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Improving Community Health

Parks, sports and leisure

08 August 2022

Vegetables on display in supermarket

A project designed to help North Northants residents grow, cook and eat more healthily is being launched by the charity Groundwork Northamptonshire – thanks to funding from Public Health Northamptonshire.

This initiative will focus on the communities most at risk of a poor diet and will address health inequalities in North Northamptonshire, as well as harnessing the knowledge and expertise already available. 

Groundwork Northamptonshire, which already supports communities through a range of environmental and youth projects, has been awarded £250,000, to be spread over two years. The charity is using the funding to recruit a new project coordinator and will also distribute grants to voluntary and community groups in Northamptonshire.

Thanks to this funding and project we are setting up a network to share healthy recipes and top tips. We want to use this funding to improve North Northamptonshire residents physical and mental health and supporting them to grow their own food, as well as cook and eat more healthily. 

Our first step is to recruit a coordinator who will map out the groups in North Northants who are currently working with and supporting people and communities with healthy eating. This will enable us to understand what is already happening in North Northants and who is already growing and cooking, building on what we already know and reaching out further to find and engage with others.    
We will then be launching our grants programme in January next year which will see £84,000 distributed across two years. This is a unique opportunity for us to support smaller groups who wouldn’t usually apply for grants. So, if you are passionate about local food and about cooking and growing, do email us on [email protected], we would love to hear from you.
Kate Williams, CEO of Groundwork Northamptonshire

Around two in every three adults (66%) in Northamptonshire are overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese is the leading cause of years of life lost to disability, and other long-term conditions which is why reducing obesity levels, and the number of adults who are overweight in the adult population in North Northamptonshire, is a key priority. 

The pandemic has further demonstrated a link between the severity of the impact of COVID-19 on people who are overweight and obese, while others have had their  weight increase during the first two years of the pandemic. 

Being at a healthy weight, or reducing weight, is also vitally important to improve residents’ health and wellbeing. Research has shown that by increasing people’s skills in preparing food it helps them to make better choices when it comes to nutrition and reduced calorie intake. 

I am sure that this project will find those in North Northamptonshire willing and able to share these, and other important skills around growing and preparing healthy meals.
John Ashton, Interim Director of Public Health for North Northamptonshire