THOUSANDS of pounds has been handed out to organisations across Southampton looking to give residents healthier lives.

Southampton Healthy Living (SHL) Community Funding Programme has awarded 11 organisations a share of £68,000 in a bid to ensure in a bid to prolong the life of people living in the city.

In some parts of Southampton, residents have a much shorter life expectancy than people in other parts of the country, which is often down to a combination of being overweight and choosing unhealthy behaviours such as smoking and drinking.

SHL is a new service bringing together groups from across the area to tackle the issue.

Organisations who will receive awards include; Families First, Active Nation, Radian, Parent Support Link, Mencap Southampton, M’powerfitness, Community Roots, Friends of Polygon School, Coal Porters Rowing Club, and Thrinjun’s Women’s Group.

Ruth Marriott, chief executive of Social Care in Action, the lead organisation for SHL, said: “We know that many people share our commitment to see Southampton become a city where healthy living is seen as normal. We are delighted to have been able to award over £68,000 towards projects working in the heart of our communities to support the changes we need to see to make this a reality.’

“From yoga sessions and intergenerational exercise classes, community allotments with grow, cook and eat programmes, holistic family approaches to reduce alcohol intake and a summer of family activities we hope that a broad range of interesting programmes will really put healthy living in the forefront and most of all be accessible and fun.”

Jo Ash, CEO of Southampton Voluntary Services said “It’s brilliant to be part of providing funding to charities and community organisations that work right in the heart of Southampton, which will not only increase the availability of healthy activities but also some new and interesting initiatives which will impact every area of our city”.