Supporting healthy communities is about celebrating local identity and culture, ensuring people can take part in local life and that they lead happy, healthy lives. It looks at ensuring our communities are inclusive, welcoming and active and that people have the support and friends they need.
Supporting healthy communities is a bit more difficult to measure compared with cutting carbon and cutting waste. It is about how people feel about where they live, their wellbeing and how the wider community functions.
Our top tips
- Local walks. Taking a local walk can provide a unique insight into your local area. Have a look around for things you’ve not noticed before, interesting buildings or architectural features. There are often guided walks happening nearby and you may even want to join your local rambling group.
- Join a local group or activity. Think about joining an evening class or other local group. There is something for everyone – dance, music lessons, life drawing, language skills, the list is never ending. Visit MeetUp for local groups and Hot Courses for courses.
- Find out more about your local area. There is a mountain of fascinating things to learn about your area and the world we live in. Whether it’s local history, science or ancient civilisations, the websites Culture24 and Visit Britain can help you to explore what’s around you. Your local library and National Archives are also great places if you want to do a bit more digging.
- Volunteer. Volunteering is a fantastic way to meet people, have fun and do something a bit different. The Volunteer Centre Sutton is a great place to go to find out about local volunteering opportunities and also get help finding the role that is right for you.
- Eat well. You are what you eat, or so we are told! Having a balanced, healthy diet certainly will make you feel fitter, healthier and more alert. There is lots of information on how you can improve your diet and why it’s important out there including NHS advice on healthy eating and sites that help you find healthy and tasty recipes.
- Get sporty. You don’t have to be the next premier league star to get involved in sport. Sport should be fun, friendly and is a great way to get exercise. In Sutton there are lots of opportunities to get involved, regardless of your sporting experience or ability. Sport England have an online Sports & Fitness Finder to help you find local facilities and clubs.
- Give Blood. Only 4% of people give blood despite the fact the majority of people are able to give blood and 25% of us will require blood at some point in our lives. If you are worried about giving blood or have any questions you can find out lots of information at blood.co.uk about who can donate, what happens and where you can donate.
- Take time to do what you love. One Planet Living isn’t just about being more sustainable, it is also about being happier. As well as trying out all the tips we have suggested, make sure you take time to do the things you love, whether it is baking, walking your dog, reading a book or visiting new places.
Case study projects
Community Visions aimed to inspire community and voluntary groups to get more involved with their local environment and build a resilient green future for Sutton, together.
The three year project, funded by City Bridge Trust, mapped existing work and engaged new people and groups, with 36 groups and 50 residents attending events.
Engagement culminated in a Sutton Community Challenge which invited groups in Sutton to enter project ideas that would improve Sutton’s environment and green spaces, help residents reduce their ecological footprint. Eight semi-finalists were selected by judges from 21 entries. Over 800 people voted for their favourite project, selecting three winners: Carshalton Patch, Vineworks and Victor Seymour Earthship.
Carshalton is home to two highly successful fairs, run by local charity EcoLocal.
The Carshalton Frost Fair, run in partnership with Friends of Honeywood, celebrates and helps people appreciate local distinctiveness, providing sustainable Christmas shopping and a chance for families to enjoy a positive local event.
The Carshalton Environment Fair is the biggest event of its type in London, attracting around 10,000 people annually since 1990. It raises awareness about environmental activity in an enjoyable way for all the family, celebrates and demonstrates local musical and craft talent, provides significant fundraising opportunity for small community groups and brings the community together.