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Achievements of Well London in Bethnal Green celebrated

63Locals who helped to champion residents’ health and wellbeing in Bethnal Green were celebrated at an event this weekend.
The volunteers who worked on the Well London Old Bethnal Green programme were presented with certificates by Dr Somen Banerjee, the Director of Public Health, at Tower Hamlets Council.
Dr Banerjee said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to congratulate the local volunteers for all their hard work, and the delivery team for making this Well London programme in Old Bethnal Green a huge success. The programme has brought residents together from all backgrounds, empowering them to make decisions about how they want to improve the health & wellbeing of their community. It was a real pleasure to see how proud the volunteers were of what they have achieved in such a short time.”
This Well London programme has been running over the past year. It has supported the start-up of small community projects to increase levels of healthy eating, physical activity and mental wellbeing for residents in and around the Old Bethnal Green area.
Some of the projects celebrated at the event included:
•    Morning Relaxation – which supported local women to improve their mental wellbeing through relaxation tips and a range of workshops
•    Cooking on a Budget – which helped residents to learn how to make healthy meals on a tight budget
•    Young at Heart – gave residents over the age of 50 the chance to socialise with other people over 50, reducing the chances of isolation.
One participant in the Morning Relaxation sessions said: “I do not have many friends here and these sessions have been really useful for improving my life.
“Workshops were provided by experts, which were helpful to me in understanding my health. Even though I am pregnant I made an effort to come – as the sessions were so useful and enjoyable.”
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, added: “Well London makes a big difference to the way people feel about themselves, their community, and their local neighbourhood. It gives people the chance to come together and have fun – and at the same time helps to enshrine healthy attitudes in peoples’ everyday lives.”
Positive outcomes from the Well London programme include:
•    Supporting over 600 residents through ten funded projects
•    35 Well London volunteers recruited and trained
•    Recruited one apprentice who supported the programme by engaging young people in thinking about their health. She is completing her youth work training with Youth Force, and has gone on to work with local girls on projects aimed at raising self-esteem and confidence in young people, with the support of the council’s Youth Services team
•    Over 20 residents gained recognised training in areas such as: food hygiene, emergency first aid, massage, beauty, and cake decorating via tailored support packages. This is aimed at enabling them to become economically active.
The project was supported by the Greater London Authority (GLA), Tower Hamlets Public Health, and the Big Lottery Fund. It was delivered in partnership with Tower Hamlets Community Housing (THCH).