ZING - new healthy living service for Somerset

Date: 16 February 2016

A contract to deliver the Council’s healthy weight, physical activity and healthy eating service for the next four years has been awarded to Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) and Somerset Community Food (SCF).

The new service will mean Somerset’s residents can access the expert advice of a healthy lifestyle team, including health trainers, active lifestyle officers and children and families workers. More intense support will be available for targeted individuals and families.

SASP will provide advice and information on physical activity while Somerset Community Food will provide healthy eating advice and Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will provide weight management services as well as support for other lifestyle issues.

The new service will be supported by the ZING website with information on all sorts of organised physical activities within Somerset, which anyone can browse by town or postcode.

The ZING Somerset website includes information on healthy eating, as well as advice to help people get started if they are not used to exercise.  Individuals can create a personal account and start to record the amount of activity they have completed to earn personal awards. People can also compete with others in challenges and league tables.

Zing Somerset also has an app for iOS or Android phones. Download for FREE and log your activity minutes on the go! http://www.zingsomerset.co.uk/.

Sue Chant, Zing Somerset Programme Manager at Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are proud to be taking the lead role for this programme and are keen to build on our existing community links and partnerships.  The lifestyle programmes and initiatives on offer are flexible enough to adapt to meet the needs of local communities.  Backed up by fully qualified staff that you can trust to provide you with the support and enthusiasm needed to help you achieve your lifestyle goals.”

Jane Knowles, Interim Partnership Director at Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) said:  “We are delighted to be delivering the physical activity side of the Zing Somerset contract.

“We are 100% committed to enthusing people of all ages to move more every day!  It isn’t just about sport and exercise, it can be as simple as playing actively with your children, joining one of our walks programmes or enjoying a coffee morning with a few fun active challenges added (instead of the sugar!).

“This will be the first time that physical activity, weight management and healthy eating have been under one roof, which is a really exciting and enables communities to have a one stop shop for more healthy and active lifestyles.”

Kim Robinson, Trustee at Somerset Community Food said: “We see this partnership as a chance to share our knowledge and skills doing what we do best, helping groups and individuals learn more about growing, cooking and sharing food.  Our Get Set Grow and Get Set Cook short courses have helped hundreds of people across Somerset learn about healthy eating in a practical way that makes sense to them.”

Cllr. Anna Groskop, Cabinet Member with responsibility for health at Somerset County Council said; “We want better health for our residents here in Somerset; less obesity, less of a divide between richer and poorer people in terms of their health and life expectancy.

“ZING is a programme designed to support everyone with healthy eating, physical activity and weight management.  There are lots of ideas to get out helping to improve health and beat isolation.  I encourage all ages to log on and take part!”