People who could help their family, friends, colleagues or wider community lead a healthier lifestyle are being sought by North Tyneside Council’s Active North Tyneside initiative.

‘Community Health Champions’ support others to make small changes which can have a big impact on their health.  This could be getting together for a regular walk, a bike ride, being a buddy for someone new to the gym, gardening, or something else.

Cllr Eddie Darke, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said:  “Over the past three years, Active North Tyneside has had over 100 Community Health Champions who have been pivotal in encouraging people to be more physically active, as a first step to a healthier lifestyle.

“Our Champions are highly valued and this is a great mentoring opportunity for anyone looking to get more involved in their community.”

Champions support at least two other people to take up some form of physical activity and complete 10 sessions with them over six months. Champions receive ongoing support from the friendly Active North Tyneside team and a free goodie bag.  There’s also a £20 shopping voucher as a reward for completing the programme.

Community Health Champion Shaun, from Wallsend, said: “I wanted my family to be more active, so encouraged them to join me for walking our dog. We found that we really enjoyed being out and about as a family, and started to talk together about other small changes we could make to be healthier. After that, we started eating healthier meals; and are going to start family bike rides together too.”

To find out more about the role and how to get involved, call Active North Tyneside on (0191) 643 7171.  The team is hosting a registration evening for new Champions on 14 November at The Parks Sports Centre in North Shields.  (Please note – places must be booked in advance.)

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