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ON BOARD FOR HEALTH -£5M ROLL OUT FOR HEALTHY LIVING IN ENGLAND

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Making healthy living activities and information more easily available to those on low incomes or in marginalised c...
Making healthy living activities and information more easily available to those on low incomes or in marginalised communities is at the heart of the latest round of grants from the New Opportunities Fund for healthy living centre projects in England. A total of£4,899,917 from the national lottery is being announced today by the fund for schemes in North Blackburn, Knowsley, Boothferry, Leamington Spa and Enfield, where there is a high level of social and economic deprivation.

Projects will provide innovative approaches towards encouraging a healthier way of living, for example by enabling people to take exercise in their own homes and local community centres, as well as involving volunteers in raising awareness of health services.

Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the New Opportunities Fund, said: 'The projects which we are supporting today aim to break down barriers towards accessing a healthy lifestyle - quite often associated with cost or cultural appropriateness. The involvement of community volunteers is vital in making it easier for everybody to take simple steps towards safeguarding their own health and well being.'

Men living in Knowsley, Merseyside, will be a priority for the Health inK project which has been awarded£929,511. In response to low take up of health services, a range of men's health initiatives will raise awareness of men's health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer and develop schemes to combat stress and anxiety caused by high unemployment, low incomes, low expectations and poor lifestyles.

Turkish and Greek communities in Enfield, North London, will be amongst those communities set to benefit from the Fit for Life network, which will offer targeted exercise classes in local leisure facilities. Other schemes, which will be run with the£1,000 0000 grant, will include a food growing project and support for young people living on their own for the first time, particularly around healthy eating.

In Boothferry, the Building Bridges project - which has received a£1million share of the healthy living roll out - will be offering a scheme for people at risk of exclusion to learn about the history of the local canals, in a bid to alleviate loneliness and provide lifelong learning opportunities.

Asian communities wary of accessing health services and young people at risk of ill health will be the key beneficiaries of the Healthy Living in Blackburn North initiative which has scooped£1million from the Fund. The involvement of local community groups has ensured that activities are run in appropriate community venues and that health information will be provided in relevant community languages.

Note

ABOUT THE NEW OPPORTUNITIES FUND

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.

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. 111 grants have been awarded to date (excluding today's awards) totalling£89,344,736. 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.

A full list of all Healthy Living Centre awards being made on 1st Nov 2001 follows.

ProjectAreaDescriptionAmount

Healthy Living in Blackburn NorthBlackburn with Darwen (North West)This project will provide an holistic approach to health incorporating education, health and leisure services. It will benefit a multi-cultural population comprising 90% of Asian origin. Will include community health promotion, a centre for young people and a volunteer network.£1,000,000

Enfield 'Fit for Life' NetworkEnfield, LondonThe project will focus on promoting activity - such as walking groups and yoga - and healthy eating. One scheme will work with older people to grow fruit and vegetables and there will also be support for young people away from home for the first time. People with learning difficulties will be encouraged to get involved and activities will also engage Asian, Turkish and Greek members of the community.£1,000,000

Building Bridges, BoothferryEast Riding of Yorkshire (Yorks & Humberside)The project will target young people and rurally isolated and socially excluded people. The award will fund the driver of an HLC bus, a community café, a youth project to combat homelessness, a rural advice worker, a credit union, a youth empowerment project and a learning activity project.£1,000,000

Better Together in Knowsley/ 'Health inK'Knowsley ( North West)Services will be offered out of four community venues. Key schemes include peer education for young people, men's health promotion, positive mental health initiatives, focus on food and complementary therapies. Community health development workers will be trained to deliver health projects.£929,511

The Leamington Old Town Healthy Living NetworkWarwick (West Midlands)This project fits with the regeneration of Leamington Old Town. A Community Information Officer will ensure health information is accessible at the central hub. Other services will include dentistry, chiropody, drop-in, housing and environmental health, a community hall and ICT facilities. Outreach services will include 'Activ Age' for elderly people, Asian elders keep fit and community education for young black people.£970,406

Total£4,899,917

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