If you queue for a bus in Norwich in the next few months, it might just be a healthier and happy experience than you were expecting…
Health Trainers will be visiting bus stops along the routes to four areas of the city from next week until March, to help people change their lives.
It’s a great new project as part of Healthy Norwich, the public health campaign led by NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Norwich City Council and Norfolk’s Public Health.
Healthy Norwich has given out more than £84,000 to fund 23 different health promotion projects across the city, including Healthy Bus Stops.
The Health Trainers, from MyTime Active, will offer people guidance and advice on what support services there are to help them change their behaviour and lead healthier lives. They might want to quit smoking, lose a bit of weight or take more exercise to feel a little better every day.
The Health Trainers will also be asking people what health and wellbeing concerns affect them the most for themselves or in their community, gathering vital information for Norfolk’s Public Health team.
Georgia Apsitis from the Health Trainer service said: “This project is a great opportunity to meet local people and find out what their concerns are, advise and guide them to the right health services and we can help them sign up to our free lifestyle management coaching over a period of 6 sessions if they want.”
Queen’s Nurse Tracy Williams, from Norwich CCG said: We are delighted to support this innovative project. It really targets members of our community that may not generally lead a healthy lifestyle or know how to access help and support if they want to tackle a weight problem, increase the amount of exercise they take or want to try to quit smoking.
“Healthy Bus Stops will raise awareness generally on leading a “healthier life” as well as offer practical advice and support if people want it. The Healthy Norwich Team are really interested to see the results from taking this novel approach to improving the health of the residents of Norwich.”
The Health Trainers will visit bus stops in areas where they think they can make most impact. Targeting the right bus areas means those people who might need most help are more likely to meet a helpful Health Trainer.
Whilst life expectancy is not necessarily about where you live, some populations in certain areas tend to have more health problems than in other areas. This may be because of lifestyle issues, finances, the average age of the local population or any one of a number of factors.
Targeted areas in Norwich include the routes from the city centre to Mile Cross, Lakenham, Bowthorpe and Thorpe Hamlet.
The Health trainers hope to talk to at least 1,200 people. Their target is to refer 600 of those for free health improvement support.
So rather than wishing time away while waiting for your bus, you can speak to a Health Trainers if you see them, and find out more about what’s available in your area.