Focus on getting fit and healthy this summer at Ballysally

Focus on Family well team health and fitness participants.
Focus on Family well team health and fitness participants.

Focus on Family are proud of their long track record of supporting local families and children.

The organisation wanted to take that one step further and support their own staff and volunteer team at the same time.

Cue the entrance of the Well Team at Work Programme, delivered by Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke (NICHS) and funded by the Public Health Agency.

Emma from NICHS visited Focus on Family early in 2016 and outlined the project to get employers and staff teams among diverse businesses from across the Northern HSC Trust area thinking about ways in which they could become fitter and healthier.

A staff survey followed at Focus on Family which identified Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Weight Control as the key areas that the team wanted to improve. John, receptionist at Focus on Family and Health Champion, and supported by the NICHS then came up with a year-long action plan which has now swung into operation.

The activity at Focus on Family began in June 2017 with all staff and volunteers taking part in weekly activities of keep fit, walks, chair-based exercises, boxercise, gym equipment activity and stretching exercises. These were provided by key local community partner Core Gym and the energetic Ruth who provided expert tuition in all areas and motivated the staff and volunteers. The physical activity is being supported by healthy lunch options provided by the new Calf Lane Kitchen in Millburn.

It is still early days for the project but already staff are noticing a significant reduction in weight, more willingness to engage in physical activity and importantly a keenness to continue with the year-long programme to fully maximise the benefits.