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Worcester group formed to help lifestyle changes hailed a success
A LIFESTYLE group helping improve the health and wellbeing of residents in three Worcester suburbs has been hailed a success.
People living in Warndon, Gorse Hill and Rainbow Hill have attended free classes on subjects ranging from self-esteem, to healthy eating and managing money.
The five-week pilot project, which ended last week, has been spearheaded by community champions, people who live in the area and were able to offer a listening ear to those who live in the suburbs, which have been listed as being ‘areas of highest need’.
In August, your Worcester News revealed the life expectancy for Warndon residents was, on average, 75 years – whereas those in Warndon Villages, just a mile away, was 87.
Among those to benefit from the classes was Angie Smith-Patey, who said the sessions had helped her after she was very low following the death of her father last year.
“The classes have been very helpful to me,” she said.
“I felt extremely lost. I decided to go to the doctor after this. I feel as though it’s opened the door for me. Talking to others that have come has helped because nobody judges one another.
“You don’t realise that people have the same problems as you, the same stresses of modern life. You think you’re the only one.”
She says the classes have helped build her self-esteem.The project was run by Turning Point, a health and social care organisation working on behalf of the NHS South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Turning Point helped recruit the nine community champions, each one being a resident in one of the three areas. “It’s been quite challenging but rewarding,” said one champion, Sanne Hinte, who lives in Warndon.
“There was one man who had been so isolated that it has taken a lot for him just to attend the group. He didn’t even smile, but he’s full of smiles now. Another lady had not been out of her home for years and she has been here every week.”
The results of the project will be fed back to the Clinical Commissioning Group by Turning Group. “It’s gone very well,” said Rosemary Wallbank, Turning Point project manager. The work of the community champions has really helped.”
A similar scheme, also run by Turning Point, is currently focusing on reducing health inequalities in the three areas.