Be healthy, be happy with a week of wellbeing

A NEW project to improve the quality of older people’s lives will kick-off with a week of activities focusing on health and wellbeing.

A Be Healthy, Be Happy week starts on Monday at the Cheviot Centre, Wooler, with events also taking place at the centre on Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 2pm.

The free events will include information stalls detailing what’s on offer across Glendale to promote good health with older people as well as information on local NHS services.

Residents are invited to come along and try out taster exercise sessions and Wii fitness games and get advice on staying well, sensory aids and healthy eating.

General health checks and a complimentary hand massage will also be available.

Coun Veronica Jones, older persons’ champion for Northumberland County Council said: “Be Healthy, Be Happy is the first of a series of weeks of activities which will provide the opportunity for older people to meet new people and try out new activities.

“It will also give people the opportunity to look around displays and talk to organisations about the support available to promote good health.

“We have selected activities that will cater for mixed abilities, and are also available in the community, to encourage people to keep active long after the events.”

The week is part of a campaign called Ageing Well in Northumberland and is one of a series planned for the next year, dealing with the topics that older people said in a recent survey mattered most to them – getting about, managing money, socialising and staying safe.

Coun Ian Lindley, the council’s executive member for adult care and wellbeing, said: “This is an exciting campaign that gets to the heart of issues affecting older people in our communities.

“The council is committed to improving access to services across the county and working in partnership in order to give people as much choice as we can, to help them make informed choices in order to be able to live independent, active lives, with plenty of links to their community.”

The Ageing Well in Northumberland campaign project group brings together local residents, councillors and organisations including, the Glendale Gateway Trust, Co-ordinating 4 Age, The Cheviot Centre, WRVS, Age UK, Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Health Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Project group member, Jane Pannell from Co-ordinatiing 4 Age added: “Access to information is vital to older people’s well-being.

“The new Co-ordinating4Age group welcomes this first themed week as a pilot for a series of Ageing Well in Northumberland events throughout this year.”

Ageing Well in Northumberland started with two consultation events, bringing together a collection of experiences of older people with the practical knowledge of public and voluntary sector agencies.

Two groups have been set up as pilot projects, Wooler and Ashington, working on the issues for rural and urban areas of the county.

The group in Wooler is concentrating on understanding older people’s views about their housing to help inform action and investment and making the most of the transport available from commercial operators, from the third sector and from volunteers in the community.

For further information about the Be Healthy, Be Happy event contact 01668 282 406.