The Community Health Network

The Community Health Network is a Communities First Welsh Government programme to get people to eat healthier and to improve their physical activity levels. The team consists of a Co-ordinator a Nutrition Officer and Physical Activity officer. The team provide the following Programmes:-

The Community Health Network “Fighting Fit” Physical Activities Programme

The key purpose of the fighting fit project is to increase the range and availability of locally based physical activity sessions. The project will help to increase peoples levels of physical activity and improve understanding of the health gains of having an active lifestyle. This project is delivered by the Community Health Network who provide qualified fitness professionals who deliver weekly locally based exercise interventions. The project is to work with the target areas / target customer groups to reduce health equalities including

  • Providing activities to support the reduction of obesity, Chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease
  • Preventable cancers
  • Social and psychological consequences i.e. depression

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Physical Activity Officer Sarah Kelland offers the following classes

  • Walking groups
  • Dance classes
  • Cycling
  • Gentle exercise classes
  • Fun Circuits

Community Health Network Nutrition Programme

The key purpose of Cooking in the Community project is to introduce participants to new foods, cooking methods and food groups and develop confidence in their acquired knowledge and skills, resulting in them adopting healthier eating patterns. The programme provides a community development approach that offers practical advice and support on food and nutrition tailored to meet the needs of specific groups.

The project aims to support behaviour change by developing skills and increasing understanding and awareness of nutrition and food choices.. The project will increase knowledge and understanding of nutrition, food groups and achieving a balanced diet for long term health. Sessions are free with ingredients and equipment provided.

Classes are delivered in local community settings over a 10 week period.

The Community Health Network Weight Management Programme

The weight management programme provides a community development approach offering practical advice and support on weight management issues to specific at risk groups.    Weight management groups provide a supportive environment for adults to weigh, gain relevant knowledge, develop skills and share their weight management experiences.  Groups will be delivered in line with best practice guidelines for weight management issued by NICE and programmes are supported by PHW Dietitian team. 

Group sessions will provide:

  • An opportunity for participants to weigh
  • An opportunity for participants to gain related knowledge and skills through their participation in a range of nutrition games and activities
  • physical activity taster sessions
  • practical cookery demonstrations
  • Group discussions and support
  • Signposting  to further avenues of support through the promotion of local food co-operatives and physical activity opportunities 

The Community Health Network Summer Holiday Family Food and Fitness Programme

Children and their families in Merthyr Tydfil will directly benefit from sustained involvement in a variety of  activities which seek to influence behaviour and attitudes for the long term classes are fun and hands on and learn families how to cook healthy nutritious meals and how to make physical activity fun. These classes will take place once a week for two hours over the six week holidays. Classes are taking place for summer holidays 2014 in

  • Merthyr vale
  • Pentrebach

The Community Health Network “Fighting Fit” School Programme

The under 12s element of the project  provides intensive physical activities and nutrition activities delivered in primary schools in the cluster. These activities are predominantly with years 5 and 6 and include, cooking skills, nutrition levels, dance, cycling, guided walks, and nature trails as well a variety of team sports to encourage cooperative play, teamwork, and good sportsmanship while helping to refine motor skills.   The project will work with four primary schools each week delivering an academic year of support in each primary school.

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