Innovative projects boost family health – Norfolk Community Health and Care

SureStart Attleborough 101 560x373 Innovative projects boost family health – Norfolk Community Health and Care

Families from across Norfolk are being encouraged to make the most of a range of new initiatives designed to help them get more active and lead a healthier lifestyle, and even save lives!

Health visitors from Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) have launched three exciting new projects across the county for mums and dads with children aged under five. They are:

All of the projects have been developed as part of the national ‘Building Community Capacity’ initiative, which encourages health visitors to use their expertise to help families to help themselves by taking part in activities which will boost their health and wellbeing.

Maria Richardson, NCH&C’s Health Visiting Lead, said: “We are delighted with the range of schemes our health visitors have helped to develop for the benefit of their local communities.

“All of these initiatives have been put together as a direct result of feedback from families receiving our usual health visiting services and support. The response we’ve had from parents to the schemes so far has been excellent, with lots of people keen to get involved and take steps to improve the health of themselves and their families.”

First aid training in Diss The Diss first aid training sessions, which launched in June, is set to see between 10 and 15 parents receive training in basic first aid, along with advice on road safety. Four of the parents will then be given “train the trainer” specialist training so that they can run similar sessions for others, passing on their life-saving skills so that they are able to react if someone collapses, chokes or needs help with cuts and burns.

Health visitors Sarah Price and Kerry Kemp have organised the sessions in partnership with Diss Infant School and the local children’s centre, Rachel Hillier from Heart Start and Norfolk County Council’s Road Safety Officer, Phillip Archer, following demand from local parents.

Sarah said: “We’ve had a lot of interest in the group, which will give vital first aid training to mums and dads with young children. We’ve had no shortage of parents who are happy to work as volunteers delivering the training to others, and we are grateful for their support. We hope to be able to roll out the initiative more widely if it’s successful.”

Club for green-fingered parents and children The Attleborough gardening club started a couple of months ago and now regularly attracts around 20 parents and children.

Sessions take place at the Sure Start Community and Enterprise Centre, in Church Street, and have been organised by Health Visitor, Vikki Doddamani, working with Action for Children’s children’s centre based in the town. They were set up with the help of a grant from Samantha Taylor, the Mayor of Attleborough, and aim to provide families with a fun activity which they can enjoy together and which helps them get more active.

“Our focus is around physical activity and healthy eating, while also encouraging parents to play with their children and giving them different ideas about the sort of things they can do outside,” said Vikki. “It’s a really good group and the children absolutely love it – they get to do some digging and plant seeds. They’ve now started to enjoy growing at home and excitedly tell the group about it the following week.

“We came up with the idea for the group after getting feedback from lots of parents who wanted activities which they could do with their children outside. It has been going so well that we are hopeful that the children’s centre will be able to continue running the group in the future.”

SureStart Attleborough 114 560x764 Innovative projects boost family health – Norfolk Community Health and Care

Parents and children take a walk on the wildside The ‘Walk on the Wildside’ group was set up by NCH&C health visitors Barbara Graves and Judy Scott, in partnership with Dereham and Litcham Children’s Centre. Its aim is to encourage both mothers and fathers with children under five to get more active, explore their local area and find out more about facilities available in their neighbourhood.

Barbara said: “The group aims to give families the chance to enjoy being outdoors with their children while encouraging them to keep active at the same time. All of the routes are buggy and pushchair friendly, and are suitable for people with all levels of fitness.

“During the walks, we stop off to tell the children stories and encourage them to take part in wildlife activities, such as colouring leaves and finding flowers. The sessions so far have gone really well and we’re hoping to build on that success in the future.”

The Attleborough gardening group is currently at capacity. Anyone who would like to find out more about joining a session in the future should contact the Children’s Centre on 01953 451196.

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