Friday 13 June 2014

T’ai Chi And High Tea

John Griffiths AM and Jessica Morden MP in the mobile clinic with LGP nurse Lynne

Yet more inspirational and practical ideas are emerging from this year's campaign...

"Food co-ops are the way forward!" says Ellie McGuire, a service user from Newport."Our food co-op is going from strength to strength. It encourages people to buy fruit and vegetables on a weekly basis and because we buy in bulk it works out cheaper."

Hafal Newport's food co-op attracted much interest at today's Let's Get Physical! event at the Hafal/Mental Health Foundation base in Newport. Visitors had the opportunity to see how the project's food co-op runs and to eat a healthy lunch prepared with co-op goods, as well as have health checks in the mobile surgery, take part in T’ai Chi and Community Connection exercise classes, and hear an Inside Out poetry recital.

The event was attended by Jessica Morden MP, Mohammad Asghar AM, John Griffiths AM and Newport Mayor Councillor Matthew Evans.

Speaking about the food co-op Ellie said: "The idea behind food co-ops is that by pooling our buying power and ordering food in bulk direct from local suppliers we can buy at a more affordable price. We focus on healthy, good-quality produce. There's less waste and fewer food miles.

"Our advice to anyone interested in setting up a food co-op is to get together with some friends or neighbours - or anyone else in the community - and go for it! You can source great produce direct from local farmers or wholesalers. All it takes is a bit of coordination."

And our local Practice Leader Michelle said: "Today's event has really brought into focus what we're doing to improve our physical health. We run a healthy lunch club in Newport which we hope to develop throughout the campaign and beyond. We've also linked up with the exercise coordinators throughout the area for the event and we hope to continue working with them in the future."

It is really gratifying to see how getting healthy and staying healthy can be fun and sociable - but only if the initiative comes from the people concerned. A lesson there for those humourless public health wonks who don't seem to be able to avoid equating healthy living with a boring and restricted mung-bean lifestyle.