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Promotional image from the Concha Colomer Summer Symposium.

Professor Lynne Kennedy – who is the Head of the Department of Clinical Sciences and Nutrition at the University of Chester– is one of the academic members of an international consortia consisting of schools of health promotion and public health (European Training Consortium in Public Health and Health Promotion (ETC-PHHP)).

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Professor Lynne Kennedy
Professor Lynne Kennedy

Every year, the ETC-PHHP organises an annual summer school focused on developing practical and theoretical tools to enhance health promotion strategies in Europe. Professor Kennedy has been a member and Tutor since 1994. This year, due to COVID-19, the summer school will be replaced by the Concha Symposium, which is a free open-access symposium with international health promotion experts. It is open for professionals, academics and Master’s students interested in public health and health promotion.

Professor Kennedy will be part of an international group of academics who will discuss ‘Co-creating community-oriented health services post COVID-19’ with particular emphasis on the strength of community support, and helping the more vulnerable in society. The panel will explore the power of community involvement in protecting and promoting health – and how informal community networks have mobilised during the pandemic. They will consider how this more ‘informal’ way of promoting health and wellbeing – rather than the more formal health promotion offered by professional health care providers - may provide an opportunity to increase community participation in the future. They will discuss what can be done so that professionals who work in health services can see the strengths of involving the community and using informal helping systems to strengthen support for health promotion in the future.

Professor Kennedy said: “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt by people in all societies on a global scale, especially by those who are most vulnerable and the less affluent or socially disadvantaged. The wide display of compassion and solidarity by local people is impressive and highlights the power of communities themselves in complementing the work of the NHS and other key workers in protecting and promoting health. Many informal networks have been created to support and help people in need in neighbourhoods, cities and towns. How and why did communities and informal systems mobilise (so well) to effectively offer meaningful support?

“This amazing groundswell of grassroots action is a ‘modern day’ social movement and we must stop, understand and harness this action so we can be stronger and better prepared should similar situations arise in the future.”

The summer school takes place on Monday, July 20. Full details– including registration - can be found at: The closing date for registration is July 1.

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