The Health Works Story
Health Works was formed in 1991 through an initiative put together by local residents and health professionals to provide activities which would improve the health of the local population. Starting initially in Parson Cross, the organisation was originally called Healthy Cross Community Project. A registered charity and Company Limited by Guarantee, it worked to empower, encourage and support local people through community education, helping them to make informed choices to improve their health and wellbeing.
It grew significantly when regeneration money was made available in the area in 1999. It helped organise a Health Needs Assessment, surveying local residents on their health and how they would like to see it improved. As part of the philosophy of empowerment, it helped train and support local people to conduct the interviews.
Arising from this, a number of activities were funded through the regeneration money as it came on stream. Further expansion took place in 2003 when a five year Healthy Living Project grant from the Lottery’s New Opportunities Fund was awarded to the area, to be split equally between the Wolfe Road Project in Foxhill and Healthy Cross.
The project has worked from various bases around Parson Cross, covering all the Southey and Owlerton SRB5 area which includes Parson Cross, New Parson Cross, Foxhill, Southey Green, Longley, Shirecliffe, Owlerton, Firth Park, Brightside, Shiregreen and Winn Gardens.
Since 2010, the organisation has gone through a rapid period of change and expansion. It has extended the reach of its community health activities to cover the whole of the Sheffield city region including South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire. It has also changed its name to Health Works. At the end of 2010, it launched a new subsidiary trading company called Business Health Works. The community side of its work is known as Community Health Works.
Although the next few years are likely to be challenging for most community sector organisations, Health Works is set to survive and thrive. It currently has a skilled, experienced and enthusiastic team engaged in positive change and ready to face these challenges. Health Works will continue to deliver its community health work across Sheffield, and in the future, across South Yorkshire.
Its trading arm, Business Health Works, is providing health services to the private sector nationwide aimed at improving employee health, reducing absence caused by sick leave and providing health advice to businesses.
Health Works’ plans for the future have been developed through consultation with the organisation’s members, board, staff and volunteers. They all share the same vision and are committed to working together to make it a reality.