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In partnership with Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC), HemingfordHub and Houghton and Wyton Timebank have launched their Health Inequalities Projects, funded through Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System.

Houghton and Wyton Timebank will be offering a 12-week entry-level yoga course for adults who want to become more active. The activity offers an opportunity for likeminded people to connect and become more physically active. The class is open to all and will take place at St. Mary's Centre, Houghton, PE28 2AY starting on Monday 27 March, 7.30pm to 8.30pm.

Houghton and Wyton residents will also have the opportunity to take part in 'The Arts Social' - a 12-week long creative group. This will include a series of creative sessions aimed to build confidence, create social connections and boost mental wellbeing, in a relaxed and sociable environment. The Arts Social start date is yet to be confirmed, although it will be open to all and will take place at St Mary's Centre, Houghton PE28 2AY.

Timebank Coordinator, Rose Williams, said: "We feel so excited and fortunate to be starting up some wonderful projects right on our doorstep that will deeply enrich the legacy of connection and wellbeing in our parish. This would not have happened without the unwavering help of the HDC, who have guided us through the process from start to finish.

"Using the funding, we have built sustainability into our plans; collaborating with local artists and practitioners to strengthen local partnerships, engaging volunteers, creating community around the classes and acquiring good quality equipment and to ensure a long future ahead.

"We are currently doing all the necessary preparations and can't wait to see the fruits of these brilliant classes come to life."

HemingfordHub have trained a local instructor to deliver a 'Love to Move' class in the Village. There has been a fantastic response to the class, an age and dementia friendly seated gymnastics programme. This successful class was set up in September 2022 and will continue to be free to residents, with an opportunity to socialise over a hot drink each session too. 'Love to Move' is held at Hemingford Grey Pavilion PE28 9BX, fortnightly, on Wednesdays, 2pm – 3pm.

HemingfordHub will also be offering free First Aid Training, delivered by the Red Cross, to local residents and volunteers. Details of courses are yet to be confirmed. The Hub will also use funding to print and distribute copies of their 'Hemingford Handbook' detailing useful information, activities and opportunities in the village.

Love to Move Instructor, Claire Weston, said: "Love to Move is one of the most fulfilling classes I've had the privilege to teach in my many years as a Fitness Instructor.

"It has the power to transform lives, and it exists to bring real improvements to the lives of people and communities through a sense of belonging. It utilises adapted forms of gymnastic movements, delivered in a cognitive enhancement gymnastics programme, to help people in need, to engage in fun and meaningful activity, which has a positive effect on their lives."

Executive Councillor for Community and Health, Cllr Ben Pitt, said: "I'm delighted to see these physical activity opportunities launching and continuing successfully across the District. Helping our residents to stay active, independent and healthy is a vital part of our work at HDC.

"HemingfordHub and Houghton and Wyton Timebank are just two of the 15 community groups working on the Health Inequalities Project, and I'm grateful to them all for the impact they are having. These organisations are at the centre of the communities they serve, and improving health is a cause we can all get behind.

"Kit Connick, Chief Officer of Strategy and Partnerships at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System, said, "It Is great to see support going to the local community, allowing both physical activity classes such as yoga, as well as this fantastic 'Arts Social' creative course to be provided to support health and wellbeing.

"Asking local people what they would like to see in their community to help them stay well and healthy is the most effective way for health and care services to respond to the needs of each community, and as such make a real and sustainable difference to local people's lives."

Find out more about the Health Inequalities Project.