Ashford’s approach to health and wellbeing
At last month’s cabinet meeting councillors discussed the significant amount of work undertaken in 2018/19 by both the council and the Ashford Health and Wellbeing Board. There were numerous success stories included in the report one of which was the One You shop in Park Mall. The shop has been involved in a number of initiatives to deliver health and wellbeing services to Ashford residents. It has been so successful that it is currently moving to new larger premises to expand the services it offers. The new location will allow more residents to access the services they need as well as providing a warm, welcoming environment for parents to sit, relax and feed their babies. The new shop will also have room for a kitchen as well as an exercise area and will provide a public Changing Places toilet.
One project the One You Shop was particularly involved in was smoking intervention, a number of programmes were delivered by the shop to support local people in giving up smoking. These programmes were complimented by the introduction of smoke free school gates and smoke free zones within the borough. Furthermore, in February 2019 a multi-agency operation was held in Ashford to target illegal tobacco. Three shops in the town centre were targeted by multi agency teams. The raid was a big success, with approximately 65,000 illegal cigarettes seized, with a street value of £16,250 or £32,500 if they had been legal UK packs.
In May 2018 the board worked with Ashford and Canterbury Dementia Action Alliance and held a series of events during Dementia Action Week to promote awareness of the condition. A memory tree was handcrafted by Aspire and taken to a number of locations in the borough, including the One You shop and the Civic Centre in order to let residents write a special memory onto a printed leaf and attach it to the tree.
The report also discussed the council’s draft cycling and walking strategy. The aim of the strategy is to increase the number of journeys made by foot and bike in the borough. Consultation is currently taking place with residents to get their input on the proposed policies and actions.
Aware of the benefits of high quality, accessible green spaces the council have also been working closely with communities and partners to submit a Heritage Lottery Fund bid for £4.4 million. If successful the fund will be used to deliver the Victoria Park masterplan.
The report also referenced the new air quality strategy the council agreed upon in March 2019. This new strategy aims to not only preserve our current good air quality standards but also aims to tackle reduced health outcomes where poorer air quality is having a detrimental impact.
Cllr Jo Gideon Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Wellbeing said ‘I would like to thank all those who have been involved in the health and wellbeing activities that have taken place in the last year”
“We will continue to build upon the excellent work and projects that have been introduced working with partners to deliver best quality health and wellbeing services to Ashford residents.”