Two years after Whitehill & Bordon was selected as one of 10 towns across England to try to become the healthiest it can be - we find out what this has meant for the residents of the town.
The town is part of a national pilot, by NHS England, called 'Healthy New Towns' and as part of this it's aiming to put the foundations in place to help residents live healthier, more active and independent lives and to have the care they need in the right place and at the right time.
East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) has been leading the Healthy New Town programme in partnership with a wide range of public sector, private sector and voluntary organisations including the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, Hampshire County Council, Radian, Energise Me, NHS England and Community First – and has had a focus on benefitting all residents of the town and not just people from the new developments.
Residents may have seen the term ‘Healthy New Town’ at various community events or on news articles and wondered what it really means and what is being done to make Whitehill & Bordon as healthy as it can be.
The Healthy New Town partners would like to share the success of the programme so far as it continues to transform the town into one of the healthiest in the area:
Did you know?
- Radian has launched a Food Academy at Café 1759 which teaches youngsters how to cook healthy, nutritious meals from scratch while on a budget.
- More than 100 residents attended the launch of the new pop-up community garden at the junction of Savile Crescent and Chalet Hill in July. Residents came together with local schools at the event to help reclaim the streets and green spaces for pedestrians and cyclists while creating a new local growing area for the community to enjoy. Whitehill Town Council is now keeping an eye on the garden with the support of residents and allotment tenants.
- EHDC has worked with Radian and the University of Portsmouth to produce two videos which show some of the technology residents of all ages can use to improve and manage their mental and physical health and wellbeing.
- Around 129 pre-school children, aged three and above, have received balance bike training to teach them how to ride a pedal bike without stabilisers.
- Around 200 residents, including eight classes of students from four local schools, have taken part in interactive wayfinding workshops where they explored the town and mapped out their experience – this will help the Healthy New Town partners find ways to make getting around town easier, safer and more enjoyable for everyone.
- Café 1759, Radian’s new community café at Quebec Park, offers a wide range of healthy food and drinks and provides a relaxing and social environment for residents to enjoy. In its first five weeks the cafe had more than 1,300 customers and sold almost 3,500 items.
- Café 1759 holds lots of events and local initiatives, including a ‘Cops ‘n’ Coffee’ session where local people can come to chat to the police.
- The Hogmoor Inclosure Parkrun was launched in March 2018 and has an average of 170 runners each week with its biggest turnout being 284 runners!
- Scooter training will beoffered in PE lessons in five Whitehill & Bordon schools to improve children’s confidence and safety in scooting and encourage families to travel actively to school together.
- In February 2018, EHDC surveyed local people to find out about levels of loneliness and social isolation. EHDC then carried out several in-depth interviews with residents who said they were lonely or socially isolated. The information will be used to shape projects that will combat social isolation.
- The ‘Surgery Signposting’ scheme, which takes place at Badgerswood Surgery, has helped 34 people over the last year. The scheme was launched in Whitehill & Bordon in April 2017 and sees trained volunteers offer residents one-to-one support with their mental and physical health and wellbeing.
- Staff from Havant and East Hants Mind Social Crisis Pilot (HEH Mind) worked at Pinehill Surgery to deliver onsite mental health support and practical help to tackle social issues. The coordinated work helped 88 patients and reduced GP attendance by 42 per cent on average.
- A total of 208 families took part in surveys to find out what makes it difficult to be active in the town. Several families then took part in some in-depth interviews to find out more. This work has shaped current and future initiatives in the Healthy New Town programme.
- The Runnyhoneys started a Couch to 5k running group. In the last year, it has helped 66 people who weren’t running before to run 5k. Following this success, the Runnyhoneys set up a running group in the town which has grown to 114 active members in just 14 months and offers weekly runs.
- Three temporary Park and Stride schemes have been introduced to the town which encourage parents and children to park their car in one of the designated car parks and walk at least the last five minutes to school.
- Making Every Contact Count (MECC) has been rolled out in Whitehill & Bordon. This training gives people who work in the community the skills to have conversations with residents about their lifestyle choices.
- The Hogmoor Inclosure is being transformed into a fun and accessible space which is dementia-friendly through signage, refuge points, puzzles, games, activities, communal growing areas and water features.
- Healthy New Town partners were given the opportunity to influence the planning application for the new town centre. The developer is now giving extra consideration to accessibility throughout the site and an additional ‘Changing Place’ facility has been incorporated into the town centre plan. The facilities provide space and equipment for people with needs that are not met by standard accessible toilets.
- There are currently seven ‘Safe Places’ in the town. The Safe Places scheme was launched to provide refuge spaces for vulnerable people if they are feeling anxious or intimidated while out and about.
- In 2016, seven not-for-profit groups in Whitehill & Bordon received grants of between £500 and £1,500 towards projects that promote a healthy lifestyle. There were a range of projects funded, including a music-making workshop and an educational session to reduce smoking.
- More than 100 people enjoyed the Spring into Health Festival in March 2017. The aim of the event was to promote the many sports clubs, groups and health and wellbeing opportunities already available to the local community of Whitehill & Bordon.
- Local, community organisations are actively engaged in the project and show their commitment by considering health benefits of future projects to encourage a lasting Healthy New Town legacy.
Councillor Ferris Cowper, EHDC’s Portfolio Holder for Whitehill & Bordon, said: “The highlights speak for themselves. Ensuring Whitehill & Bordon is one of the healthiest towns in the area has been, and continues to be, a major success.
“A lot of work and considerable effort has gone into making the town as healthy as it possibly can be and I think residents are really starting to see and feel the results.
“There is still work to be done but we hope that residents feel they are starting to have everything in place to live a healthy and active lifestyle and are proud to live in a town that promotes this in the way Whitehill & Bordon does.”