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It's generally true that people who lead happy and active social lives enjoy better health than those who do not. From the start we've been encouraging residents to take up an activity or make new friends and therefore improve their wellbeing - this is in essence Social Prescribing.

We're now taking this further by setting up a more structured path initially starting with patients attending their GP. Healthier Fleetwood would act as a signposting service to local groups and events, provide support for the individual by encouraging them to get involved and sharing the positives outcomes so the whole community can benefit. Several residents have been involved in the discussions so far including those who can speak with first-hand experience of how they've seen the difference it can make. The plan is to launch the path in the New Year and continue to review and develop this as we go with input and feedback from patients and partners.

We will explain more about the Social Prescribing path at our future events. Thank you to those who have attended the recent meetings and in particular to Maxine Garrett, David Ratcliffe and Maurice Christian who chaired the last 3. We have one more meeting before the end of the year and it's a special one!

The Harmony & Health singing group has been a fantastic success, a great example of what are trying to encourage and they have invited us to join them on Tuesday 19th December at 1.30pm, Marine Hall, Fleetwood for some Christmas festivities. As well as an enjoyable time listening to the songs (and of course joining in) there will be coffee and mince-pies and the chance to hear some more wonderful stories of Fleetwood residents making positive changes to their lives. Admission is free and it promises to be a lovely way to get together. We hope you can make it along.

Dates for our meetings in 2018 will be announced in the New Year. We are planning a schedule that will use venues across the Town and also vary the format to include coffee mornings, more formal meetings and themed events similar to the successful Mental Wellness event last year. We'd also like to bring the Healthier Fleetwood message out to community groups, schools, workplaces and are putting together a team of residents who want to get involved by sharing their stories and experiences. If you have an idea for a theme or represent an organisation and would like to host a joint-event please get in touch.

Remember we are at Fleetwood Library on Wednesday mornings 10am -12 noon if you want to call in for a chat or have any ideas. On Wednesday 6th December we'll be joined by Wyre Council whose 'Together We Make A Difference' programme offers support for community-minded individuals and groups across the Borough.

Several groups were represented at the recent training day for Spice Time Credits and we are now rolling this out. If you organise a group, activity or event supported by volunteers the credits can be issued as a reward or an incentive and then redeemed at venues not just locally but across the UK.

Our community fund is now in action with a number of small projects suggested by and being driven by local people. The table tennis group is active on Tuesday afternoons at the YMCA, there's a board and video games night for young people at Sister Shakes, Lord Street on Tuesday evenings, the 5-a-side football team from The Well and Inspire will soon have Healthier Fleetwood sponsored shirts and there are several other projects on the way. There's still funds of up to £100 each available for other quick-start ideas and we also have a pot for projects which need larger amounts of funding (up to £2,000) - we'll be holding a public, Dragon's Den style event in the New Year to choose the successful bids.

A reminder about our Advent Calendar. Each day from the 1st to the 24th December we'll promote an activity, group or event that encourages good health and social interaction or supports a local cause. The promotion will run on the front page of our website and across our social media with links to more information. We still have a few spaces available so please check it out from tomorrow and contact us if you want to get involved.


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