The Healthy Communities Together programme – funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest community funder in the UK – has been running since 2020. The programme works in five areas of England to develop partnerships between local statutory and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations that work to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities. This long read examines a recurring theme in the work of these partnerships – how to address power imbalances. We describe some of the ways in which this has manifested, how partnerships are working to change things in their local areas, and the impacts – both expected and unexpected – this is having.

We offer some reflective questions for others involved in this kind of work – whether from statutory or VCSE organisations, or facilitators working with them – to consider in their own work addressing power imbalances in partnership working. …. more