Health trainers help people lose weight and achieve their goals
PUBLISHED: 13:30 12 January 2015
AT THE start of a new year, many people will have made plans to lose weight, change their diet or cut down on cigarettes and alcohol.
But making these lifestyle changes alone is not easy, and having additional support can make the difference between people achieving their goals or giving up.
For the past four years, North Somerset Council’s health trainers have been working with people living in areas of health inequality to help them set their own goals and manage their behaviour.
The service, which was launched nationally in 2004, aims to work with people living in disadvantaged groups.
North Somerset has the seventh largest health inequality gap in the country, with areas of deprivation on Weston’s South and Central wards offering a stark contrast to more affluent areas elsewhere in the district.
Health trainers work with people from these areas to help them eat more healthily, do more exercise, drink sensibly, stop smoking and improve their emotional health.
Tina Clark, the council’s healthy lifestyle service manager, said: “I think for all of us when we decide to make a change, it is a very hard step to take.
“I think it is a brave step people take when they come through the doors to see us.
“Having someone working alongside you and helping to motivate you really makes a difference.
“Anybody can make a change on their own, but it can be difficult to stick with it.”
Health trainers can also point people in the direction of other services, or provide vouchers to give people money off when visiting a slimming group.
Tina said: “We ask them to set goals so every time we see them, they have a sense of moving forward to achieve something.
“If people change their minds, we keep an open door.
“I think that’s why people come back to us. They like the open, friendly and honest approach.
“When people are feeling a bit down and as though they have not achieved anything, then we can pick them up and help to come up with ideas for what they can do differently.
“It is nice to have someone on your side.”
The health trainers work from the Town Hall in Walliscote Grove Road on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 2pm.
They are also based in the For All Healthy Living Centre in Lonsdale Avenue on Weston’s Bournville estate on Mondays from 10am to noon.
For more information about health trainers or to make an appointment, call 01934 627250 or visit www.nshealthtrainers.co.uk