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Demonstrating the Need for your Work

Showing that the work of your project is needed is a critical tool in your toolkit for conversations with any partner or funder.  

Population data, which is collected and analysed by a range of agencies, offers insights specific to a particular community or place and so is particularly useful for illustrating need in the groups you will be working with. You can use this in its raw form, or through the lens of local strategies in cases where the digested data matches the ambitions of your work.

By exploring the material below you can pull out the evidence of NEED that’s most relevant to your project’s specific focus and use the information for funding applications, advocacy work and tender bids, as well as to give you a deeper understanding of the needs of the communities you will be working with.

This site is been created as part of the Arun Inspires programme, and as such information displayed here has a particular focus on Arun and West Sussex. This section organises its range of population data and policy covering the health, mental health, socio-economic background and policy into 3 sections:

Useful definitions

Arun lies within the West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (since April 2020). Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are run on a Sussex-wide basis.

The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: provides mental health and learning disability services to the people of Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex.

Sussex and East Surrey Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP): is one of 44 geographical Sustainability and Transformation Partnership ‘footprints’ in England who have been asked to produce a long-term plan outlining how local health and care services will evolve, improve and continue over the next five years.

NHS West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) (replacing NHS Coastal West Sussex as of April 2020) is a GP led statutory NHS body responsible for commissioning the majority of health services for local people. Responsible for the health of entire local population in West Sussex (over 860,000 people) and are measured by how much health outcomes improve. They commission local health services including mental health care, urgent and emergency care, elective hospital services, and community care.

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) build on existing primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care for people close to home. Clinicians describe this as a change from reactively providing appointments to proactively caring for the people and communities they serve. They are based on GP registered patient lists, typically serving natural communities of between 30,000 to 50,000 people. They are small enough to provide the personal care valued by both people and GPs, but large enough to have impact and economies of scale through better collaboration between GP practices and others the local health and social care system. Arun has two PCNs:

Neighbourhood One – West                      Neighbourhood Two – East

Fitzalan Medical Group                                   The Coppice Surgery

The Park Surgery                                            Willow Green Surgery

Westcourt Surgery

Not only do poorer areas have higher rates of mental illness, they also are less likely to access services and were less likely to hsow clinical improvement compared to those in more economically advantaged areas

Data about Arun

Arun is a largely coastal district in West Sussex, to the West of Adur & Worthing and East of Chichester. Many wards in Bognor Regis and Littlehampton are classed within the highest 20% of the Indices of Deprivation (with three wards in the highest 10% nationally). There are no Arts Council Portfolio Organisations in the District, although there are a wealth of small cultural enterprises and a growing digital sector. The Coast2Capital LEP recognise the Coastal strip, which includes both Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, as being at greater risk of long-term impacts from Covid due to their reliance on the tourism and hospitality sectors, which disproportionately employ younger people (source: West Sussex Skills & Employment Report, 2021).

Below is a selection of interactive data sources that share health statistics / levels of mental health and vulnerability from the District and illustrations of the socio-economic data that often underpins health inequality.

Indices of Multiple Deprivation
The below map shows local Health and Deprivation data for the District of Arun. This data is taken from the English Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2019. The Indices of Deprivation use 39 separate indicators, organised across seven distinct areas (including employment, income, education) and more to calculate where an area sits in comparison to the rest of England. With the map we have chosen to show only the Health and Disability data section of the wider indices. The darker the colour, the worse the score for the area. As you can see from the map Littlehampton and Bognor Regis are experiencing higher levels of deprivation. Each little shape is roughly between 1,000-2000 people. The Health data is made up of different statistics including mood and anxiety disorders, Years of potential life lost: premature death; Comparative illness and disability ratio, emergency admission to hospital.

Community Insight map 

This detailed map contains multiple, searchable, data sets. Type Arun, or the relevant postcode for your planned work, into the Navigate button, and then use the Data button to display mapping data for that specific area. Depending on the area you are targeting in your project/planning, it may be useful to search using the following categories:

Serious mental illness prevalence

Indices of deprivation indicator data, including:

   Health Deprivation & Disability Rank

   Mood & Anxiety Disorders

Vulnerable groups, including:

   Children aged 0-15 in Poverty

   People with Mental Health Issues

   Children Providing Unpaid Care

Prevalence of health conditions, such as depression

The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF)

This online database lets you explore the statistics for Depression and Mental Health diagnoses at GP level in Arun. Arun Primary Care networks have been broken into two neighbourhoods. By clicking “Search for practice results” and entering the criteria you wish to search by, you can compare their data with the rest of England, and others in the CCG. Once you have selected the GP surgery you wish to compare, search “Show comparisons on chart” and select “CCG Average” and “England Average”.

This framework includes two useful local mental health statistics, stating percentage of patients receiving the intervention:

Depression: Defined as the percentage of patients aged 18 or over with a new diagnosis of depression in the preceding 1 April to 31 March, who have been reviewed not earlier than 10 days after and not later than 56 days after the date of diagnosis. Although this figure is for adults only, it helps to frame the local need.

Mental health: Defined as the percentage of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and other psychoses who have a comprehensive care plan documented in the record, in the preceding 12 months, agreed between individuals, their family and/or carers as appropriate.   Although a small sample size, it gives an indication of comparison with other CCG averages.

Health indicators

Young male illuminated by camera light surrounded by fellow school pupils

West Sussex-wide Data

Although West Sussex is a relatively affluent County, there are significant differences in resources and access to services for children and young people in rural areas vs the towns and much of Littlehampton and Bognor Regis fall into the highest 20% in the Indices of Multiple Deprivation.

Guidance on local needs in the County: What Works Wellbeing November 2017

Topics covered:

Personal Wellbeing (self-reported)

Happiness yesterday

Life satisfaction

Purpose (activities in life are worthwhile)

Anxiety yesterday

% children reporting low life satisfaction

Depression and anxiety prevalence (GP Patient Survey): % of respondents aged 18+

% using natural environment for health and exercise

Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Profiling Tool by Public Health England

This is a website developed to support an intelligence driven approach to understanding and meeting need. It provides the means to benchmark an area against England, region or similar populations (down to Coastal West Sussex level). It collates and analyses a wide range of publicly available information on:

Hospital admissions as a of self-harm (10-24 years)

Admission episodes for alcohol-specific conditions – Under 18

Hospital admissions due to substance misuse (15-24 years)

Hospital admissions for mental health conditions

(all of the above 2018/19 shows higher than average in West Sussex, for self harm in particular)

Estimated prevalence of common mental disorders: % of population aged 16 & over (2017)

(lower than average at County level)

Local Policy & Strategy

Children and young people's mental health and emotional wellbeing are key priorities for Public Health and the council, and are central to the work of partner organisations working to improve children's lives - West Sussex County Council

Children & Young People’s Mental Health has been identified as a priority for West Sussex County Council and local NHS services.

West Sussex County Council in the introduction to their 2019 Health & Happiness Survey write, ‘Children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing are key priorities for Public Health and the council and are central to the work of partner organisations working to improve children’s lives.’

The West Sussex Local Transformation Plan (2015 – 2021)  outlines that ‘National policy reflects the general consensus that the resilience and emotional wellbeing of children and young people is facing greater challenges than ever before’.

The West Sussex Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Toolkit has been produced by the County Council to provide insight into local socio-economic and contextual factors. This linked chapter helps consider factors related to the promotion of mental wellbeing and the prevention of mental health problems in West Sussex. It provides easy access to nationally available topic-focused information, guidance and knowledge. The chapter text aims to be plain English and ready to be cut and pasted. The numerous links to external sites should all be current, relevant, and provide access to material that contributes to the JSNA process.

Arun District Council run their own Wellbeing Team whose services reflect current public health priorities in the District.

Mental Wellbeing is also a key driver for a number of other strategic agencies supporting children and young people in the County, such as Active Sussex, as understanding grows about the interconnectedness of physical and mental health, environment, and life chances.

For example, this Community Wellbeing and Social Capital report outlines the relationship between community wellbeing and social capital, outlining how good mental health and wellbeing is an important health outcome in its own right and can improve resilience to mental and physical illness. Measures of good social capital are associated with better population-level health and wellbeing.

The Making It Better toolkit has been produced by Artswork through the Arun Inspires programme, a 3-year cultural development programme for children, young people and the organisations supporting them in District of Arun. As a result, place-based data is focused to Arun. However many of the resources collected here are national or can be focused to other areas.

We hope you find the Toolkit useful. This is a living resource so if you have suggestions about material that should be added or content that could be improved, we would like to hear your ideas. Please email us on 

Data used across this toolkit was collected in March 2021, and all data is correct at the time of this site being created. Artswork have worked to ensure all resources gathered here are relevant and appropriate, but we cannot be held responsible for the content of external sites. If you have questions about any of this content, or encounter any broken links, please contact

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