Alcester Town Council: A model for community health and well-being
Author: Nadoya Reid, communications officer at the National Association of Local Councils
Since 2016, NALC's Star Council Awards Council of the Year winner 2022, Alcester Town Council (ATC), has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the health and well-being of its residents. By establishing a Health and Well-being Board, the council has fostered a resilient community by nurturing social networks and building capacity. ATC has been at the forefront of promoting a thriving and inclusive community by focusing on creating connections, reducing isolation, and enhancing a sense of belonging. This blog post explores the remarkable initiatives undertaken by Alcester Town Council to support the health and well-being of its residents.
Alcester Town Council distinguishes itself by employing a dedicated health and well-being coordinator. This coordinator actively partners with local organisations to develop new services, activities, events, and projects that cater to the community's specific needs. They also support existing groups and societies that promote health and well-being in the area. By facilitating consultation and maintaining open lines of communication, the coordinator ensures that the wishes and needs of the local community are effectively represented.
ATC's initiatives are a direct response to the ideas and feedback received from the community. These projects aim to promote inclusion and foster community cohesion. By collaborating with the private and public sectors, the council has secured funding and established partnerships to bring the community's vision to life. Let's explore some of the notable projects undertaken by the council:
- Cook and Eat Your Tea: This project brings different groups of people together to cook and share meals. By encouraging communal cooking and dining experiences, Cook and Eat Your Tea enhances social interactions, fosters new friendships, and promotes healthy eating habits.
- The Well-Connected Computer Group: The Well-Connected Computer Group, supported by ATC and a team of dedicated volunteers, offers computer literacy training and support to individuals within the community. This initiative empowers residents to navigate the digital world, access information, and connect with others online by bridging the digital divide.
- Repair Café Alcester: In collaboration with ATC, Repair Café Alcester provides a platform for community members to bring their broken household items and receive assistance in repairing them. This project promotes sustainability, reduces waste, and encourages a culture of repair and reuse within the community.
- The Crafty Lunch Club: ATC offers financial support to the Crafty Lunch Club, a weekly gathering for adults with learning and/or physical disabilities. This inclusive initiative provides a safe and supportive environment where individuals can engage in crafts, share experiences, and build lasting friendships.
- Gone Fishin': The Gone Fishin' program focuses on addressing health inequalities by providing a fishing experience to a small number of residents who may face such disparities. This initiative promotes physical activity and offers a therapeutic and enjoyable experience to those involved.
- Get A Move On: Recognising the importance of physical fitness for the elderly population, ATC organises Get A Move On fitness classes specifically tailored for individuals over 60. These classes encourage regular exercise, enhance mobility, and promote overall well-being among older residents.
- Holiday Lunch Club: Originally initiated during the lockdown by a resident, the Holiday Lunch Club continues to receive funding from Alcester Town Council. This project ensures that local children receive nutritious hot lunches during school holidays, addressing the issue of food insecurity and supporting the well-being of young community members.
ATC is an inspiring example of a community-focused organisation that prioritises the health and well-being of its residents. Through establishing a Health and Well-being Board and employing a dedicated coordinator, ATC has successfully developed and implemented various projects that address the unique needs of its community. By actively engaging community members, forging partnerships, and securing funding, the council has brought the community's vision to life. Alcester's approach serves as a blueprint for other towns and cities aiming to build resilient, connected, and inclusive communities that prioritise the health and well-being of their residents.
The following blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered professional or legal advice. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Association of Local Councils. Any links to external sources included in this blog post are provided for convenience and do not constitute endorsement or approval of those websites' content, products, services, or policies. Therefore, readers should use discretion and judgment when applying the information to their circumstances. Finally, this blog post may be updated or revised without notice.