#CovMindTheGap 2017-07-09T13:59:27+00:00

covmindthegap#COVMindTheGap – using community to bridge the gap between services and people having healthy and happy lives


This event was brilliant and there is a huge amount of on-going energy. This is a preview: https://www.facebook.com/gill.phillips.376/posts/1113613662020697

And a Steller story: https://steller.co/s/6FWenBsUnRV

We are also producing a longer film: “#CovMindTheGap: The Movie” (Coming soon!)

About the campaign

#CovMindTheGap is about creating a platform for change helping people think about how community can bridge the gap between services and people having healthy and happy lives.

Using the infamous Whose Shoes? board game, we’re bringing a range of people together to think about how community members and services might work closer together to achieve these outcomes.


Do you have a story of people struggling to achieve this because of the barriers that services have put in the way? Or perhaps a story of people who have worked with services to create new ways of working which allow people to lead the lives they deserve? Tweet about these using the hashtag #CovMindTheGap and start thinking about the gaps where you are…

For further ideas, please also read this simple but truly inspirational blog by consultant surgeon Sam Majumdar, setting out what we mean by a values-based society and a truly holistic approach to healthcare.

Further information

Our #CovMindTheGap campaign started with an outrageous tweet. Gill Phillips who is a BIG fan of #FabChangeDay was a bit miffed that there were six introductory #FabChangeDay events around the country … but none in the Midlands. So we literally put Coventry on the map. Gill compiled a Steller story to share how this happened and to prove that with a bit of cheek and a lot of passion, anything is possible. Do not wait for permission to make positive change!


Gill, who tweets as @WhoseShoes, has a big social media following and knows lots of amazing people in Coventry, not least the fabulous community at Grapevine. People who lead by example and develop amazing community circles which enable people to live holistic lives, regardless of disability, problems or responsibilities as family carers. Much of this has been celebrated through the ‘NHS Fab Stuff’ resources. Read here about ‘Parent Carers’ and here for Swim and Tonic.


Mel’s milk bottle image sums up much of the philosophy. We believe in #JAMM-ing – Join A Movement and Mobilise – and ‘finding your flock’. We have adopted #CovFlock, coined by Sally Pezaro, as a short-hand for identifying people with our shared values.


Simon Gilby, CEO of Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, responded immediately to Gill’s tweet and hosted a ‘Just Do It’ meeting to see what we could all come up with. (“Don’t be scared”, we said!). When Simon arrived carrying a big pot of tea and some ‘team sweets’, we knew he was one of us: #CovFlock!

So, within the space of a morning, we had a grand plan:

  • A Whose Shoes? workshop in Coventry, bringing together lots of people from the community, many of whom the NHS would define as ‘patients’ together with healthcare professionals who are used to ‘fixing people’, social care professionals who are used to ‘caring for’ people or ‘sorting’ them – to see how we can build more imaginative pathways and circles of support.
  • A ‘magic mile’ walk – a relaxed, inclusive walk around Coventry to spread the message that exercise is not only good for everyone but fun too. The walk will be filled with storytelling, singing and dancing and link with @CovOnTheMove, an on-going public health programme in Coventry.

Oh yes. And we had made a RAP too:

All the Whose Shoes? scenarios have been crowd-sourced reflecting lots of different issues and perspectives, including at the Coventry ‘Innovation Factory’; a ‘Feel Good’ walk and a #VillageTalk session involving @PocZero, hosted by the local Fire Brigade!


Gill attended a team meeting with the ‘Self Care’ team from NHS England and lots more ideas were picked up through conversations, in real life and on Twitter. It should make for some very interesting and thought-provoking discussions!


#CovMindTheGap is evolving FAST. It is capturing the imagination of other regions. Already similar action is spreading elsewhere – for example via @TriggerDavid in Evesham who came to our inaugural meeting; also some community movers and shakers in the Wirral.


We are hoping that fab Anna Geyer, New Possibilities will come along and do a FABulous graphic recording of our #FabChangeDay workshop. This will serve as a record of what people said and turn into an action plan, both for people at the workshop and to share wider through #JAMM, #VillageTalk and #FabChangeDay, giving more ideas about how everyone can get involved.


But of course you don’t need to ask for permission to bridge a gap that you are aware of.

Be bold.

Just Do It 🙂

By Gill Phillips @WhoseShoes and Naomi Brook @CovOnTheMove


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