News & blog

Join the growing coalition for change!

The Public World Team

Don’t we all want to live in the place we call home with the people and things that we love, in communities where we look out for each other, doing the things that matter to us?”

That’s the vision articulated by Social Care Future and we in Buurtzorg share it. In fact, we are making it happen, along with many others in a growing movement committed to making Build Back Better very much more than a slogan.

So, we’re inviting you to join us at our Caring Places: Building Healthy Communities Festival on October 19th – either in person at one of London’s beautiful riverside settings, Savoy Place, or online via a state-of-the-art interactive virtual conference platform created by our partners in Seven Events.

Whether there in person or joining online you’ll be able to ask questions, join in the discussion and make 1-2-1 connections with other participants to share learning from some great pioneering change initiatives in health, social care and working lives.

Both the in-person and online events will kick off with an exploration of what makes a community healthy in a conversation facilitated by our Brendan Martin with:

  • Thijs de Blok, CEO Buurtzorg International
  • Katie Kelly, who leads East Ayrshire’s Vibrant Communities programme
  • Cormac Russell, global exponent of Asset-based Community Development
  • Hazel Stuteley, founder of C2 Connecting Communities

We’ll then hear how the British model of district nursing was one of Jos de Blok’s inspirations when he founded Buurtzorg in the Netherlands, and what that can mean for the future of community nursing today. Jos will explore that with:

  • Helen Martin, director of Clinical Quality and Nursing at Medway Community Health
  • Dame Anne-Marie Rafferty, world-renowned nursing historian and former president of the Royal College of Nursing
  • Jenny Rathbone, member of the Welsh Assembly and great granddaughter of the founding father of district nursing, William Rathbone

But how does the Buurtzorg approach improve both the jobs of nurses, caregivers and community builders, and outcomes for the people they serve? We’ll explore that in a panel featuring nurses, wellbeing practitioners and neighbourhood care workers from some of the projects supported by Buurtzorg Britain & Ireland over the last few years, including the Thistle Foundation, Cambridgeshire County Council and Medway Community Health.

The festival will wrap up by exploring the key question of how organisations, institutions and systems need to change to enable initiatives of the kind featured throughout the day to thrive. Again, the discussion will feature people who’ve been there and done it:

  • our own Jos de Blok, founder and chief executive of Buurtzorg Nederland
  • Professor Donna Hall, who led the renowned Wigan Deal and now chairs Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sir John Timpson, who invented the ‘upside-down management’ concept applied with such success at the company now led by his son, Timpson’s.

All that will be available to both online and in-person attendees, but the latter also have a range of equally exciting panels to choose from on the day featuring equally inspiring and creative people – just check out the Agenda and Speakers sections of our festival website for the details.

You can see a full view of your ticket options here – and here’s another: with the course of the pandemic in Britain still causing so much concern and uncertainty there is even an option to buy online tickets now and upgrade to in-person later (subject to availability).

We can also offer some special discounts for social enterprises and community organisations — give us a shout at if that option looks interesting.

We can’t wait to see you in-person or online on the 19th October.