Health Champions

 

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Health Champions are local community volunteers who care about the health and well-being of those around them and their communities. They can bring their own life experiences to improve health and well-being within those communities, including their individual circles of families, friends and workplaces.

Community Health Champions help others to enjoy healthier lives by raising awareness of health and healthy choices, sharing health messages, removing barriers and creating supportive networks and environments. They are able to engage, empower and motivate people to get involved in healthy social activities, shape local services, organise groups and events to meet local identified need and sign post people to relevant support and services.

We are developing a Health Champion Model in Telford and need your help!

You will be fully trained and supported in your role and will gain a recognised accredited qualification with the Royal Society of Public Health

What’s in it for you?

Increased confidence, self esteem and self belief

Access to other training as well as accredited qualification

Progress to new opportunities i.e. volunteering, education/training, employment, enterprise

Getting involved with the local community

Develop new friends and gain new skills

Improve your own emotional and physical health

*

If you are interested in getting involved Call 01952 384200 (ask for Deb)

OR

Email: Debbie.Derham@telford.gov.uk

 

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Mark’s Story

Wordpress blog image take notice 300x220When was the last time you stopped to take notice of your surroundings? Have you listened to the wind in the trees, or bird song?

Mark catches sight of these wonderful events everyday and turned his passion for nature into a career.

 

To view some of Mark’s work visit: www.picsandsticks.co.uk

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are simple ways to make small changes in your life that make you feel better about yourself. But sometimes we need a little more help so:

If you need support straight away…. If you are concerned about your state of mind and are feeling low or anxious, it’s a good idea to speak about your feelings with your GP. Also, below are contact details for organizations that can provide support, advice or a listening ear:

Telford Mind

The Samaritans

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Telford & Wrekin Council’s ‘Peoples Services’ Story

Wordpress blog image be active 300x220Do you want to know how a stroll through Ironbridge can turn into a hike up Snowdon? Read on to find out more about how Peoples Services in Telford & Wrekin Council have been keeping active together and the benefits they have noticed.

When a friend and colleague left the Council, Peoples Services employees Sue, Cath and Andy wanted to keep in touch so they suggested meeting up for a walk every now and then. Little did they know, their walks would eventually turn into a trek up Snowdon – with a number of their colleagues with them!

Peoples Services are a varied bunch of people of different ages and fitness levels, and none of them felt that they had the time in their busy working days to be more active. As a team, they wanted to try doing something ‘a bit different’ and thought a few group walks might be a good way to get some exercise and get to know their colleagues better along the way. What followed was a lovely afternoon spent walking in Ironbridge- people brought their partners, children and dogs and found that they didn’t spend much of their time talking about work! Being able to bring their families made it easier to fit walking into their weekend, they explained.

When another member of the team jokingly suggested that they try Snowdon next, they laughed. But after a few days to mull it over, the team decided to give it a go! “It is a bit of a leap, to go from Ironbridge to Snowdon” joked Sue “we were going to try the Wrekin in between but the day we were going to it was really rainy, so we’re just going to go for it”.

Everyone’s motivations for taking part in the walks have been different – some wanted to improve their fitness, others just wanted to see their friends outside of work or get to know their colleagues better. Since preparing for Snowdon, some colleagues plan walks on their lunch breaks. Sue showed me her pedometer and explains that she is counting her steps and aiming for 10 000 every day, and getting others in the office interested too. Rebecca has had a recent walking one-to-one, and Andy tells me he has even held an appraisal at the top of the Wrekin!

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Andy explained that the benefits of walking together have been so much more than just the exercise. The team have the opportunity to get to know each other better and to mix with members of the team that they might not otherwise get to work with that often. The benefits of becoming closer as friends as well as colleagues have transferred to the office too- they are more likely now, the three explain, to bring people into projects that they wouldn’t have known could help before. If they need to use someone else’s skills in the workplace, they now know who that person is and will get up and speak to them in the office instead of sending an email. Overall, they feel that they support each other better as a team since starting to walk together outside of work.

The team plan to continue their walks while making sure that they are suitable for all fitness levels, so that everyone in their team and elsewhere within the Council can be involved if they want to. All agree that with their regular walking, shared goal of climbing Snowdon and getting to know each other better, morale in the office has never been better.

Andy was kind enough to let us know later how they got on…

“Our team hike up Snowdon proved to be more of a challenge than any of us anticipated! Having met up in Oswestry at 7.30 am, despite a relatively positive weather report, the reality when we arrived at the start of the Ranger Path up Snowdon at Llyn Cwellyn was rather different. We arrived to steady drizzle which was to set the pattern for the walk!

As we climbed higher, we climbed through the cloud base and visibility dropped to approximately 30 metres and the winds gusted to 65mph.In fact the winds were so bad, that the train wasn’t running and the cafe at the summit was closed, much to our disappointment.

Weather conditions during the walk were challenging, and it was worse at the top!

Weather conditions during the walk were challenging, and it was worse at the top!

Despite the conditions, we hung together as a group and encouraged each other to keep going, and it was with some relief that we finally made the summit, although sadly the wind and cloud meant that we didn’t hang around long. We took the decision to come down the Llanberis Path which we felt was the safer route down, given the high winds. Even so, a number of the party were blown over in the gusts, but only sustained a bit of bruising and thankfully everyone got down safely.

We all agreed it was certainly an experience, and it gave everyone a huge sense of achievement, even if we weren’t able to take advantage of the tremendous views that we could have seen if the weather had been better……..perhaps next time!!”

Some of peoples services about to climb snowdon
An inspiring group of people.

 If you need support straight away….
If you are concerned about your state of mind and are feeling low or anxious, it’s a good idea to speak about your feelings with your GP.
Also, below are contact details for organisations that can provide support, advice or a listening ear:
Telford Mind

The Samaritans

 

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Peter’s Story

Wordpress blog image give 300x220Do you find yourself with time on your hands and skills you could share? Peter volunteers at his local library, providing one-to-one, basic IT skills and gets a great deal of satisfaction.

Here’s his story:

If you’d like to find out about volunteering opportunities in Telford and Wrekin click HERE

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are simple ways to make small changes in your life that make you feel better about yourself. But sometimes we need a little more help so:

If you need support straight away….
If you are concerned about your state of mind and are feeling low or anxious, it’s a good idea to speak about your feelings with your GP.
Also, below are contact details for organisations that can provide support, advice or a listening ear:
Telford Mind

The Samaritans

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Evans’ Story

Wordpress blog image keep learning 300x220When Evans needed a refresher course to improve his IT skills, he went to his local library. There he met Peter, a volunteer who boosted his confidence and now he’s using email to keep in touch with his children and rekindling old friendships via Facebook.

Here’s his story:

If you’d like a little help accessing the computers at a Telford & Wrekin Library, find out more HERE

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are simple ways to make small changes in your life that make you feel better about yourself. But sometimes we need a little more help so:

If you need support straight away….
If you are concerned about your state of mind and are feeling low or anxious, it’s a good idea to speak about your feelings with your GP.
Also, below are contact details for organisations that can provide support, advice or a listening ear:
Telford Mind

The Samaritans

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Julie’s Story

Wordpress blog image take notice 300x220Julie found her own way back to health began with a single step..a walk in the woods which has led to a love of wildlife and a host of new friends.

Here’s her story……

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are simple ways to make small changes in your life that make you feel better about yourself. But sometimes we need a little more help so:

If you need support straight away….
If you are concerned about your state of mind and are feeling low or anxious, it’s a good idea to speak about your feelings with your GP.
Also, below are contact details for organisations that can provide support, advice or a listening ear:
Telford Mind

The Samaritans

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Jo’s Story

Wordpress blog image connect 300x220Jo works for Telford & Wrekin Council and has recently run the Berlin Marathon on behalf of her daughter Erin. Erin sadly passed away shortly after her second birthday as a result of a seizure- she had been diagnosed with Epilepsy aged five months old.

Jo has organised and participated in a number of events to raise money for the Epilepsy Society, to hopefully avoid another family having to experience the same loss as she has. On April 26th this year, Jo is running the London Marathon on behalf of the Epilepsy Society, and has also been running a ‘Virtual 5k’ throughout February. A virtual 5k means you can donate to the Epilepsy Society and then take as long as you want- run it all at once or take several walks with the family-to build up enough walking or running until you have done your own 5k. Let Jo know, and you get a medal for taking part!

To meet Jo is to be inspired- not least because of her dedication and determination to raise funds for and the profile of the Epilepsy Society, but because her story is one that demonstrates the power of connecting with the people around you. Jo credits the support of her partner, family, friends, work colleagues, running club, local community in Market Drayton and even total strangers as helping her to complete marathon and marathon training as well as the range of additional events that have been hosted in Erins name.

What made you want to do the Berlin Marathon?
I didn’t find the Berlin Marathon- it found me! I was online looking for maybe a 10k to do when I found an advert for the Berlin Marathon and it was to be held on the date that would have been my daughter Erin’s 18th birthday. It hit me like a tonne of bricks that I just had to take part. I went home that night and spoke to my partner and family and they all said they would support me. The next day I signed up.
 Why did you choose to run a virtual 5k as well?
A virtual 5k is quite a new concept. After asking everyone for money when I was running the Berlin Marathon, I wanted to try to do something for charity that people that sponsored me would get something out of too. When you take part in the 5K you donate a bit of money which goes to the charity, and you get a sense of achievement when you have done it- as well as a medal. Anyone anywhere can take part at their own pace and be proud of themselves when they complete it!
Why running? Have you run before? Did you consider yourself ‘fit’ or ‘a runner’?
Not at all. I first started running three years ago when I was three stone overweight and approaching my fortieth birthday- I wanted to be ‘fit at forty’! I started to lose the weight through dieting and then asked a neighbour to join the local running club with me, who were hosting the NHS Choices ‘Couch to 5K’ programme for beginners. I was so worried that I wasn’t going to be able to run for 1 minute that I got a little trampette out in the kitchen at home and had a practice just to make sure I could! The programme builds you up to a 5K and by then I was hooked.

Jo before her weight loss and after running the Berlin Marathon, with a well-earned alcohol-free beer!

Jo ‘Fit at Forty’- before and after

People don’t realise that running clubs, unless you are an elite runner, are not about racing or winning. They are very supportive and its all about personal achievement. I love the club and having a gossip while we run on a Saturday. I’ve even gotten to the point with my other friends that if someone needs a chat we say ‘shall we go for a run and talk about it’ now!

 

What did you expect to gain for yourself when you decided to do the Berlin Marathon?
I didn’t have any expectations. I just wanted to do something to mark the date of what would have been Erin’s 18th birthday, increase awareness of Epilepsy and raise some money for the charity so that hopefully I can help prevent what happened to us happen to other families.
 Training for a marathon requires hours and hours of running, and much of your training has been during this cold and wet winter- what keeps you motivated?
The support of people around me has been phenomenal and this is my main motivation. At the start of the Berlin Marathon I had raised £1,800 and while I was running my friends and family campaigned online to raise the extra £200 to bring the total to £2000 as a surprise for me once I finished.
Another friend has text me on the rainy mornings that I don’t want to get out of my bed and go for a run, to remind me that she wants to see me and to remember why I am doing it. I’ve even had people queue at my house to take it in turns to go for a run with me when I have my very long runs to do!

Friends wait outside Jo's house to take it in turns to run with her during her training.

Friends wait outside Jo’s house to take it in turns to run with her during her training.

While I was running the Berlin Marathon I had an app that tracked me and automatically updated facebook so every time I reached a signal point and an update was sent, I felt like I was sending messages to everyone back home. I had people run with me at the Berlin Marathon and other people ran on their own at the same time that I was running- I wasn’t on my own!
 Some people think ‘I’m only one person, if I do something that raises £50 or £100 for charity, how much is it really going to help?’- what are your thoughts on this?
I would say that you need to look beyond the money. Its not just about fundraising for charities, the awareness generated by talking about them is very important too. Increased awareness helps to reduce stigma too- I have been surprised at how many people have approached me to say they have been affected by epilepsy as well and I want people to know its ok to talk about it. People are scared of epilepsy, having a fit or watching someone have a fit can be very frightening but it isn’t something to be ashamed of.

Jo with friends from the running club after a half marathon
Jo with friends from the running club after a half marathon

If you would like to take part in Jo’s virtual 5K for the Epilepsy Society, sign up here: http://runwithjo.weebly.com/

To sponsor Jo for her London Marathon, visit her ‘Just Giving’ site here: http://www.justgiving.com/prettysunshine/

For information about Epilepsy and Epilepsy support, visit the Epilepsy Society: http://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk

 

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are simple ways to make small changes in your life that make you feel better about yourself. But sometimes we need a little more help so:

If you need support straight away….
If you are concerned about your state of mind and are feeling low or anxious, it’s a good idea to speak about your feelings with your GP.
Also, below are contact details for organisations that can provide support, advice or a listening ear:
Telford Mind

The Samaritans

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