Being healthy and happy is not always people’s top priority; there are other things to worry about like your family, work and money. But if your health suffers so will everything else.
Health Trainers are there to make it easier to look after yourself – they can help you make changes in lifestyle that can have a big effect on your health and well being.
The Messenger talked to Paul Nash and Sophina Asghar, who are Burngreave and Firvale’s Health Trainers, about how they help people make improvements in their health, Sophina explained,
“The first thing we do is have a one to one meeting, we talk about what kind of changes people want to make and what activities might help, then we write some realistic goals in a Personal Health Plan. They might be small things like joining a course, to help with depression, or getting some help to quit smoking.”
Sophina became a Health Trainer in 2008. Having done a lot of volunteering in her community, she wanted to help people to improve their health. Studying health and interpreting means she can work with people using different community languages. She speaks Urdu and Punjabi.
“We can also help people as ‘buddies’. If people lack confidence we will go with them to new activities for the first time, or help to attend an appointment.” Sophina added.
Paul Nash became a Health Trainer after being made redundant from a job in tool making in 2008. He decided to change his career, first volunteering at Healthy Cross in Parson Cross, and then becoming a Health Champion before applying to be a Health Trainer. He spoke enthusiastically about what people can achieve with help from Health Trainers:
“If I have to put a figure on it, I'd say 98% of people achieve a positive impact on their health and wellbeing It’s very rare that people who receive our service don’t take something from it. My work particularly focuses on Type 2 Diabetes, when people need to change their lifestyle to manage the condition. Sometimes people just need to make a small change to make their health and lives better, like cutting down on sugar in your tea or coffee. We always work with people on what they want to do.”
The Health Trainers help people lose weight, eat healthily, stop smoking, be more active, and make life changes that can help with conditions such as depression and diabetes. The service is free and confidential, with at least six sessions with the Health Trainer.
Drop in service with Sophina
Page Hall Medical Centre Thursdays 10am-12pm Pitsmoor Surgery Mondays 10am-12pm (ask at reception) Or contact Paul on 07823 558 700, firstname.lastname@example.org
Burngreave Health Matters
The Health Matters Shop on Spital Hill has now closed. The Health Trainers who were based there are now in Sorby House.
Burngreave Stop Smoking Service
Appointments are available in the community on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday mornings. For patients at Page Hall Medical Centre appointments are available on Thursday afternoons from 2 – 4pm.
To arrange appointments, text or call Emma Msigiti on 07847 893 134.
New City Centre Stop Smoking Service
A brand new city centre Stop Smoking Drop In service has opened on Charles Street. It is open 6 days a week, including late evening on Wednesdays until 7pm and Saturday mornings 9.30am to 12.30pm. There is no need for an appoinment, so you can simply call in anytime during these times.
Sponsored by NHS Sheffield’s Healthier Communities Programme