Since November 2010 local residents have been volunteering as Health Champions to help people in their community lead healthier lives.
Health Champions will be based at Pakistan Advice & Community Association, Yemeni Community Association, and Pitsmoor Citizens Advice Bureau, who will help the Champions increase skills and knowledge so they can help others in their neighbourhood. The Health Champion volunteers will be supporting people to make health changes, perhaps to take more exercise, eat a healthier diet, take part in a walking group or swimming lesson or just to get more involved in local activities. The Messenger spoke to the Health Champion based at the Pakistan Advice & Community Association:
“I’m volunteering to help me gain confidence, and to get back into a work environment after being a housewife. I would like to work in health in the future, so being a Health Champion is a good stepping stone into that.
“I’ve helped with several projects already including healthy cooking courses, and I’ve done some courses myself, so I’m learning and picking up skills too. We are organising some classes for the Slovakian community, and I will be helping to organise health days in the centre soon.
“Being a Health Champion has really boosted my confidence. I’ve really enjoyed working with different people.”
The Health Champions will also support the work of Health Trainers where they can, being buddies for people who are attending new activities or going to an appointment.
Pitsmoor CAB still have places on their scheme for more Health Champions, contact Mick Smith on 275 5376.