MLCO’s Nesta 100 Day Challenge

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MLCO’s Nesta 100 Day Challenge

What is a 100 Day Challenge?

At MLCO, we have tasked each of our 12 integrated neighbourhood teams with a Nesta 100 Day Challenge. Put simply, a 100 Day Challenge gives a team 100 days to try to improve something, to try something new and to work in a different way. It is a unique environment to work in as it encourages teams to:

  • Work across boundaries – services and organisations that may have never met each other, are brought together to share their knowledge and resources. It is a great opportunity to work more closely with  voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations.
  • Involve local residents and people with lived experience in the design of services and what we offer locally.
  • Try something new – with such a mix of services and people, the teams are able to come up with new innovative ideas and ways of working.
  • Act quickly – change can be slow the health and social care system, with only 100 days to act, the team has a sense of urgency. It is always amazing to hear how much has been achieved in such a short amount of  time.
  • Build relationships – not just as an integrated neighbourhood team, but with local organisations and residents too.

Who or what is Nesta?

The 100 Day Challenge was designed by a charity called Nesta (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts).

Nesta’s People Powered Results Team have been commissioned by MLCO to help support our integrated neighbourhood teams, which are newly established, as the teams adapt the health and social care offer of their neighbourhood to meet the needs of local people.

“Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality. It also means changing lives for the better. This is what keeps us awake at night and gets us out of bed in the morning.

We work in areas where there are big challenges facing society, from the frontiers of personalised healthcare to stretched public services and a fast-changing jobs market.”

— Nesta


How can I get involved?

In Manchester, rather than ask all 12 neighbourhoods to do a 100 Day Challenge at the same time, we have staggered them into three waves. The first wave took place between April and July 2019. The second wave kicked off in September 2019.

If your local neighbourhood team has already completed their challenge, but you’d still like to get involved with your neighbourhood; or if your neighbourhood’s challenge will be in wave three, you can contact us and we’ll put you in touch with your local team.


100 Day Challenge Catalysts

One of the unique things about the 100 Day Challenge is the role of catalysts. There is a catalyst for each team. The catalyst is there to support the team through the ups and downs of their 100 Day Challenge; sometimes as a motivator, facilitator, coach, confidante or an extra pair of hands – whatever the team needs.

Find out more and meet the catalysts


Wave 3 is happening now, find out what the teams are up to…


Team Ardwick and Longsight Family Financial Inclusion (ALFFI) will work with families in Ardwick and Longsight with children under 16, to increase uptake of income maximisation services by 100%.

Find out more

Team Mankind

are focusing on families from Harpurhey Conran Medical Practice and/or Manchester Community Academy who have a smoker. They want to improve the understanding of what matters to those families by 100% and improve the families’ opportunities for self care by 100%.

Find out more

Team Going the Distance

Working within the neighbourhood, focusing on children under 11 and their families where they are, we will:

– Increase our understanding of what works for them to

– Increase their physical activity and healthy eating; and

– Increase their understanding of the importance of physical activity and healthy eating by 100%.

Find out more

Team Konnect

will find out what matters to marginalised families in our neighbourhood and increase their access to opportunities to enhance their health and wellbeing by 100%.

Find out more


Find out what happened for wave 2

September-December 2019

Marhaba Team

are focusing on refugees and asylum seekers, including mental health needs.

Find out more


are focusing on low mood and well-being in the female Asian population.

Find out more

The A Team

are focusing on people who have chronic conditions who are not engaging with their GP and/or Social Care.

Find out more

Team Bideford

are focusing on new presentations of low mood for all ages of the neighbourhood population, particularly in the area around Bideford.

Find out more


Find out what happened for wave 1

April-July 2019

Team Miles Better

focused on social isolation in particular among young people on anti-depressants and/or older/frail people who are housebound. During the challenge, the team developed and tested a loneliness survey, trained GP receptionists as social isolation champions, organised a vintage tea party that was reported on ITV News and built networks with other local organisations working on the challenge.

Team Cheeni

focused on people with diabetes who spoke Urdu and Punjabi. Highlights of their challenge efforts include sending text messages during Ramadan to people with short video clips to promote self-care, finding and training community champions to share information and do myth-busting in their neighbourhood and setting up cooking classes.

Team Bee Social

focused on people with anxiety and/or depression. Their tests included having IAPT services available in a GP practice, training non-clinical GP staff in mental health awareness, and opening up social prescribing to wider referrals.


focused on people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Their challenge efforts included exploring new ways to use consultants virtual clinics, increasing attendance at Breathe Easy Groups, and using social media to raise awareness.

“At the end of wave 1, challenge participants told us how useful the experience had been in helping them to build relationships with peers and grow their networks within neighbourhoods. Through their challenge, the neighbourhood teams learned that leadership means understanding the value of each other’s perspectives and feeling like your team members ‘have your back on a bad day’.


Teams also discovered that understanding leadership comes out in different ways for individuals, that they need to trust each other to ‘do their own bit’, and that connecting with people’s realities in neighbourhood and challenging their own assumptions was important. Ultimately this process created the conditions where people could step outside the system, learn continuously, and have some fun along the way!”

— Nardia Lloyd-Ashton, Organisational Development Lead, MLCO