Westbank was established in 1986 and ran as a registered charity for over 20 years until transferring to a company limited by guarantee in 2007. The organisation works to empower and improve the health of communities and individuals across Devon.

The organisation has been providing practical support such as shopping, transport to and from medical appointments and befriending for vulnerable and socially isolated people since its inception. Supporting carers has always been a priority and recently Westbank’s expertise with carers has been acknowledged by the award of a countywide contract to coordinate carer’s services as part of a consortium with East Devon and Exeter CVSs. Day care is provided at the Community Care Centre which also operates as a meeting place and provides meals and bathing services.

Westbank works in partnership with 6 GP practices, engaging volunteers who provide practical and emotional support to patient and ensures that the volunteer’s voices are considered in the new Health and Social Care arrangements locally. 

The Healthy Living Centre opened in 2004 and enabled the provision of many more services both in-house and in the community.  The centre aims to empower and improve the health of local people, especially those who feel marginalised in the local rural community and aims to reach socially excluded groups and individuals. The Centre includes a gym with disabled access equipment, after school and holiday club for children, gymnastics club, community cafe (Fridays), conference and meeting facilities.  Fitness classes, smoking cessation, weight management, stress management, complimentary therapies, workshops and training are also delivered both in house and through experts from other organisations.

In 2005, Westbank opened an outreach centre in Starcross in the form of a community meeting place and shop which has now been running for three years as a successful social enterprise.

In 2011 Westbank was awarded five years funding from the Big Lottery's Reaching Communities fund. Westbank Healthy Communities aims to increase confidence and self-esteem, reduce social isolation and improve skills for healthy living across Teignbridge and Exeter.

Westbank is an integral part of the community and develops programmes based on the interests and needs of the community. The work is supported by a team of more than 100 paid staff and over 300 volunteers. 

Priority Aims 

  • Relieve sickness and preserve health amongst the community
  • Preserve health and foster independence
  • Support primary health care through voluntary activity
  • Support for carers and bereaved people in their homes with practical and befriending support
  • Meeting the needs of carers of all ages, including young carers

Strategic Objectives

  • Reach socially excluded people
  • Nurture physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing
  • Early Years Development and Family Health
  • Practical support and information about choices in lifestyle and care services
  • Quality Information advice and guidance

Core Values

  • Encouraging, developing and promoting healthy lifestyles for all members of the community
  • Providing high quality, appropriate care and support to those who need it
  • Promoting and ensuring social inclusion
  • Actively encouraging user involvement in management and development of the organisation
  • Creating new and developing existing partnerships across all sectors
  • Encouraging, motivating and supporting local people in their personal development
  • Recognising and supporting the involvement of volunteers
  • Inspiring and enabling people to unlock their true potential and that of others
  • Sharing what we learn amongst local people, partner organisations and at a national level so that others can advance.

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