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HEALTHY EATING, NEW PLAY FACILITIES AND COMMUNITY SAFETY PROVIDE A BRIDGE TO HEALTH FOR CROSBY COMMUNITIES

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A 'Food Pop-in Place' addressing healthier eating in various ways, an all weather sports facility and a range of co...
A 'Food Pop-in Place' addressing healthier eating in various ways, an all weather sports facility and a range of community-safety schemes are on track thanks to a£1m award for the Crosby Bridge - Bridging the Inequality Gap project announced today by the New Opportunities Fund.

The North Lincolnshire initiative is one of five for healthy living centre projects in Yorkshire and the Humber region that are receiving awards today from the fund totalling£4,186,882. Three awards will boost the health of communities in Leeds and another award will address health inequalities in Halifax.

The award from the National Lottery distributor will be used reduce health inequalities experienced by people in Frodingham and Town, and the Crosby and Park wards, which include significant pockets of deprivation. The project, made up of a partnership of 22 organisations from the public and voluntary sectors, including North Lincolnshire Council as the lead organisation, will work with local communities to promote health in its widest sense. A variety of schemes involving local volunteers will increase access to existing health services as well as build self-esteem, raise awareness of healthy lifestyles, promote citizenship and address social exclusion. It aims to directly involve around 4,000 people.

Health needs were identified by the Healthy Crosby Group over a two year period from 1995-7, this formed the basis of a healthy living centre planning conference in 1999 that laid the foundations for the Crosby Bridge - Bridging the Gap partnership.* Key health concerns identified include high rates of coronary heart disease, high levels of diabetes - particularly amongst the south east Asian community and mental ill health caused by fear of crime, isolation and poor housing.

The Crosby Bridge - Bridging the Inequality Gap will comprise a range of schemes which aim to improve the health and wellbeing of young people, older people, those with mental health problems, those on low-incomes and minority ethnic groups. Activities will be based in community venues including the Pop-in Place, Community Association building, the Mind and Apna Sahara premises and through outreach work.

Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the New Opportunities Fund, said: 'The Crosby Bridge - Bridging the Inequalities Gap project addresses many of the barriers to health due, such as cultural factors or lack of facilities. It will provide people with new opportunities for getting active and playing a part in local regeneration which will have long-term benefits for the whole community.'

Sports and play opportunities will be high on the agenda through the Young People and Open Spaces scheme which aims to increase the uptake of physical activity, reduce injury from harmful litter, improve self image and community belonging amongst young people. A total of£45,000 of the New Opportunities Fund award has been earmarked for a multi-use outdoor sports area with all weather surfacing and floodlights. A further£15,000 will build three sheltered meeting places for vulnerable teenagers and£18,000 will renovate three under-used areas to create 'pocket parks' with fencing, play equipment and seating.

Awareness about healthier eating will be addressed through the 'Food Pop in Place' which will offer food and health advice, arts activities relating to food, cook and eat sessions, advice on food budgeting, training in food hygiene with awards for local food businesses, links to an allotment. The Pop-in Place will also function as an access for the smoking cessation programme. Volunteers from the south Asian community will act as recipe advisors to spread their knowledge of culturally relevant healthier eating.

Cultural factors preventing Asian men and women from taking part in existing activities will be addressed through Seth Mannd an exercise project run by Apna Sahara. It will involve training volunteers to run activity sessions, such as swimming, dance, cycling, walking and bangra dancing and will also provide exercise in the home for South Asian households.

Ian Cameron, chair of the partnership board said: 'I am proud and delighted to be involved in this Partnership which is working to meet community needs by enhancing the well-being and improving the health of the people of Crosby. It is a wonderful opportunity to make a real difference to the quality of life people have and will benefit residents of all ages in the Crosby area - in particular, those most disadvantaged.'

Mental wellbeing will be promoted through a variety of initiatives run by Mind including a befriending scheme for older people, stress management courses, arts and food activities. Anxiety caused by unemployment, low income, poor housing and tenancy disagreements will be addressed through advice services and a community safety project.

Community safety has also been identified as a cause of anxiety and social isolation, particularly among older people. This aspect of the project will develop a range of community support, safety and self-help initiatives to improve home security, reduce the fear of crime and tackle depression amongst residents.

Note:

The lead organisation is the local authority, directorate environment and public protection.

Five organisations will manage specific projects including the North Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust, (Community Nutrition and Dietietic Services, Health Promotion Service) Scunthorpe and District Mind, Local Authority Leisure Services, Crosby Community Association and Apna Sahara.

The others include the South Humber Health Authority, North West Lincolnshire Community Health Council, Humberside Police, Probation Service, Scunthorpe Youth Centre, Homestart, Sure Start, Voluntary Action North Lincs, Humberside Playing Fields Association, NCH Action for Children and Market Hill Youth project. The partnership has 38 members for the 22 organisations.

Reaching Communities event in Wakefield

A demonstration of 'Chairobics' by an exercise trainer from the Inner North West Leeds Healthy Living Project will be one of the highlights of a Reaching Communities event being held by the New Opportunities Fund at the St Catherine's Church Conference Centre in Wakefield on Thursday 28 February from 11.00am -2.10pm.

Projects in the region receiving awards from the New Opportunities Fund on 28 February will also be presented with plaques from Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the New Opportunities Fund.

The event aims to celebrate New Opportunities Funding for the Yorkshire and Humberside region and will include presentations by funded projects and a Questions and Answer session chaired by chief executive, Stephen Dunmore and the regional officer for Yorkshire and Humberside, Gareth Durling.

The New Opportunities Fund distributes National Lottery money to health, education and environment projects across the UK. We intend to support sustainable projects that will:

-- Improve the quality of life of people throughout the UK

-- Address the needs of those who are most disadvantaged in society

-- Encourage community participation

-- Complement relevant local and national strategies and programmes.

Funding for programmes is divided between England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales on the basis of population weighted to reflect levels of deprivation.

Full details of the New Opportunities Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the Fund's website.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FUND HEALTH PROGRAMMES ACROSS THE UK

HEALTHY LIVING CENTRES -£300m

Launched January 1999

To create a core network of Healthy Living Centres (HLCs) across the UK to promote health in its broadest sense. 157 grants have been awarded to date (including today's awards) totalling£123,020,352. The programme is now closed for applications.

LIVING WITH CANCER - cancer prevention, detection, treatment and care -£150m

Launched September 1999

This programme included the purchase of breast screening equipment, MRI machines and linear accelerators as well as a major commitment to palliative care and cancer prevention projects. In England£93m has been allocated for cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment equipment; over 200 hospitals have benefited from 425 pieces of equipment;£23.25m has also been awarded for cancer information and palliative care to 92 grassroots projects. In Scotland 49 projects have been funded with almost£15.5m. In Wales almost£8.5m has been awarded to 47 projects.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR HEALTH -£297m

Two schemes under this programme to combat combat coronary heart disease, and cancer

-- A major new investment in equipment to combat coronary heart disease and stroke. In England£65m has been set aside to buy cardiac angiography equipment and hospitals will receive MRI scanners from a£14m allocation.

-- The fund's£42m National School Fruit Scheme pilots will bring a daily dose of fruit to children aged 4 to 6 years old before the national roll-out on 2004.

--£10m for the Five-a-Day community initiative - to tackle the problem of low fruit and vegetable consumption for families on low incomes.

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