Fleetwood Cricket Club hosted a meeting for residents and representatives of health & care providers, emergency services, charities, voluntary groups, sports and community associations, and local businesses to learn more about getting involved in the Healthier Fleetwood project.
The event was led by Dr Mark Spencer from the Mount View Practice but it was really about letting the group have their say on suggestions to deal with the worrying health & wellbeing statistics.
Guest speaker was Hazel Stuteley who has been involved with several community based projects around the Country over nearly 20 years, all led and driven by residents. Some of those involved spoke with great enthusiasm about their particular community, the challenges they faced and are overcoming and the difference it has made to people's lives.
The meeting also gave many of those attending the chance to share their fantastic work which included a group helping those with dementia through music, the many opportunities with the Westview Community Association Centre, the Fleetwood Matters free publication with its policy of spreading "good news", the support available from the Lancashire Wellbeing Service, Fleetwood Flounders swimming club for disabled people, free activities with Sport Lancashire and much more.
One conversation showed how bringing people together can lead to real opportunities for bigger success. A call for more allotment space led to discussion on the benefits of growing and cooking your own vegetables, then to cookery classes in the local schools and also volunteers helping others with their gardens to also deal with the issue of isolation.
Dr Spencer reminded the group that the BBC will be featuring Fleetwood's campaign over the next 12 months across their news bulletins and that this was very much just the start. The most important thing to remember was to listen to the residents and provide the help and support the community really needed.