The Community Engagement Model

Health trainers aim to reach marginalised and disadvantaged groups. Community engagement is key to this and needs to be planned into services from the outset.

  • The health trainer works in a small geographical patch and informs people living in the area about the service through outreach work e.g. visiting groups (e.g. Faith groups, community, tenants groups), knocking on doors
  • The health trainer draws up a directory of local activities – for example walking groups, leisure centre fitness sessions, befriending groups, and CAB outreach sessions
  • Accessible community bases are found to hold one to one sessions with clients – e.g. libraries, community centres, schools, faith buildings, and pharmacies
  • The health trainer lets professionals working in the area know about the service
  • Clients self-refer or are referred by professionals, they see a health trainer for a varying number of times, depending on their needs (the average is probably 6 times)
  • Health trainers use a coaching model to support the client to set goals and an action plan. They also sign post and can accompany people to other activities. The health trainer supports the client to overcome access barriers.
  • Health trainers are working with gypsies and travellers, women in refuges, offenders/ex-offenders and their families, people with learning disabilities, careers, and many other disadvantaged communities.

For the latest evidence briefing on health trainers and community engagement follow this linkĀ Engaging with Communities


The Community Engagement Resource Pack is designed to provide information and resources for Health Trainer Services on how to engage effectively with communities. The resource pack is divided into sections which address the following questions:

  • What is community engagement in Health Trainer Services?
  • Why should Health Trainer Services engage with communities?
  • How do Health Trainer Services engage with communities?
  • How do Health Trainer Services build community capacity through workforce development?
  • How is the effectiveness of community engagement in Health Trainer Services demonstrated?

A series of Appendices provide further resources and illustrations:

  • The policy context for community engagement (PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NO LONGER UP TO DATE, BUT MAY BE OF HISTORICAL INTEREST)
  • Examples of Health Trainer Services engaging with communities
  • Examples of building community capacity
  • Training resources – for developing community engagement approaches
  • Data Collection and Reporting System – capturing and reporting community engagement data
  • Social Impact Matrix from the Assessing the Value for Money of Health Trainer Services report
  • Lines of enquiry still to be pursued on community engagement from an evaluation perspective

Download the whole Community Engagement Resource Pack, or in parts below.

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