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Hazel Stuteley talk

Hazel Stuteley portrait

Hazel Stuteley portrait We’re all on the same journeys. Hazel will be 101 in 2050!

And she has ditched her script. This is Hazel unplugged!

Why are we in the UK so bad at preventing the poor health of the poor? Why have billions of £££ of investment in poor communities not made a jot of difference?

Hazel will tell us about what makes a difference – not about £££, but about connecting and listening.

She was a community midwife in Lewisham, and saw all the health inequalities between the bottom and top of the hill. When she moved to Cornwall, she saw some of the worst child-protection challenges ever. Cornwall is the poorest county in the country. She saw all sorts of young people born into poverty.

In the 1990s, the Beacon estate in Falmouth was the poorest ward in the poorest county. As a nurse she had to have police protection there. But she saw a complete rebirth. Hazel and another health visitor couldn’t cope with illness and depression, and knew something had to change. Police and other authorities had abandoned the communities, so they all had to be reconnected. The residents had to lead, and the agencies were invited to join. Three did – police, local authority and education. Five residents were the leaders, the ‘famous five’. They were connected, and over four years magic started to happen. While the residents and agencies were meeting, the community started to come together, and managed to raise £2.2m money in various ways. (Pig racing was nothing to do with the police!) As a result, Hazel and other community visitors could do their jobs again. There was a 50% drop in crime and a 70% drop in unemployment. Boys education retainment went up 100% because post-natal depression was brought down. Asthma was down 50%. Gardens were transformed. People started to feel good about themselves: “We thought we were doing up our houses, but we were doing up our lives.”

This is the power of listening in connecting communities. The community will tell you what they need to heal. For example, the TR14ers in Camborne said they wanted to dance, and the power of dance to heal Camborne was extraordinary. Never ever give up. Do something small, but something wonderful will happen.

Fab talk, loads of laughter, another standing ovation, cheers.

More Information

Connecting Communities C2 Programme within the Health Complexity Group at the University of Exeter

Harry Burns, Chief Medical Officer in Scotland, on “Linking mental health indicators to promoting mental health in early life”

Hazel Stuteley biography

Hazel Stuteley BW

Hazel Stuteley is the Director of the Connecting Communities programme based at University of Exeter Medical School.

Following registered nurse training at King’s College Hospital, London, she qualified as a health visitor in 1972 and worked in inner-city practices in Southampton and London before moving to Cornwall in 1975, gaining many years experience in rural and urban disadvantaged areas.

In the mid eighties Hazel worked for Social Services with self-harming teenagers and teenagers on remand, and developed parenting programmes for families with children on the Child Protection register.

1990-2000 saw a return to Health Visiting as a full-time HV. Her practice included the highly disadvantaged ward of Penwerris in Falmouth, where she co-founded the multi award-winning Beacon project. In April 2000 she was appointed as a member of the Prevention and Inequalities Modernization Action Team to develop the national NHS Plan, chaired by the Chief Medical Officer for England. Later that year Hazel was seconded to the Department of Health (DH) where she led the development phase of the Healthy Communities Collaborative and also undertook an active role as a Neighbourhood Renewal Adviser for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Following the award of an Honourary Fellowship at Exeter University in 2002, she became a co-founder member of the Health Complexity Group, a multi-disciplinary team who use insights from complexity science to understand the barriers and drivers to transformational change. Hazel and team co-designed Connecting Communities (known as C2), an evidence-based seven-step programme, aimed at  equipping frontline service providers with knowledge and skills to work more effectively within disadvantaged communities. C2 has now been running for eight years and is active and effective in upwards of 15 communities throughout the UK. In 2010, C2 was the fieldwork model of choice for the DH-funded Health Empowerment Leverage Project, commissioned to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness and health benefits of community development within the NHS.

Widely published and married with three sons, Hazel was awarded an OBE in the 2001 Queen’s New Years Honours list for services to the community in Falmouth.

News about Hazel Stuteley

Ghosts of TEDxExeter past and future

From Isolation to Transformation

Some news from Hazel Stuteley, one of our speakers past…

Since TEDxExeter 2013, the Connecting Communities (known as C2) programme has now spread to India! As part of the ‘Community Centred Medicine’ workstream within the College of Medicine, Hazel was invited to speak at the Global Health Futures conference in Bangalore in November sponsored by the World Health Organisation. Other speakers included fellow TEDx presenter Sir Jonathan Porritt, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and HRH Prince of Wales. The focus of the conference was to define solutions to tackle the impending crisis caused by the ‘silent epidemic’ of preventable long term chronic disease. C2 has a track record of preventing the health behaviours which lead to these conditions and following Hazel’s presentation,she was invited back to India in 2014 to deliver a 3 day C2 learning programme to equip practitioners there with the skills and mindset needed to promote community resilience and self-management.

…and Karima Bennoune, one of our speakers future…

Karima’s book “Your Fatwa does not apply here” has been chosen by the American Library Association to feature on their Booklist Editors’ Choice list for 2013. The Editors selected titles which are representative of the year’s outstanding books for public library collections. Their scope is intentionally broad, and they attempted to find books that combine literary, intellectual, and aesthetic excellence with popular appeal.