Project making a change in Mid Ulster

An innovative health and wellbeing project in Mid Ulster has been changing the lives of people living in the area.

The ‘Make a Change’ project is funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA) and is supported by the three Mid Ulster councils – Cookstown, Magherafelt and Dungannon & South Tyrone – and the Northern and Southern Health and Social Care Trusts. The programme aims to engage with people who do not traditionally access services and support.

‘Make a Change’ gives one-to-one non-clinical support to participants, offering advice on how to become more active and eat healthier. The initiative develops personal skills required for maintaining behavioural change and has a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.

Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the PHA, said: “‘Make a Change’ offers something that many may have never had before – an individually-tailored approach that encourages people to make healthier choices which will hopefully have a lasting impact for them, their families, and the wider Mid Ulster community. Together with our partner organisations, we are striving towards better health in our communities.”

More than 260 people have used the service so far which involves participants having the opportunity to meet with a Health Support Officer up to eight times over a six month period to plan the best possible way forward, setting goals to reach and review their progress.

Mark Kelso, Director of Public Health and Infrastructure, Mid Ulster District Council, said: “The Make a Change Programme and Health Support Officer team has proved to be very effective in engaging with people who are difficult to reach. It supports them to change their behaviour and take practical steps to improve their own personal health. The evaluation has highlighted in particular the very positive impact that supporting individuals can make and demonstrates the real value of partnership working in helping reach those who can benefit most.”

Councillor Roger Burton, Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council, said: “Make a Change is having a very positive impact on the local community. It demonstrates the very real benefits that working together can achieve and the small changes in our daily lives that can have huge long-term benefits for everyone.”

If you would like more information on the ‘Make A Change’ programme or would like to speak to one of the Health Support Officers, please contact the programme support team at Environmental Health Department, Cookstown Council, on 028 8676 2205 or by email at envhealth@cookstown.gov.uk

Page last updated:27 February 2015