Meet Anna McLaren, VONNE’s new Health Champions Programme Manager

Author: Sara Toal

Anna joined VONNE in February to coordinate the development of a regional programme of Health Champion activity across the North East and North Cumbria (NENC). She will be supporting collaboration and shared learning, working closely with the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), Local Authority partners, VCSE organisations and other key stakeholders.

Photo of Anna McLaren

I am delighted to have joined VONNE in my new role as NENC Health Champions Programme Manager. Having spent the first part of my career in the VCSE sector it is great to return, working with people who are passionate about making a positive difference in their communities. 

We know that many people in our region experience poorer health and shorter life expectancy than in other parts of the UK. Health Champions play a key role in changing this.  Having previously worked on regional and national ambassador programmes, supporting frontline care workers and people who receive care to encourage others to consider a career in the sector, I know how people can influence and inspire others and the power of conversations. I look forward to working with champions and those that support them to build on the success of the work taking place across the region.

I’m pleased to share that five health champion initiatives have been successful in their bids to the Health Champion Development Fund. These projects will focus on improving key health outcomes reaching some of our most marginalised communities.  The resources and learning from these projects will be shared across the region.

In my first weeks, I’ve really enjoyed spending time meeting new people and hearing about the diverse range of health champions activities happening across the North East and North Cumbria. In my new role I want to support collaboration, the sharing of best practice and recognise/celebrate the difference health champions make.

You can get in touch with Anna through our team mailbox: Visit our Health Champions web page for more information about activity across the North East and North Cumbria.