Weight management support for the Portuguese community

In collaboration with Future Inclusions Organisation, one of our partners, we will be hosting a closed weight management group for the Portuguese community next month, following community members identifying the need for help with maintaining a healthy weight and getting physically active. Therefore, we are putting on bespoke sessions that will feature our weight management programme and our Get Help To Get Active service.

Working alongside Future Inclusions Organisation, a charity that supports Suffolk residents by providing life-skills training to disadvantaged communities, we adapted our programme to suit the community’s needs better. The group needed to be conducted face-to-face as community members did not have the equipment to join virtual groups, as well as making sure the programme was delivered in Portuguese to ensure there isn’t a language barrier.

Starting on Friday 13th August, the group will be co-delivered by Kate, one of our Adult Weight Management Practitioners, and Adama, our new NHS Health Checks Coordinator, who is of Portuguese heritage.

If you would like more information about this group or know anyone that would, please contact OneLife Suffolk at info@onelifesuffolk.co.uk or call us on 01473 718193.

Lunch and Learn sessions

Over the last few months, our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team have arranged for various partner organisations to come in and talk to our staff about the work they are doing, providing an insight into the communities they engage with and how OneLife Suffolk can support them.

These have included Funmi Akinriboya from the BME Suffolk Support Group, who spoke passionately about the barriers that the people she works with face on a daily basis and how they support them. Funmi is a very active member in the community and has worked tirelessly to campaign for issues around COVID-19, immigration, wellbeing for adults and youth, and has helped develop the African food pantry project. If you would like to get involved, the BME Suffolk Support Group are always looking for volunteers to help deliver food parcels.

Alison McWilliam from the Terrence Higgins Trust spoke to us about the work they do with the LGBTQ+ community and their other services such as STI testing, free condoms, sexual health information, and training services.

This month, we invited Monika Puchalafrom Community Action Suffolk to discuss the Buddy Up programme designed to help those struggling with COVID-related isolation. The scheme provides one-to-one support by offering volunteers who can accompany them to support sessions and appointments, allowing them to start to make changes to improve their health.

If your organisation would be interested in speaking to the OneLife Suffolk team about the support or services you provide, please contact Tom Osborne (tom.osborne@onelifesuffolk.co.uk) or Farhana Salham (farhana.salam@onelifesuffolk.co.uk).

Providing healthy lifestyle support for the Indian community

In partnership with the Ipswich Hindu Samaj (IHS), we have invited the local Indian community to get an NHS Health Check and are hosting a bespoke weight management group at Inspire Suffolk next month.

After several community members expressed an interest in weight management support following a year of lockdowns, the group has been well-received. Many clients have already booked onto the group that is due to start in August.

To accompany our programme materials, the dietitians at MoreLife have been creating a range of culturally appropriate resources, including recipe ideas and Eat Well Plates, to ensure the information delivered better reflects the communities cultural and nutritional preferences.

After completing the 12-week group, the clients who attended will be invited to participate in a working group, allowing us to gain their feedback on the resources provided. This feedback will help us better understand how we can further develop our delivery resources to ensure they are appropriate and relevant to the Indian community.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in this group, please direct them towards our website onelifesuffolk.co.uk or call us on 01473 718193.

New Cycling Project at the Shahjalal Islamic Centre and Masjid

A couple of weeks ago, we started our 8-week cycling project at the Shahjalal Masjid mosque in Ipswich as part of our Get Help To Get Active programme. This project aims to help support the worshippers at the mosque to get back on their bikes, become more active, and teach them how to maintain a bike and cycle safely.

The project came about following our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’s (EDI) team involvement with the COVID-19 Vaccination Bus, where they met Moshud, the Secretary of the mosque, who shared that a few of the worshippers had shown an interest in cycling and had started going for cycle rides.

Following some funding from Sports England, facilitated by Active Suffolk, OneLife Suffolk decided to create a cycling club to help encourage other worshippers at the mosque to get involved. We have arranged for 8 weeks of cycling tuition to be delivered by qualified instructors from Top Banana, a cycle training organisation based in Great Yarmouth, to help support those who were beginners or who had not been on a bike for a while.

Our Get Help To Get Active team is also providing education sessions on healthy lifestyle topics such as the importance of physical activity, stress, sleep, healthy eating and more.

By providing training on how to cycle safely, this project hopes to encourage the worshippers at the mosque to continue cycling together as a community, increasing their physical activity levels and the health benefits associated. The funding has also allowed us to purchase reconditioned bikes from The Green Bike Project, an Ipswich-based charity that rescues and repairs unwanted bikes. To ensure the sustainability of this project, we are also arranging for one member of the community to receive accredited cycle maintenance training to keep the bikes in good working order and on the road – or the track!

Introduction to Baduanjin

In partnership with Anglo Chinese Cultural Association (ACCE) and Future Inclusions Organisation, we provided 8 weeks of online Baduanjin exercise sessions as part of our Get Help To Get Active programme.

Baduanjin is one of the most representative and widely spread traditional methods of health preservation in China and is similar to that of Tai Chi. Baduanjin exercises focus on the body and mind, highlighting the importance of focusing on your breathing.

Each week, a member of our Get Help To Get Active team delivered a pre-exercise education session on a range of health and wellbeing topics, followed by a one-hour long Baduanjin session. These classes were hosted by Master Faye Li, a well-known and experienced instructor from London.

These sessions proved to be very popular, having a weekly attendance of over 40 people – and not just from Suffolk! Clients from across the UK and parts of Europe came along, with the sessions received very positively by those who attended.

You can watch all 8 of the Baduanjin sessions HERE