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Helping Thetford get healthy

PUBLISHED: 07:52 23 September 2009 | UPDATED: 21:41 07 July 2010

THESE life-sized vegetables may look slightly ridiculous, but the message they convey is a serious one as the health and wellbeing of the people in Thetford becomes a priority.

THESE life-sized vegetables may look slightly ridiculous, but the message they convey is a serious one as the health and wellbeing of the people in Thetford becomes a priority.

The town received a cash boost last year after being named as one of nine towns and cities across the country as part of a £30m government “healthy town” scheme.

Now, almost a year after receiving £900,000 from the Department of Health, officials from NHS Norfolk and Breckland District Council - which will both match that funding - will deliver a two-year action plan.

The aim is to help people living in the town to improve their health and ensure healthy living is in the forefront of people's minds, and in transport, housing and education.

Theresa Hewett, executive member for communities and benefits at Breckland Council said: “There are many exciting projects to help people make small changes that will have a big impact on their health.

“I know that Thetford people will embrace this opportunity to make health improvement a significant part of the town's development and growth agenda.

Towns awarded their “healthy” status were identified as areas with greater deprivation and heath problems, and where a concerted programme is believed will make a difference.

Beginning with the launch tomorrow there will be a wide range of initiatives over the next two years including; The Joy of Food, to help people eat well; Bike It, to encourage people to leave the car at home; encouragement to grow vegetables in the garden or allotment, and to take part in exercise.

There will also be health needs studies carried out to assess what people's needs are and how to reach the entire community.

Ms Hewett and Sheila Childerhouse, chairman of NHS Norfolk, will launch Thetford Healthy Town at 12.30pm outside the Guildhall.

Between 10am and 4pm there will a plethora of information stalls on subjects from eating well to taking more exercise, and between midday and 1.30pm there will be martial arts and a live cooking demonstration by Gizzi Erskine, star of Channel 4's Cook Yourself Thin.

The EDP Bidwells Norfolk Food Festival, which promotes the best of local produce, is running alongside the Thetford Healthy Town launch.


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