Healthier Fleetwood began as an idea in the Spring of 2016. Perhaps it wasn’t even an idea then, just a question: is there a better way to improve the health and wellbeing of people living and working in the Town than just prescribing more medicines and making appointments to see the GP?
Statistics showed residents in Fleetwood could expect to live shorter lives and experience more life-changing illnesses than people elsewhere in the Country and in fact even than those a few miles away on the Fylde Coast. Residents, voluntary, faith and community groups, health professionals, the emergency services, local authority representatives and businesses leaders met and found there was a shared desire that something should be and could be done.
The early months of Healthier Fleetwood were spent connecting the many parties in the Town already doing fantastic work in the community, often unknown to the majority of residents. The partnership has grown stronger as more groups and projects come on board, not to be told what to do or controlled but just to benefit from sharing resources and having an opportunity to shout about their successes.
Into 2017 and Heathier Fleetwood launched its own projects such as the Garden Buddies, volunteers helping isolated residents with some TLC for their gardens and the Young Chef of the Year Challenge which supported the benefits of nutrition and learning to cook among Year 5 pupils across the Town. All the time continuing to act as a hub for what’s happening in Fleetwood through our website and social media. We have made a good start on one of our original aims, to connect the community but there’s always more we can do.
So while our partnership has developed the question remains: how do we make a difference? The discussion has moved from physical and mental health issues towards factors that include education, employment, training, the environment, these are important areas but for now our focus is at a grass roots level - helping individuals make a positive difference to their lives, and their families, and that is happening > see Your Story
For the progress to continue and to be meaningful it needs more voices …. your voices. What do Fleetwood residents really want to see happen? Is it just about being healthier and happier – what does that mean? What are the issues that matter? Are there resources in the Community that could be better utilised, shared, developed? Even the way we reach out to people – not everyone has access to the internet or reads the local paper? Where are the ‘touch points’ with residents.
It’s fair to say that Healthier Fleetwood has become something more than the founders thought but nobody knows exactly what it will become.
We have followed the example of other similar initiatives around the Country and the growing movement of ‘health creation’, residents taking more control over their lives, becoming the doers rather than the done to.
All the time our message is a positive one … we don’t say “stop this, give up that” instead it’s “try this, get involved with” and you will see the benefit. Along the way we’ve learnt a few things and even had a few setbacks but the desire to make this work remains and now is the time to take the next vital steps.
We’re calling for everyone in the Town to get involved in some way, however small and make a difference. Change your own lifestyle by taking more exercise, join a new group or support others through volunteering a few hours a month to one of the many ongoing projects.
We need community-minded people as part of our team to bring ideas, experience, skills and above all enthusiasm to help shape the path to where we all want to be, a Healthier Fleetwood.
If you want be involved, now’s the time, please get in touch
Dr Mark Spencer of Mount View Practice played a key role in setting up the Healthier Fleetwood project.
He says, "Hope, a sense of purpose and control over your own life and your environment will bring major health benefits for individuals and the whole community. This is Health Creation.
We talk about “The 3 C’s”. Connecting to others, gaining self-confidence and being in control of your own life and your own decisions. There are already a number of NHS Services, local authority community projects, Fleetwood Town FC initiatives and self-help groups around that put some of this into practice. Walking Football is a great example. The first phase of Healthier Fleetwood is to connect people together using these existing things.
We want to know what really matters to you, rather than "what’s the matter with you". This isn’t just about physical health but probably even more importantly about mental health and mental wellness.
Healthier Fleetwood is in the news!
Our progress is being covered by the BBC across their TV news channel and their digital platforms.
Reporters and film crews will be in Town regularly, meeting people involved in the project and seeing the results of the positive work going on.
We'll let you know when and where to see the features with links from this website and our social media.
CONNECTING A COMMUNITY
Our friends from the Middleport area, Stoke-on-Trent celebrated the first year of their own project with fabulous results. Their target was to clean up litter from the streets and improve the public spaces around their homes.
Along the way they did much more. Watch their video to see what happens when the Community comes together and the 'done to' become the 'doers'.