Thamesmead residents are sharing health and wellbeing advice after successfully completing a health improvement course.
The Health Champions Initiative, developed by Trust Thamesmead in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, is part of the Peabody Group's drive to help boost health and wellbeing in the area.
The course - Understanding Health Improvement - is delivered by the Royal Borough of Greenwich's Public Health team, and accredited by the prestigious Royal Society for Public Health. It gives volunteer Health Champions the knowledge to adopt a healthier lifestyle not only for themselves but their family, friends and others, making for a happier and healthier community.
Peabody's Director of Community Programmes, Veronica Kirwan said: “We are delighted that the latest round of volunteer Health Champions in Thamesmead have earned their accreditation. Their expertise will benefit the whole community, offering advice, motivation and support for people who want to live a healthier life.”
Cllr Denise Scott-McDonald, the Royal Borough Greenwich's Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Public Health, said: “I'm delighted with the joint work between the Royal Borough and Trust Thamesmead to develop the Health Champions Programme. It's important for people who want to live a healthier lifestyle to have access to as much support as possible, and it's great that people in Thamesmead can now get informal, but well-informed, advice from a trained group of volunteer advisers in their local community.”
Thamesmead resident and Health Champion, Nana Adjei said: “The course taught me about healthy eating and where to go if I need advice. It has been very helpful for the cooking I do for the community club I am involved in and when I am at home. My whole family are now much more aware of food labels. I have lost some weight without really trying too which was surprising. Doing the course was so worthwhile.”
Genevive Onyema said: “I am so grateful to Trust Thamesmead. I now eat less bread and meat and more fruit and vegetables and I have discovered it doesn't cost any more money to eat more healthily. Doing this course has really changed things for me personally; I feel different in my body, I am much more healthy and I have lost weight too.”
Whilst Penny Rockall said: “I can't stop telling people about the health advice I have learnt. I have found it very easy to change habits and have started exercising for just half an hour a day. My children have benefited also - whilst they are still allowed treats, they understand that it is very important to eat healthy too.”
The team of volunteers regularly meet at Thamesmead's newest health and wellbeing centre, Birchmere Community Hub in central Thamesmead which officially opened last month. The health and wellbeing centre offers a range of activities including stay and play parent and toddler cook and eat sessions, a community garden and a community café.
The Peabody Group is working in partnership with an array of organisations across London, helping individuals to make positive changes to their lives, be it via our employment and training programme, encouraging healthy eating, physical exercise, getting involved in community activities or making a difference via volunteering.
Readers interested in signing up to future Understanding Health Improvement courses in Thamesmead should contact Trust Thamesmead's Health and Wellbeing Volunteer, Abu Bah, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
For details of similar courses coordinated by the Royal Borough of Greenwich in other locations visit www.greenwichhealthyliving.nhs.uk or call free on 0800 587 5833.