A whole community approach - The One Norbiton Scheme


 One Norbiton is a scheme for urban renewal in the socially challenged locality of Norbiton. It is being led by local volunteers, with the support of the Royal Borough of Kingston and other Public Agencies. It has been up and running since  2011 following an initiative from the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Cabinet's Big Society policy. It is aiming to improve quality of life by increasing community support as well as co-designing and co-producing of local services.

                           One of One Norbiton's key targets is to reduce urban stress and because addiction is both a reaction to and a cause of, much of this stress, its effective management is a very appropriate problem for a Localism project, like One Norbiton, to tackle and this has been highlighted by local needs surveys.  Unfortunately delivering modern treatment to sufferers on an individual basis has been very discouraging - not least because of lack of motivation among sufferers. The consequence is that hard drug misuse causes us all, as taxpayers, a lot of money and high social costs due to crime and imprisonment. More common addictions to such things as food, tobacco and alcohol result in even higher healthcare costs due to diabetes, heart liver and lung disease etc.

                           i-bet-me is a whole community approach to this difficult problem. Thanks to a grant from the Community Development Foundation we are licensing this scheme to One Norbiton for a peppercorn amount.  Every household in Norbiton is going to be leafleted and offered the opportunity to earn CareCreds using our new App. Participants will be encouraged to get help in doing this this by using our existing health promotion organisations. The individuals and postal code areas with the highest improvement will be awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals.

                           We hope there will eventually be 100 neighbourhoods formed in Norbiton who will twin with each other to form Sectors that bridge the social and private housing divide. These Twinned neighbourhoods may compete in earning Sector CareCreds via Sporting and cultural activities, home skills and environmental improvement. This will give people the opportunity to earn rewards from improving their own health and assisting their neighbours to do the same. Because those with the largest number of problems will have an even greater potential for improvement, competitive twinned neighbourhoods may see it as in their interest to recruit and to help as many of their overburdened fellow citizens as possible.

                           Our hope is that social collaboration and "pressure to imitate" will work where other things have failed. For example, everyone, even the unemployed, will have a new way of "health trading" whereby increasing their health will increase their social prestige when CareCreds scores are published as well as increasing their purchasing power from the ensuing rewards. Simply by their taking better care of their personal and social health, their whole neighbourhood will benefit. This will alter their self-belief along the lines suggested by many current new ideas on how to handle Stress. Hopefully Norbiton's sense of community collaboration will also increase.