Council offers help to keep your new year resolutions going

Feeling less resolute about those New Year resolutions? The council may be able to help, as RORY KELLY reports

The council’s health and fitness drive might save a few new year resolutions

Croydon Council is offering health advice through apps, videos, podcasts and health plans from Croydon Live Well advisers and posted to its lifestyle website JustBeCroydon.org. Though they might want to give their own website a health check of its own, to make sure that they haven’t got any problems with copyright infringements.

According to an announcement this week from the council’s HQ, residents can “make a fresh start this new year and adopt healthier habits” with the resources offered. As well as the information provided online, residents have access to an online health checker, what they call a “Health MOT”, that assesses their eligibility to a face-to-face meeting with a Live Well adviser.

The scheme’s focus is to reduce smoking and obesity in the borough.

The scheme is not without its confusions, however, with a council press release issued this week consistently referring to it as “Croydon Live Well”, while on the website itself it is equally unerring in referring to it as “Live Well Croydon”.

The website explains that Croydon Live Well is “a 12-month one-to-one service, delivered by qualified advisors” in order to help people quit smoking, lose weight, cut down on alcohol and improve their health in other ways, and “be their best self in 2020.”

The council is also pushing the financial benefits of improving your health. The council advises that “someone who smokes 13 cigarettes a day can save £141 a month by quitting”.

The council-backed healthy living scheme helped Joseph give up smoking

The website offers advice on a range of issues, from exercise, alcohol consumption, smoking, as well as sexual and mental health, with educational videos and podcasts on all these topics. Many of these are links to content produced by other organisations, including a video by the British Heart Foundation called “Healthy Eating – A Healthy Day, Every Day”, which unsurprisingly reminds us that an apple is healthier than a muffin and that a cup of tea with biscuits is less healthy than one without. There did not appear to be a section, though, to advise grandmothers on how to suck eggs.

The site could likely do with an update: one of the videos under the “Be Food Smart” section has been taken down for copyright infringement against the NHS.

Joseph, a Croydon resident who gave up smoking with the encouragement of a Live Well adviser said, “Having the support of a Live Well adviser has been very reassuring and it has helped me with side effects and managing my lunchtime cigarette cravings.

“The appointments and phone calls kept me on track, reminding me that I could do it, and I did!”

To find out more about Live Well Croydon/Croydon Live Well (delete to taste) or any of the council’s health resources, visit www.JustBeCroydon.org or contact the Live Well advisers on 0800 018 857 or at livewell@croydon.gov.uk

  • A new open-air gym has opened today in Norbury Park. The free-to-use gym is one of five active spaces jointly funded by the council and The Matt Palmer Trust, a non-profit organisation supporting the mental wellbeing. There are now 10 outdoor gyms across the borough – to find your nearest click here.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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