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Cash boost for Chances 4 Change project to promote health of Southampton residents
Pregnant women, homeless people, refugees and people with mental health issues will all benefit from a project which is being launched in Southampton.
City chiefs have welcomed almost £250,000 of funding for the Chances 4 Change scheme, which will be implemented in the next two years.
It is part of a wider £1.8m project which has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund and is being rolled out across the south.
Portsmouth City Council is coordinating the wider project, which will see health initiatives implemented in Southampton, Portsmouth, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and Slough.
In Southampton community organisations such as the West Itchen Community Trust (WICT), Clear Life Education and Action for Refugees, the Workers’ Education Authority, Sure Start, Two Saints and the NHS homeless healthcare team will carry out a variety of different projects.
The For Us Too project will provide advice on budgeting, cooking and health checks for homeless people, while the Healthy Start scheme will support pregnant women and women with young children in the city’s minority communities.
Another scheme will provide advice and information on healthy eating and cooking, as well as training “cookery leaders” to develop cookery hubs to education communities on how to eat healthily, while the Mental Well Being project will raise awareness of mental health first aid and hate crime.
With 17.65 per cent of the city’s population born outside the UK and 7.7 per cent of homes without anyone who has English as their first language, the Chances 4 Change project is seen as key by council chiefs to ensuring that advice and help gets out to everyone in the city.
Council health chief Dave Shields said: “This is something that we are really pleased about.
“It not only meets the needs of some sections of the population, it also relieves pressure on the rest of the system.
“The Chances 4 Change project will tackle the health needs of a particular section of our population.
“I am delighted that we will be bringing in this money and it may allow us to lever in some more funding from the European Union.”
Gulzar Sharif, deputy chief executive of WICT, said: “We are really pleased to have secured this funding.
“It will help us to run some amazing projects. From healthy cooking to healthy hearts our message throughout the programme will be one of self-help and positive contribution.”
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