer?

We want to hear from people who have struggled to get help, especially with one or more of the following health conditions:

  • Respiratory diseases 
  • Cancer 
  • Severe mental illness 
  • Hypertension

If you're willing to share your story, please complete our survey or contact us using the information below.

a member of staff helping a lady fill in a form

Volunteer with Our Health Matters

Are you interested in helping people to get the healthcare they need quickly and easily in Borehamwood, especially among members of our ethnic minority communities? 

We are looking for Community Connector Volunteers ideally with experience (as a patient or carer) of one or more of the following health conditions: respiratory diseases, cancer, severe mental illness, or hypertension.

Volunteers will receive a thorough induction, full training, and regular communication and engagement.

Georgie's Boobette Talk at Communities 1st event

Contact us

If you would like more information about the Our Health Matters project, to contact us to share your experiences, or would like to volunteer as a Community Connector, please get in touch!

You can email welcome@communities1st.org.uk or call 01727 649900.