11 people who live, work and volunteer in Merton have signed up to a new health initiative that will see them encouraging others in the community to make healthier lifestyle choices.
Merton Council’s Health Champions programme, run in partnership with Merton Voluntary Service Council (MVSC) and LiveWell Merton, encourages individuals in the borough to volunteer their time motivating other residents to make realistic health changes to benefit their long term health. These include informing people what programmes that are available for them to sign up to such as stop smoking classes, advice on nutrition and reducing alcohol consumption.
Volunteers receive training from MVSC and LiveWell Merton and take a Royal Society of Public Health, health improvement course.
Champions will give health guide booklets to people they visit which contain information on smoking, screening services and sexual health. Owners of the guide will also be able to track their progress and write down goals they want to achieve.
Merton’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, Councillor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah and director of public health Kay Eilbert were there to present certificates to the residents for completing their training.
Councillor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah, said: “Congratulations to our residents who have finished their Health Champions training. Having champions in Merton from different community groups make it easier for people who may have previously felt excluded because of language or culture to know about the health services available to them.”