Making a difference

We improve people’s lives

Everything we do benefits our communities. We are a Community Interest Company. That means that any profits we make are reinvested to improve the lives of other people. So, by working with us, you will be helping yourself and others.

Meet Hazel

It’s National Apprentice Week this week, so we’ve been celebrating the wonderful Hazel who has been our apprentice since September. 

Hazel is doing a Business Administration Level 3 apprenticeship with us, and we chatted to her about how it’s going.

Read our chat with Hazel

Reducing inequalities for the Nepalese community

Every year we reinvest any profits back into our communities. Before Covid, we invested in a project to help the Nepalese community in Folkestone to get online and build their confidence using the computer. Now two years on our Social Return on Investment (SORI) analysis evidences its success.

  • For every £1 we invested, we can see a return of £20.90 worth of social value. That works out as an average of £8,041 worth of social value for every participant.
  • 21 people from the Nepalese community have now been trained.
  • These people now feel less isolated and have gained knowledge and confidence which has enabled them to access health and social care services online, book their Covid vaccines and help other people too.
  • The project leader has now secured further paid work to roll the scheme out to other parts of Kent.
  • Overall, the project has generated £209,086 worth of social value/ impact in its first year


Read the report here

Winning for our volunteers

We’ve won an Investors in Volunteers award for the second time. 

Volunteers are central to many of our projects. Within both Healthwatch Kent & Healthwatch Medway they are involved in every aspect, from making decisions about our priorities, through to visiting services and listening to people about their experiences. It’s so important to us that our volunteers feel supported and valued and are constantly learning new skills, so we are particularly pleased that this award recognises that. 

Helping migrant communities to access sexual health services

Traditionally, people who are over 45 and who weren’t born in the UK, are less likely to use sexual health services. Kent Public Health came to us because they wanted to understand what the barriers are, and how they can help people to get the support that they need. 

We spoke indepth to 56 people about what stopped them from using sexual health services and helped them to understand that support is available.

We had to use all our creative skills to reach people and ensure they felt comfortable to talk to us about such a sensitive subject, but we’re excited that the feedback we’ve heard will be used to help other people to get the help that they need.

Maybe you need help to reach a specific community? We’d love to hear from you!

Helping Deaf people in East Kent to get an interpreter

It’s taken years but we’ve finally done it!  We know that D/deaf people often find it hard to get a British Sign Language Interpreter when they go to hospital.

Our Healthwatch Kent volunteers have been working with East Kent Hospitals to design a new, and free, credit card that enables them to clearly state that they need an interpreter.

Read more here: 


"Thanks to you, I’ve been able to book the Covid vaccine for 10 people"

We are a community interest company which means we reinvest any profit back into the community. We funded a new project which is offering digital skills to the Nepalese community in Folkestone.

Tika Ram told us about his new found skills. “I had a laptop but I wasn’t confident in how to use it. Now, I know how to book an appointment with my GP, join Zoom meetings and do shopping online.”

Tika Ram has used his newfound skills to help other people. He completed the Census for nine Nepalese families and has booked the Covid vaccine for 10 people in his community. Without his help, they wouldn’t have been able to do that.

Read more here: 

Influencing the development of the Complex Emotional Difficulties pathway

Through our work in mental health we’ve heard how challenging it can be for people living with Personality Disorder. Our Mental Health User Network has captured this feedback and shared it with the Mental Health Trust in Kent.

As a direct result of our feedback, changes are being made to the new Complex Emotional Difficulties pathway that is being developed and the Trust has committed to further improvements too.

Read more here: 

Capturing the social return on our investment

During Covid, we wanted to ensure our volunteers remained involved and could continue to enjoy their volunteering experience. For some of them this meant offering them new digital skills. We trained 13 of our volunteers.

For every pound that we have invested to train our volunteers, we can see a social return of £52.46.

Another way to calculate it would indicate that the increased quality of life, caused by our intervention to help them gain IT skills and confidence is equivalent to £1,462.5 per year, per volunteer.

Learn more here