Community Roots Network and Central Access Point: One Year On

Community Roots One Year On


It’s incredible to believe it’s been a year already since the launch of the Community Roots network and Central Access Point telephone line.

Funded by NHS Brighton and Hove CCG and Brighton and Hove City Council, Community Roots brings together 16 local providers to strengthen, develop and integrate mental health support for different levels of need, with Southdown as lead provider.  

Liz Tucker, Public Health Specialist – Mental Health at Brighton and Hove City Council says:
“The Community Roots partnership was commissioned with the objective of aiding integration across the City’s third sector mental health services. In terms of the number of services that sit under one roof Community Roots is one of the largest in the City. Over the last 12 months Community Roots have developed a common front door through which support can be accessed directly. Services have been sustained during the Covid-19 period and we are looking to improve the way mental health services work together going forward.”

Martin Dominy, Head of Service for Mental Health Recovery & Employment Support at Southdown, reflects back on our first year as a network:

“Over the past year we have formed a positive partnership, working together with a shared ambition and drive to improve wellness for people across the city of Brighton and Hove.

We have seen fantastic buy-in from our partner providers, many of which have known each other for years, but haven’t ever worked this closely before. Working in partnership has given us all increased insight and knowledge of what each provider offers. This has enabled us to collectively provide better support for people around their mental health.

It is fair to say that 2020 has been an unprecedented year for all in facing the Covid-19 pandemic. Lockdown came just six months after we launched the network, and it has been a huge testament to the network’s resilience and I’d like to thank all our partner providers who rapidly adapted their support to the ever-changing situation. This adaptability and tenacity has enabled us to continue to offer essential support to those needing it, including people experiencing higher levels of mental health distress.

“Despite my reservations with technology, it’s great that the college can bring people together online so no-one misses out and everyone has the option to join in. It can enhance life and bring people together when they’re unable to meet physically.”
- Student, Brighton and Hove Recovery College

We had ambition as a network to work more closely with clinical teams, which has been achieved through increased contact throughout the pandemic. We will continue to build on these working relationships as the contract moves forward in the coming years."

In addition to working together as a network of 16 partner providers, Community Roots’ Central Access Point telephone line; a single Freephone number enabling people in the city to find the right support service for them.