Improving health of young families

MEMBERS of Angus Community Health Partnership (CHP) Committee heard about the success of the community-based Health Happy Collaborative Project when they met last Monday.

Project manager Shona Burge explained that the aim of this Angus CHP community project is to help improve the nutritional health of young families, especially children under the age of five.

Over the 18 months that the project has been running, three main strands of work have been developed with young mums with additional support from local partners including Angus Council, Angus College, voluntary and charitable organisations and community members.

The Cooking Together Project in Arbroath provides a relaxed environment for mums and children to try cooking healthy recipes and actively promotes healthy food choices for young families.

Families and other members of the community have also supported the ongoing development of the Healthy Happy Communities Allotment Project in Arbroath.

A large part of the allotment is dedicated to vegetables and fruit which were planted by the children themselves. Over the course of last summer children from local nurseries also dropped in to help out and later to harvest the vegetables for cooking and eating.

The Health Start Café in Forfar is aimed at new mums and mums-to-be providing a place where they can meet other mums and receive support and advice on a variety of health and lifestyle topics including breastfeeding and weaning, as well as tips on providing a healthy balanced diet. Mums are closely involved with planning the group’s activities.

The committee heard that by working with and listening to young mums and families from the outset, these groups are very much community-led and have evolved to reflect the needs of their members and continue to go from strength-to-strength.