Free health coaching offered to East Brighton residents: ‘Making small changes can add years to our lives’

Volunteers are offering free health coaching to residents in East Brighton thanks to a new initiative.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 5:30 pm
Volunteer Darina Kirova

Coaching to keep your mind and body healthy can often be expensive – but thanks to a new partnership in East Brighton between Wellsbourne Healthcare CIC, the local GP surgery, and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, people in East Brighton can get this kind of help for free.

Local volunteers are calling the project East Brighton Has Heart.

Darina Kirova, one of the volunteers, explained: “We’re calling it East Brighton Has Heart because it’s about how we care for each other as a community.

Volunteer Louise Bains

“During COVID-19 so many people have come out to help. This is one way we can give something back.

“Lockdown has also affected our daily routines.

“So, if people want to make small changes to what they eat, or maybe quit smoking, or get moving a bit more – we can help!”

Darina and a team of eight other volunteers have all received professional training as volunteer health coaches and are able to support people to make key changes to their lifestyles.

Their motto is ‘eat well, move more, live longer, stay happy’.

Volunteer Louise Bains said: “We all live locally in East Brighton so this is all about us helping each other as we recover from the really tough times of COVID-19.

“The training we had from the National Centre for Behaviour Change was amazing.

“We can’t wait for people to sign up so we can start helping people in our community to feel healthier.

“And it’s completely free, so why wouldn’t you?”

The Medical School, who will be overseeing the project and carrying out some research, have set up an online questionnaire for anyone interested.

It takes just five minutes to complete and everyone who is eligible will be paired with one of the volunteers for the free health coaching.

Dr Catherine Topham from the Medical School said: “People just need to answer a few questions about their health.

“We know that making small changes can make a huge difference to our heart health and, in some cases, add years of healthy living to our lives.

“Everyone who fills in the questionnaire will get a ‘heart health’ score.

“If the score is ‘moderate’, they will be eligible for our online health coaching.

“If it is ‘low’ or ‘high’ they will receive other advice from our team.”

To check your heart health and find out if you are eligible for the free coaching, go to tinyurl.com/eastbrightonhasheart

Registration closes at the end of May – so people are urged to apply as soon as possible.

Volunteer Coordinator, Paul Jarvis-Beesley said: “This is for everyone in East Brighton, not just the patients of Wellsbourne Healthcare.

“It’s about having fun and connecting with other people.

“While COVID precautions remain in place, the coaching will be done over the phone or online.

“We hope that very soon, people will be able to meet up face to face.

“I’d encourage everyone to sign up or contact us to find out more.

“They need to sign up by the end of May to take part.”

Find out more by emailing the organisers at [email protected] or calling 07927 086399 for a chat.