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Healthy town initiatives launched in Thetford

PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 September 2009 | UPDATED: 21:41 07 July 2010

Adam Gretton

The residents of a Norfolk market town were encouraged to get more active today following the launch of a series of healthy initiatives.

Cycling schemes, green gyms, new allotments, and healthy eating are just some of the programmes being rolled out as part of Thetford's healthy town status.

The residents of a Norfolk market town were encouraged to get more active today following the launch of a series of healthy initiatives.

Cycling schemes, green gyms, new allotments, and healthy eating are just some of the programmes being rolled out as part of Thetford's healthy town status.

The government announced last year that the town was one of nine places across the country to receive extra cash to tackle obesity and other health issues.

A series of projects was today (Thursday) launched in the town centre by NHS Norfolk and Breckland Council, a year after receiving £900,000 from the Department of Health.

It is a two-year-long health drive that aims to improve the lives of everyone in the town and help increase the life expectancy and quality of life. Life expectancy in Thetford-Castle Ward is 74.2 years compared to the east of England average of 79.2 years.

Thetford was awarded healthy town status, along with eight other towns and cities in the UK, including Manchester and Portsmouth.

NHS Norfolk and Breckland Council, which made a joint bid, will match the £900,000 government funding. Other partners include Keystone Development Trust, Sustrans, Thetford Town Council and Norfolk County Council.

Project manager Tony Trotman: “This is a fantastic opportunity for members of the Thetford community to work together in a way which will help both themselves and others, bring Thetford healthy town to life.”

Sheila Childerhouse, chairwoman of NHS Norfolk, added: “I have no doubt this will make a real difference to people's lives.

“Thetford is a town of so many opportunities and exciting initiatives and this new project provides a first class way for people to get involved and enjoy becoming healthier and happier.”

Theresa Hewett, executive member for communities and benefits at Breckland Council said: “I know that Thetford people will embrace this opportunity to make health improvement a significant part of the town's development and growth agenda.”

Two get-fit initiatives include the BTCV's Green Gym in Thetford and a call to 'grow your own' vegetables.

The green gym will involve three hour sessions of taking part in conservation projects to encourage people to lose weight, recover from illness and beat depression.

To register, contact Britta Lipper, BTCV Green Gym 01842 757349 or email gg-thetford@btcv.org.uk

Thetford Town Council is also looking to create more allotment space to get residents to grow their own vegetables.

Joy of Food trainers will also be helping the people of Thetford to eat better and more balanced diets.

Trainers from The Joy of Food will be running workshops to give all comers over the age of 14 practical, hands-on tips on how to eat healthily and economically. For more information, contact Sean on 07786 363499 or email joyoffood@keystonetrust.org.uk.

Newly appointed Sustrans 'Bike It' officer, Georgie Burr will be working with Thetford healthy town to 'free' those forgotten bicycles, and get Thetford cycling.

She will be working with schools and the wider community to encourage people to cycle more. Contact, georgie.burr@sustrans.org.uk.

Thetford Healthy Town project manager Tony Trotman added that they will also be locating and renovating disused and unwanted cycles and distributing them to organisations which can make best use of them.


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