Chanua is an organisation solving some of the biggest challenges in Healthcare, Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Derived from the Swahili term meaning to blossom and flourish, Chanua supports and develops initiatives that empower people to improve their health, mental health and wellbeing. We create services and products that foster healthy connections, we do this by creating solutions mixing using human centred approaches, technology, psychology and good design. We believe that good relationships form the basis of healthy people throughout their lives.
We are not limited by traditional views of what wellbeing and healthcare solutions should look like and strive to showcase innovations that demonstrate results in a wide variety of ways.
Working both in the UK and Internationally, we have extensive experience of working with a wide range of clients on healthcare and innovation projects.
Having met at University over 15 years ago and uniting over a shared love of barbeques (with vegetarian options) and Liverpool’s Sefton Park, Chanua was founded by Naomi Mwasambili and Megan Charles two psychology graduates who unwittingly began the journey towards health and wellbeing innovation. Our interests led us down different but parallel routes. We both worked in NHS, statutory services, voluntary sector and small and medium enterprises.
Our leadership roles have ensured that we have learnt the best way to nurture the wellbeing of individuals while highlighting, first-hand the disparity between what is needed and what is offered. We converged once again having realised that the essence of what we both want to achieve is meaningful wellbeing innovations that inspire and empower individuals to improve their health and wellbeing, and so Chanua was born.
We want to change statistics like, ‘1 in 20 people often or always feel lonely’. We know this feeling can start in childhood and teenagers are now describing feeling more socially isolated and unsupported. These feelings can lead to a range of health problems, including mental ill health. Unresolved childhood issues have a significant negative impact on adulthood, impacting employment, relationships and peoples’ quality of life. On a global scale, Non-Communicable diseases (chronic diseases that last for long periods of time and progress slowly) impact and cause death to 41 million people each year.
With increasing costs to healthcare, there has been intense focus on health and wellbeing and the understanding that preventative and early intervention approaches are paramount to a high quality of life. Chanua exists to prevent these illnesses developing and impacting on peoples’ quality of life. We’re still working on a barbecue wellbeing venture idea!
What are our principles?
We are the ‘Healthcare Problem Solvers’. We know the problems in healthcare and focus our attention on developing solutions to these. We like to keep things simple, we build and develop solutions in collaboration with our clients utilising their existing resources and skills to ensure their health, mental health and wellbeing goals are achieved.
We say ‘A problem solved is well…. a problem solved’
Our Chanua intelligence tool allows us to use data from our work and combine it with health and public datasets to ensure our decisions are informed by data and we are creating the evidence base of the future.
Our team has extensive clinical and social care experience from working in the field (as well as being humans ourselves), we at Chanua are perfectly placed to lead innovation in health, mental health and wellbeing. Like a beautiful cake, we mix our clinical, academic and personal expertise and top it off with common sense.
We don’t settle for mediocrity, keeping on top of effective solutions using both evidence based approaches and expertise through experience in order to support projects and organisations to provide services we would be happy to use and pass the Chanua friends and family test.
We love sustainable business models and know it can be hard to find the right fit in Health and Mental Healthcare.We support projects and organisations to monetise their services and ensure trading income is the key driver for their activities.
In addition to this we support projects to measure the social impact of their work and health benefits. We have a mixed head and heart approach to research, so we use qualitative and quantitative approaches to measure impact.
We value and advocate for people to use their own personal health experiences to contribute to finding solutions. We believe that no-one is better placed to understand services, gaps in provision and ways to address them than those that use them. As a result we are active in embedding people who are expert through experience in positions of equal power and using their voices and skills in all areas of our solutions.
We value community development approaches and embed it in all the work that we do. We believe that services should be co-developed with and lead by community members. Our team supports organisations to use these approaches within the work they do.