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Joining the healthy conversation

A community in Rhondda Cynon Taf has come together to have a ‘healthy conversation’ about lifestyle choices, diet and exercise. As part of the Gwalia Healthy Conversations programme, a Health Action Day was held in Rhydyfelin to promote the importance of keeping fit and well.

Paula Williams, Gwalia service user from Rhydyfelin and (in the pink t shirt) Natasha Roberts, Gwalia support worker from Cardiff.

Paula Williams, Gwalia service user from Rhydyfelin and (in the pink t shirt) Natasha Roberts, Gwalia support worker from Cardiff.

People attending the event were able to have informal discussions with specialists from agencies such as TEDS, Drink Wise Age Well, Filter Cymru, Fareshare Cymru, Stop Smoking Wales, Street and health practitioners.

Healthy Conversations aims to provide people with the understanding, opportunities and support networks to improve the health and well-being of themselves, their peers and the communities in which they live.

Nathan Harding, Gwalia support worker, said: ‘We received an extremely positive reaction people saying the day made them consider their own health and that they planned to make life style changes following the conversation that they had.’

Many of those at the event left with some food for thought with one client commenting on how the advice given by specialist has given him the motivation to considering doing more physical activity.

He said: ‘I’ve never thought about my health but as I’m getting older I’m starting to struggle a bit. I’ve had some good information today on how to be a bit healthier. I don’t know how easy it will be but I’ll give it a go!’

Individuals are encouraged to complete a health journal, and Gwalia staff are tailoring support sessions to have a stronger focus on health and well being. Healthy Conversation events celebrate the positive actions taken and support people to make simple changes in their lifestyle for a healthier future.

Jeff Gooch, Gwalia’s head of support, said: ‘Healthy Conversations uses a holistic approach and focuses on the individuals entire lifestyle. Conversations then take place around how their actions can negatively or positively affect their well-being and what positive steps can be taken to make a change.

‘By giving services users accurate information they can make better informed decisions on how their lifestyle impacts on their physical, mental and sexual health, their diet and the general well-being. We want to support individuals to make positive changes for the benefit of the whole community. More Healthy Conversations events are planned in the near future to reach more communities and promote a healthier Wales.’

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