New health strategy aims to improve wellbeing of local residents over the next three years.
Councillors, local health leaders and community organisations have pledged to step up their joint efforts to improve health and wellbeing in Royal Greenwich. The focus is on tackling the problem of obesity and improving the mental wellbeing of people who live and work in the borough.
Over 100 people, representing a wide range of health and public services, community organisations, businesses, schools, colleges and community groups, were at the official launch on Wednesday 14 October, of 'Healthy Greenwich, Healthy People', a new strategy aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of everyone living in the borough.
The strategy has been drawn up by the Greenwich Health and Wellbeing Board, a partnership of organisations providing services to, or representing, local people. It was launched at a conference in the Millennium Suite at The Valley, chaired by Cllr Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Chair of the Greenwich Health and Wellbeing Board.
Projects in the Royal Borough which are helping to tackle obesity include:
- Greenwich Get Active
Greenwich Get Active works with 220 local providers to deliver thousands of physical activity sessions to people in the borough. Since 2012, GGA has signed up more than 7,500 clients, setting specific goals to achieve over the year-long period.
- Good Food in Greenwich
Good Food in Greenwich is a network of businesses, individuals and third sector organisations working towards a fairer, healthier, more sustainable food system. Its achievements include a borough-wide event in Woolwich Square during the summer which was attended by over 4000 people celebrating Good Food, and a fruits-and-vegetables stall at Mulgrave school providing families in Woolwich with access to affordable, healthy food.
- Greenwich Community Cookery Clubs
A Taste of Health Greenwich Community Cookery Clubs is a free, open access, self-referral cook-and-eat programme for Greenwich residents. Cookery clubs take place as a five-week course of weekly 2.5-hour sessions and have been attended by nearly 400 people this past year.
- Healthier Catering Commitment
Launched boroughwide in October 2015, the Healthier Catering Commitment aims to increase uptake of healthier food. When a fast food outlet or cafe signs up to the scheme, it commits to improving the food they sell by making small changes such as offering some healthier options (for example, serving low-sugar drinks, making smaller portions available on request, and offering foods low in fat, calories and salt). When the scheme was piloted in Charlton and Woolwich, over 20 food businesses signed up.
- Targeted courses
For families where children are identified as being overweight, these extremely popular courses are shortly to be relaunched, with the service being delivered by Greenwich Leisure Limited in leisure centres and children's centres across the borough.
- Now's the Time Thamesmead
The free and low-cost activity and sports programme for Thamesmead residents, is run in partnership with Trust Thamesmead, Peabody and the London Borough of Bexley, and funded by Sport England. Since launching in Spring 2014, the project has enrolled some 1,600 residents in over 14,000 low-cost activity sessions.
Mental health support
There is a wide range of provision available across the borough offering support available to people experiencing a mental health problem including:
- Greenwich Time to Talk, which aims to increase access to talking therapies
- Mindline, a phone based support service operated by Greenwich Mind
- Feelgood Greenwich website, an online information service about how we can all look after our wellbeing, also provided by Greenwich Mind
- Big White Wall, which provides support through a safe an online community guided by trained professionals
- Recovery College in Woolwich which provides a wide range of educational courses designed to improve wellbeing, create shared learning experiences and development opportunities for all
- HeadScape, a referral and self-help website to provide support on range of mental health issues that may be affecting children and young people, set up by Oxleas NHS Trust.