First Community Resilience through Healthy Lifestyles Innovation event takes place in Taunton
Posted: Tue, 19 Nov 2019 10:00
100 attendees including community organisations, councillors and health professionals all came together on 14th November, for the common aim of striving to improve the lives of the people with the largest health inequalities in Somerset. The morning event looked at innovations from across the country using healthy lifestyle interventions that help individuals and communities deal with substance misuse, low aspiration and employment and crime reduction. The event was organised by Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP) and Pluss.
SASP CEO Jane Knowles and Pluss Partnership Manager Emma Wescott opened the event detailing the need for this work in the County. The morning then comprised of speakers and inspiring stories from people with lived experience. Adrian Leather, Chief Executive of Active Lancashire spoke passionately about the More Positive Together, CSI programme, a 6‐year partnership project that has attracted over £4 million in this time, using sports and activity to support those with drug and alcohol misuse issues across Lancashire. Adrian has been instrumental in giving key learnings for the Somerset work to develop. Neil, a newly appointed SASP Revive sports mentor told of the challenges and difficulties of addiction and how sport and mentoring has helped in his recovery. He will now be using his experiences to help and support others through the SASP Programme Revive. The Revive Sports Programme gives people (aged 18+) who are undertaking their journey to recover from drug and alcohol addiction, the chance to get active and enjoy some new physical activity experiences. It is also suitable for those who are temporarily sober or drug free to participate in. The programme offers a variety of sessions and aims to provide participants with the physical and emotional benefits of exercise along with the opportunity to socialise in new environments. Alongside this, individuals can opt in for training, volunteering and employment opportunities if they wish. This is being delivered by Pluss.
Pres also spoke of his journey and how sport, particularly boxing, has enhanced his life. He has now set up a boxing club ‐ Blake Amateur Boxing Club to provide young people with opportunities to strive and he is also one of SASP's new young people's sport mentors on the SASP Jump Start Programme.Pres said "If it wasn't for my boxing, I wouldn't be standing here today. Being active has literally saved me, I've made friends and connected with others".
The morning gave partners and organisations the chance to contribute to discussion topics and an excellent chance to network across this complex area of intervention.This work originated from the common purpose of both SASP and Pluss. SASP's aim is to achieve healthier and happier communities in Somerset through physical activity and together with Pluss, wanted to target the economically inactive, therefore had the synergy in working together to provide better outcomes for vulnerable adults into volunteering and job seeking and health and wellbeing initiatives.
Nationally and across Somerset, there is a growing issue around drug and alcohol misuse and the associated risk factor for health conditions. There are 60 different health conditions associated with increased alcohol consumption and statistics show that 37% of domestic violence cases are associated with alcohol consumption, and 44% of violent crime was committed by people who had been drinking. Data also shows that 1.3 children are adversely affected by family drinking and alcohol increases the prevalence of mental health issues. SASP and Pluss therefore wanted to start by creating a platform for organisations to work together in Somerset on a strategic and operational level to make a difference to the people that most need it, as we are all part of the solution.
If you would like to know more about the Revive programme or further forums, please get in touch or use the link below. For information on Pluss - Visit www.pluss.org.uk and www.positive‐people.org.uk for more details.