Consultant Brief for the Leeds Solidarity Network Healthy Communities Project
posted by Jess Wynn
on 01st April 2021

This brief invites proposals from consultants interested in playing a part in an exciting, transformational project in Leeds, working with award-winning third sector partners and senior health and social care leaders. We are one of six projects nationally to be awarded funding by the National Lottery in partnership with the King’s Fund from their Healthy Communities Fund.

Over the last five years, a group of organisations working with communities experiencing marginalisation and extreme inequality have come together to work in solidarity. The organisations -Leeds GATE, BASIS Yorkshire, LASSN, and Yorkshire MESMAC - work with Gypsies and Travellers, Sex Workers, Asylum Seekers and Refugees, communities affected by HIV, and LGBTQ+ communities. While the context of our organisations and the people we work for are different, the barriers and experiences of stigma are strikingly similar. We have identified that working together to demonstrate the common ways our communities are excluded can give us strength and help us make systemic changes.

For this project, the Solidarity network is working in partnership with Leeds City Council Public Health and the Leeds CCG. Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board supported the development of this project.

This Partnership has been awarded an initial nine-month grant. A dedicated Kings Fund consultant supports this project.  On evidence of suficieint progress over these first nine months, there is a further three-years funding available and Kings Fund Consultant support.

This systems change project aims to map and explore the relationships and potential for change within our health care systems.

We have a clear vision of our outcomes, but we want to engage on a co-design process to make best use of our consultant’s skills. This brief acts as a guide to our ambitions, and we welcome suggestions, innovations and discussions on how you would approach the work.  We will work collaboratively, with a steering group having oversight of the project.

The communities we work for experience some of the most severe inequalities in our city across all domains (presence of long term conditions, mental health and suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, poor sexual health), the starkest outcome is early deaths (e.g. Gypsies and Travellers have a life expectancy in Leeds of just 50).  Our ultimate goal is to increase our communities' life chances and expectancy and allow individuals, families, and communities to reach their potential and heal from the traumatic consequences of health inequalities.

All of our communities experience marginalisation and stigma. They are continuously over consulted and under-represented. The very real and present challenge to survive diminishes the availability and capacity to be present in conversations about their lives. The lack of sustainable change resulting from these conversations demotivates participation and breeds fatigue. 

We built a network together to identify these shared experiences, show solidarity with one another, and take joint systemic approaches to end these inequalities.

We have been working together to:

  • Show support and kindness to each other as we face challenges in our work
  • Celebrate our work
  • Reflect and learn from our experiences of challenging injustice and developing allies
  • Represent the experiences of all our communities in strategic spaces
  • Come up with creative solutions that build systems and services from the margins, not from the centre, recognising that accessible services work for everyone

To find out more about the theory, approaches and learning of the solidarity network, you can look through this interactive report on our work:

Health Communities Together project will be delivered in two phases:

Phase 1 – We will invite our communities to lead discussions and develop our relationships across healthcare systems and leaders, commissioners and providers. Together we will deepen our understanding of our landscape through research, mapping, policy and gaps analysis. We will facilitate honest conversations as we work toward a plan for Phase 2 of delivery. We seek a consultant to support us for six months in Phase 1, and this work will take place at the earliest opportunity for completion by November 2021.

There are three broad steps we need to take in Phase 1:

  • Bringing people and information together
  • Building relationships between the information and stakeholders
  • Helping to formulate an action and work plan to improve health outcomes for marginalised people

This work is intended to inform a further three-year project (Phase 2), which will involve testing practical strategies to end health inequalities.

Phase 2 – putting our communities in the lead by delivering system change projects to improve marginalised communities' health outcomes, developing a movement, allies and public support, learning and sharing from our work.

We are looking for a consultant to join us for Phase 1 of this project. Below we have summarised the activities we consider the consultant will undertake:

  • Participate in and prepare information for project planning and steering group meetings alongside Solidarity Network, Leeds CCG, Leeds Public Health and the King's Fund Consultant.
  • Research and map where marginalised communities are represented in strategic documents, policy, consultation and service design and what resources are available to address their health outcomes. Highlight any gaps in representation, data and engagement, also highlighting good practice and impactful projects. 
  • Produce a critical stakeholder analysis helping to identify influential participants for further work.
  • Design, organise and facilitate spaces for our communities to participate in this project in a way that works for them – this may be through one to one meetings, creative formats (video, photo journaling, for example), at our meetings and events or their own groups and events.
  • Design, organise and facilitate spaces for all project stakeholders based on themes decided in the steering group. These spaces will be reflective, focused on learning and brave. We intend to strengthen our understanding and relationships through a series of honest conversations contributing to systems changes that positively impact our communities.
    The spaces will address themes such as:
    • Lessons learnt from Covid innovations
    • Data and marginalised communities
    • Commissioning and relationships to the third sector
    • Systems and policy innovations in our city Engagement with our communities
  • In collaboration with all stakeholders, produce a systems map that highlights where we are now, our visions for the future and the incremental and transformative seeds of change.
  • Contribute to the design of our phase 2 project plans.
  • Engage in pro-active project communications via appropriate channels, including newsletters, emails, blogs, social media, writing for websites, and local press engagement. 
  • Assist the project in creating creative communications to tell people’s stories. 

We want candidates to cover the following areas in their responses:

  • Tell us about yourself, your knowledge, experience and values and examples of your work
  • Tell us what interests you in this piece of work
  • Tell us how you will approach the partnership, your ideas for the work and an outline project plan (including details on time spent on each proposed area of work)
  • Tell us how you will approach the timescales
  • Tell us how much it will cost

Please note we have provided this briefing docuemtn as a guide to the work; in your responses, we welcome your alternative views and expertise in developing this project further. 

We are open to informal approaches and discussions about this opportunity and require submission of the above proposal to enable a shortlisting/decision process. 

For informal enquiries, please contact Ellen Hill (

Interested parties should produce a proposal of no more than 3000 words or the equivalent video/alternative creative proposal, and one spreadsheet, detailing how you would approach this request and meet the specification detailed in sections 5 and 6.

Proposals should be sent to by 12noon 21st April.

In addition, applicants should supply a summary of the costs and resources for the work. The budget available for this work is £20,000. A payment schedule and contract will be arranged with Yorkshire MESMAC, including a balance to be paid on satisfactory work completion.

Yorkshire MESMAC will manage the contract, and the work plan will be managed by the partnership.


Date all 2021


1st April

Tender Shared

12 noon 21st  April

Submission Deadline

29th April

Interviews/assessment activitites (online)

3rd May

Contract awarded and issued

In week commencing 10th May

Project Initiation Meeting

30th November

Project Delivered