Programme which helps local residents give up smoking and lose weight renewed for another five years

Wednesday, 23 March 2022 08:23

By Jessica Hubbard - Local Democracy Reporter

A programme to help Arun residents improve their health by giving up smoking and losing weight has been renewed for another five years.

Arun District Council has delivered its prevention and wellbeing service, known as Arun Wellbeing, since 2009. It is run in partnership with West Sussex County Council which contributes more than £400,000 per year to help pay for advice on health and wellbeing.

The programme can now run until 2027 after ADC’s housing and wellbeing committee approved its renewal on Thursday (March 17).

Arun Wellbeing centres on prevention and aims to address the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes type 2, stroke, and preventable cancers by helping residents to adopt healthier lifestyles.

Georgina Bouette, from ADC’s communities and wellbeing team, said: “Now more than ever, the Arun Wellbeing programme has the strongest opportunity to have a positive impact and improve public health outcomes for our local communities.”

A variety of help is available including subsidised exercise classes from Freedom Leisure, healthy eating advice from the Weight Information and Sensible Eating (WISE) programme, and advice on smoking and alcohol.

Particular focus will be placed on ‘deprived’ wards including Courtwick with Toddington, River, Bersted, Marine, Pevensey, and Hotham.

This comes after a ‘large disparity’ in life expectancy was identified between those living in Arun’s most deprived wards and those living in the district’s least deprived areas which equates to 11 years for men and 9.8 years for women.

A 2020 survey also found that 28.5 per cent of Arun’s adults were physically inactive and 70.7 per cent are classified as overweight or obese -higher than the national average.

Alcohol-related hospital stays are higher than the national average at 716 per 100,000 population – or 1,220 stays per year.

Although the number of people who smoke in Arun is slightly lower than the national average at 12.9 per cent, smoking during pregnancy is worse than the national average. Age UK will receive £30,000 per year from the £400,000 budget. The charity will use the funding to deliver a ‘falls prevention’ programme as it is thought that 35 per cent of Arun’s over 65s experience a fall each year and hip fractures in the district are higher than the national average.

Arun residents can find more information about the service here:

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