Ashford Borough Council Leads the Way in Public Health
Ashford Borough Council is leading the way in its approach to public health and making a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of people living and working in the area.
The council recognises that health and wellbeing is primarily shaped by factors outside the direct influence of health services. Their forward-thinking approach looks at the bigger picture, which includes the experience people have in environments such as work, education, housing and wider physical environment.
This year at The Wellbeing Symposium, Cllr Brad Bradford will introduce some of the key successes behind the council’s ongoing contributions to improving health outcomes, in his role as Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Community Safety.
“Ashford Borough Council has a major role in preventing ill health and an environment that supports people to lead a healthy and indeed happier life” he said.
“We’re proud of our achievements and look forward to continuing to make a different to our communities” He added.
Housing is a real priority area and one that is fundamental to the council’s contribution to improve health and wellbeing across the borough. Having suitable accommodation that is safe is one of the foundations of personal wellbeing, whether in childhood, adulthood and old age.
A commitment to housing is evidenced in Ashford’s first fully dementia-friendly housing scheme, Farrow Court, introduced to enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of its residents.
The scheme comprises of 84 care-ready apartments, an eight bed recuperative care centre, 12 independent living apartments for people with learning disabilities, a shop, hairdressers and therapy room, along with an Age UK day centre.
Careful consideration was made in the design of the build to incorporate colours and visual signs, such as memory shelves outside front doors and plenty of natural light. The gardens are also securely designed to enable residents to enjoy them safely.
As well as the provision of safe, supported housing, the council is working hard to raise awareness of Dementia within the borough and internally. The local authority is working hard to become an official ‘dementia-friendly town.’
Another example of the council’s dedication to health and wellbeing is the One You shop, designed for Ashford residents to drop in and receive advice and information on healthy living, including weight management, mental health support and stop smoking services. Ashford Borough Council led the way in launching the initiative - it is the first shop in the country to operate under the One You national programme.
Early figures from July 2017 show the success of the scheme to date - 1,624 people accessed the shop leading to 843 people receiving further detailed health interventions and health lifestyle information.