Organisers of a programme aimed at boosting the health and wellbeing of Kirkham residents have praised the historic town’s community spirit as a new series of heritage-themed events gets underway.
History trail walks, art and cooking classes, horticultural workshops and gentle exercise sessions have been organised by the Phoenix Rising partnership.
The FREE classes are all part of a new Heritage Health and Wellbeing Programme being developed as part of Kirkham’s status as one of Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zones (HS HAZ).
Phoenix Rising workshop leader Sue Flowers said: “Developing a new wellbeing programme for the people of Kirkham has been a great privilege – there is a real sense of community here and a feeling that being together truly matters.
"Our programme draws on the heritage of the town and includes healthy walks, cookery and art workshops with further horticulture and textiles workshops planned from mid-February. Hopefully this means there will be something here for everyone.
"Each workshop is delivered by a highly experienced specialist with wellbeing knowledge. We aim to develop welcoming and inclusive spaces where even the most nervous person will feel welcome and included.
"Anyone needing to boost their wellbeing during these challenging times should come along and try something out.”
The new classes, which follow a series of successful ‘taster’ sessions held before Christmas include:
• Chair-based exercise at Kirkham Community Centre (every Friday between 10am and 11am)
• Mindful Walk around Kirkham (every Friday between 11.15am and 12.15pm)
• ‘Cooking Together’ at St Michael's Church (every Thursday between 11am and 1pm)
• Art class ‘The Fine Art of Cookery’ at St Michael's Church (every Thursday between 1.30pm and 3.30pm)
Full details of the classes, including dates, times and how to book are available HERE
The classes, which run between now and the end of March, are open to all. They can be accessed by either booking online, in person at Kirkham Library or by being referred by a GP or NHS link worker.
Social Prescribing links people to a range of activities and can help those who:
• have one or more long-term conditions
• need support with their mental health
• are lonely or isolated
• have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing
And feedback from people who took part in the initial taster sessions in Kirkham included:
“What you are doing is truly magnificent and can really impact a variety of people, especially with the mental health rates soaring due to the pandemic”
“The art sessions give me so much confidence”
“I’ve grown in confidence as a result of the sessions and they improve my mood”
“I highly recommend the course to anyone who also struggles with self-esteem and self-worth”
Kirkham’s new Heritage Health and Wellbeing programme is a key part of Fylde Borough Council’s £10m Kirkham Futures regeneration masterplan designed to reinvigorate the town centre by bringing important buildings back into use, improve streets and open spaces as well as boost residents’ health.
Fylde Council has engaged Helen Shearn Associates, a specialist consultancy in arts, heritage and health, to steer the Kirkham wellbeing programme in conjunction with Historic England's Head of Wellbeing and Inclusion, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Lancashire County Council and Wyre Rural Extended Neighbourhood (WREN) Primary Care Network which includes Kirkham's two GP practices.
Fylde Council nominated representative for the project, Councillor Liz Oades said: “The recent pandemic has had a huge impact on all of us isolating us and cutting us off from so many of our usual community activities and friends. I urge as many of you as possible to take part in some of the activities offered by this programme and, who knows, you may find a new hobby or new friends as we move forward and away from Covid.”
For more information about the Health and Wellbeing classes available go to www.phoenix-rising-wellbeing.co.uk/courses
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