First social prescribing event on Shotley peninsula proves a healthy success

  Posted: 26.08.21 at 10:36 by Derek Davis

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The first ever social prescribing on the Shotley peninsula was just what the doctor ordered as dozens of villagers took their first steps to improving their health through mild physical activity.

Partners from Shotley and Holbrook GP practice, Active Suffolk, South Rural Primary Care Network, Shotley Open Spaces and Babergh's communities team came together to organise the health and wellbeing event at Shotley Village Hall on Wednesday.

Aimed primarily at those aged 50 and above, the event was well attended by a mix of nearly 30 men and women who listened to presentations from Dr Chris Rufford, a part-time peninsula GP serving the two surgeries, Sophie Cummins from the , Active Suffolk's Janet Lawrence and Gary Richen

With the help of some presentation slides, Dr Rufford explained how and why a small amount of exercise, taken regularly can improve health, lessen the risk of certain diseases, and increase life expectancy.

He showed how Type 2 diabetes, cancers, depression and even bone strength and balance can be helped by going for a 30 minute walk, lifting weights (including bags of food) or swimming and cycling.

Dr Rufford pointed out people did not need to go to gyms or classes if they did not want to, as the peninsula was a beautifully natural resource for getting fit.

While one group went for a brisk health walk around the stunning Shotley peninsula countryside, others took their very own functional fitness MOT with Janet and her team.

The returning walkers then took part in their own functional fitness test.

While all the results were kept discreetly among individual participants, more than one person remarked how they were now even more determined to become even more physically active.

The project support hundreds of inactive adults to improve their physical and mental health through physical activity, and it follows the release of the latest Active Lives data published by Sport England which found that 23.5% of adults in Suffolk are currently inactive,

Funding from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to ensure the scheme is able to continue for another three years has recently been confirmed, and is being supported by Babergh communities and wellbeing team's resources.

For more details ask at your GP surgery, or go to Active Suffolk website.

For health walks go to the Shotley Open Spaces website and keep an eye on our What's On page for more events.

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