We are delighted to announce that Ways to Wellness and Blue Stone Collaborative are merging, to create a new innovation hub. Together we aim to demonstrate the important role the voluntary and community sector can play in delivering innovative services and contributing to health and care transformation.

The merger will bring together the strengths of two like-minded organisations. Our shared ambition is to foster collaboration across all sectors to tackle health inequalities, across the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System.

The new venture will:

  • Sponsor and develop innovative programmes and prototypes
  • Support place-based working, building on existing local assets
  • Use data and clear reporting and accountability processes to demonstrate impact and outcomes.

Sandra Mitchell Phillips, Chief Executive of Ways to Wellness, said:

“I’m delighted that the boards of both organisations have agreed to merge, and that I will be taking the merged organisation forward as Chief Executive. This will mark an exciting new chapter in the story of Ways to Wellness, which has developed a strong reputation for innovation over the past seven years. We are ambitious to take what we’ve learned and make a difference to the lives and wellbeing of even more people across the region.”

Brendan Hill, Executive Chair of Blue Stone Collaborative, said:

“Blue Stone’s role over recent years has developed significantly in championing VCS provider involvement in health and care initiatives. We have hosted and facilitated prototypes and projects with a focus on learning to help improve and reshape delivery. Coming together with Ways to Wellness will enable so much more of this type of work to be supported. I look forward to supporting Sandra and the merged team in their new shared endeavours."

The merger has been approved by the Boards of both organisations who will now start working together more closely, pending formal approval of the merger from the Charity Commission.

More information about the merger

What will the merged organisation be called?

The merged organisation will be called Ways to Wellness. A refresh of the Ways to Wellness logo will make it easier to incorporate the range of projects the organisation will be delivering going forward.

What’s the impact on delivery of your projects?

Both organisations are committed to ensuring a smooth handover of the projects, including retaining the existing project teams and delivery plans.

Who will lead the merged organisation?

The Chief Executive of Ways to Wellness, Sandra Mitchell-Phillips, will be the Chief Executive of the merged organisation. Brendan Hill, who is the current Executive Chair of Blue Stone Collaborative, will join the Board of the merged organisation.

What’s happening at Board level? Are both boards in agreement about all this?

Both Boards are fully supportive of the merger. Brendan Hill, the current Executive Chair of Blue Stone Collaborative, will join the Board of Ways to Wellness.

When will the full, formal merger take place?

The full merger is subject to approval by the Charity Commission. We are aiming to launch the merged organisation on 7 July 2022.