Health – what is it?
Health is affected by everyday life and is as much about the quality of your emotional and social situation as about your experience of disease or disability.
Local people have said that being healthy can be characterised as follows:
- Feeling vital and full of energy
- Having positive self esteem
- Having a sense of purpose in life
- Feeling connected to the community
- Having the ability to enjoy things
- Having good social relationships
Local people have said they want action taken to tackle:
- high levels of stress
- the causes of ill health, like poverty and poor housing
- better access to health services and information on health issues
- the isolation and loneliness experienced by older people
- support for healthier ways of living and a healthier environment
- support after a loss of bereavement
- being able to access healthy food and support for healthier eating
The health project works to these objectives that were drawn up in ‘Our health matters’ a local health action plan that was completed after a major community consultation in 2000. The health plan is updated regularly- see the most recent update.
How do we tackle the causes of ill health?
We work using a ‘community development’ approach. This means we want to work with local people, rather than tell them what to do. A community development approach is a process that includes:
- promoting learning, knowledge, skills, confidence and the ability to act collectively
- taking positive action to address inequalities in power, access and participation
- strengthening organisation, networking and leadership with and between communities
- working for change through increased local democracy, participation and involvement in public affairs