Community events at The Heath help to combat loneliness
The Heath Business and Technical Park has hosted a Community Christmas Party for 250 local residents as part of its Eat@TheHeath campaign to combat loneliness and isolation for the elderly and those who live alone.
Eileen Miller, The Heaths Site Charter and Community Manager, says: The Heath has a long-standing tradition of staging events for our local community but in recent times the pandemic has highlighted the need to do even more to support our elderly or vulnerable neighbours. Last year we launched our HeathLive! website during Lockdown to keep people connected and entertained which was a great success. This summer, following the third Lockdown, we launched a new community initiative, Eat@TheHeath, as a platform for people to come and meet up on a weekly basis.
Apart from providing weekly quizzes, endless conversation and limitless coffee and cake, Eat@TheHeath provides a community forum to focus on improving awareness on topical subjects. Police Community Support Officers have provided attendees with Burglary Packs and spoken to them about securing their homes. Police have also used the events to warn of the dangers of scamming and ways of recognising potentially scammers.
The local Fire Brigade have provided them with free smoke alarms and arranged checks of their existing ones. The library has provided information on whats available to them free of charge and ways of accessing them, so we feel Eat@TheHeath is providing a really important and useful service.
Eileen adds: The last Wednesday of each month we provide a two-course hot meal with entertainment — giving people an opportunity to dress up and have a dance if they want to. Recently, we bought a minibus which allows us to collect a number of people who dont have access to transport and cannot afford to pay for other services — this has been a lifeline for so many.
The annual Christmas Lunch was advertised through Heath Cafes social media and was fully subscribed within two weeks with 100 guests from the Eat@TheHeath initiative being joined by 150 more locals from the Runcorn area including people from care groups, local organisations and individual residents.
Anthony Stonebanks, The Heaths Events and Catering Manager, and his team prepared a two-course Christmas carvery with guests entertained by The Brow Community Primary Schools choir followed by an Elvis Presley tribute performed by Ian Williams, The Heaths Accommodation Services Manager.
Attendees are welcomed to the weekly gatherings by Eileen and Alison Albion from The Heaths Community Team along with The Heath & Beechwood Police Community Support Officers, Louise Croft and Tracey Taylor. Two other police officers PC Ian Hampson and PCSO Shannon Huff often attend functions too with a number of volunteers who support Eat@TheHeath by serving food, cleaning up after events and driving the minibus.
Says Eileen: So, what started as a little weekly get together has now formed into a large social group where people get to talk to like-minded people, have fun competing in quizzes, playing board games, using the craft tables if they want to and basically just getting out of the house and socialising again. Our aim was to make the Heath Community a place where health and wellbeing is actively encouraged, and I think we are well on the way!
About The Heath
The Heath Business and Technical Park is a phenomenal regeneration success story. Formed in 2000, its owner and operator, SOG Ltd, has transformed a once single occupancy corporate facility into a thriving independent business park. The Heath now provides office and laboratory accommodation for more than 120 individual organisations, ranging from business services and IT specialists to those at the cutting edge of science, research and advanced manufacturing. Around 2,000 people are employed at the site. For further information, telephone 01928 515988 or visit www.theheath.com
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PAUL SMITH ASSOCIATES
4th January 2022