'Health reset' for Hartlepool - hopes pandemic will be a springboard to a healthier future for town

Hartlepool is looking to a healthier future under a new vision for the town in the wake of the pandemic

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 11:29 am
The 'reset health' campaign is hoping to encourage people in Hartlepool to live healthier lifestyles

Known as the ‘reset health’ campaign, the initiative would encourage residents in Hartlepool to reflect and think about their health following changes in lifestyle caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A draft plan of the initiative went before the outbreak control engagement working group last Friday, which detailed the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

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Ed Turner, council marketing and communications manager, said: “Covid-19 has affected all of us in very different ways but certainly it has prompted a number of residents to think more about their health.

“In the early days of lockdown particularly we did see a change in people’s behaviour with people getting out and about exercising and making positive health changes to their life.

“What we’re starting to think about, I appreciate with the current [Covid-19] cases that we’re seeing this is possibly looking to the future, is drafting this plan to start a conversation with residents about how they may wish to continue with that reset of their health.

“It’s absolutely never too late to get active and improve your health and we do have activities in the town for people to start small and build up to an active lifestyle.”

Key messages listed in the draft plan include how nearly two thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and how those living with obesity are twice as likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19.

It also states how being overweight can make it harder for people to fight against other health issues, including cancer and heart disease.

It will also encourage residents to reduce snacking and eat more fruit and vegetables.

Key messages would be spread via social media, newsletters and through work with local businesses, schools and community groups.

Specific targeted audiences for the campaign would include faith groups, minority communities, young people, over 65s and those with low levels of literacy or learning disabilities.

Michael Houghton, from the NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group, noted the plans were a ‘great idea’ and would want to get involved with the project to help spread messages regarding cancer appointments and symptoms.

Cllr Brenda Harrison also backed the plan, adding it has the potential to help a lot of people in the town.

She said: “Some of the ideas that have been talked about here sound very good and very promising.

“A lot of really good work has been done throughout lockdown to engage people that wouldn’t normally engage with various activities or various social outlets, so I do think that needs to keep going.

“It sounds as though we will be helping a lot of people.”

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