People behind successful health condition management programme celebrated

Group photo of some of the HOPE facilitators and programme coordinators at the celebration event

Published: 3 May 2024

Facilitators for a programme that has helped over 7,000 people across the South West manage their health condition have been thanked at a celebration event.

The HOPE (Help Overcoming Problems Effectively) Programme supports people to better manage their condition, symptoms and daily challenges.

HOPE facilitators give up their time to run the sessions and courses, which cover a range of different conditions. They usually work in health and social care or have completed the programme themselves as a participant.

The HOPE Devon facilitators were invited to Sandy Park in Exeter where they were thanked by the HOPE Devon coordination team and colleagues from the national Hope For The Community CIC (H4C).

They also heard presentations from other projects supporting individuals in the South West, and enjoyed a networking opportunity, lunch and a virtual reality experience alongside their fellow facilitators.

“There are over 100 trained HOPE Programme facilitators in Devon.” said Gabriela Matouskova, CEO of Hope For The Community CIC who licence the programme to the NHS. “It was fantastic to be part of the event and meet the people who are key to spreading HOPE and changing people’s lives. The HOPE Programme in Devon is going from strength to strength and is a brilliant example of partnership working between the voluntary sector and the NHS to transform community health support across the county.”

Olivia Weight, South Devon HOPE Programme Coordinator at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We had a really wonderful and uplifting afternoon celebrating all of our inspirational facilitators and the success of Devon in its spreading of the HOPE Programme across the county.

“With nearly 50 of our facilitators attending, it was an enjoyable few hours of networking, interactive activities and guest speakers. We also had our Digital Horizons team there who were exhibiting VR headsets for people to try out mindfulness activities, which was great fun!

“A huge thanks to everyone that made it a really special day, including the wonderful Gabriela Matouskova who travelled all the way from Coventry especially. We are already so excited about next year’s event.”

Fleur Barr, HOPE Facilitator, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the successes of the HOPE programme at Sandy Park. It was a great opportunity to network with colleagues in the community and like-minded professionals who are all passionate about making a positive difference to people’s lives. We also had the time to learn about new innovative volunteering roles such as Health Connect Coaching, where people can work on personal goals one to one with support and encouragement.

“The team really worked hard to make everyone feel welcome and valued. I look forward to the next event.”

Janine Cave, Digital HOPE Facilitator, said: “For me the HOPE facilitator day was a great opportunity to see that I am part of something bigger than just the ‘digital world’. As a digital facilitator we don’t actually see the people we support, so to be with both face-to-face and virtual facilitators who do interact with the people they support was brilliant! It was great to hear about the stories of why people came to become facilitators and also what the HOPE Programme means to so many. My very small part in the much bigger and wonderful world of HOPE is my overriding takeaway from the HOPE event.”

The HOPE Programme, developed by Coventry University, is an evidence-based self-management course. It focuses on bringing people in similar situations together to share and learn practical skills to take control of their health and wellbeing through group discussions, engaging activities, and goal-setting exercises.

There are HOPE Programme courses supporting people living with pain and fatigue, anxiety and depression, long-COVID, sensory loss, orthopaedic surgery, caring for someone and more.

The courses are free to attend for anyone over the age of 18 and take place at various times and locations across Devon, as well as online. A typical course is 6 weekly sessions, that lasts for 2 and a half hours.

To find out more about the programme or register for one of the upcoming courses, please visit the HOPE Programme on the MyHealth Devon website or contact 01803 320600 /