Blackhall residents to benefit from a new health and wellbeing programme

A former mining community in east Durham is set to benefit from a new project aimed at improving the physical, mental and financial health of residents.

An innovative new 12-month programme is aiming to get people living in the coastal village of Blackhall walking, cycling and eating more healthily. Funded by County Durham Housing Group, the ‘Healthy Village Challenge’ is aiming to improve the wellbeing of 50 local people in its first year.

The challenge is being coordinated by volunteers from Blackhall Community Centre. A huge variety of health and wellbeing-related events are planned. Local people will be able to learn about healthy cooking, take part in a walking club or get involved in dance activities, as well as making use of on-site gym facilities.

Everyone taking part in the sessions will also be able to take advantage of one-to-one advice on their health, wellbeing and finances.  Events including movie nights and excursions are planned to tackle isolation and anxiety too.

At the end of the challenge a ‘grand finale’ will be held to recognise the accomplishments residents have achieved during the project.

County Durham Housing Group provided £5,000 to make the Healthy Village Challenge possible. The funding is from the group’s community investment fund, designed to benefit neighbourhoods across the county that need help most.

County Durham Housing Group Community Investment Officer, Debbie Howe, said: “Blackhall is one of a number of communities that we have identified to provide extra, targeted support. This health challenge is a great way of bringing a huge variety of different opportunities together and creating a real target amongst everyone in the village.

“I know the management and volunteers from Blackhall Community Centre are very passionate so I’m looking forward to following the progress of the project throughout the year.”

Alison Paterson from Blackhall Community Centre said: “It will be great to do some partnership work with County Durham Housing Group and continue the work we do in the community as well as helping residents from the housing association. It’s a very exciting project to work on and we hope everyone feels better in mind body and soul as well as a bit extra in their pocket.”

County Durham Housing Group has already funded major community projects in Horden and Seaham during the last year as well as dozens of smaller initiatives through the ‘group grant’ funding programme. More information on the group’s funding programmes is available at www.countydurhamhousinggroup.co.uk

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