Livewell is celebrating its tenth anniversary by kickstarting a ‘10 for 10’ challenge for Derby residents.
The healthy lifestyle scheme provides free support to adults and children for up to 12 months to help them lose weight, become more active, quit smoking and improve their health. It includes a specialist programme for people with learning disabilities and a partnership with Derby County Community Trust to deliver the Live IT programme for children and families.
The Derby 10 for 10 campaign encourages participants to walk, run, cycle, scoot, swim or row 10 miles over 10 days between 21 and 30 June. Anyone interested can take part and share with Livewell on social media using #Derby10For10.
Focussing on long term behaviour change, Livewell combines one to one and group support with exercise sessions and educational courses to support people to better their health outcomes, particularly in areas of the city where healthy life expectancy is lower.
Livewell began as a weight loss pilot in 2011 called b-You. In 2013 it took over the city’s smoking cessation service and introduced community-based NHS Health Checks under its current brand Livewell. Since its inception, the service has supported over 16,000 people in Derby to transform their lifestyles and in 2019 it received national recognition from the Association for Public Health Excellence (APSE) when it was awarded the UK’s best Health and Wellbeing Initiative accolade.
In the last decade, Livewell has developed innovative partnerships with large and small businesses, University Hospitals Derby and Burton NHS Trust (UHBD), and the University of Derby to increase its income whilst supporting staff, students and patients to achieve public health outcomes.
Today, Livewell employs 20 staff, five of which have been with the project from the start including manager, Rob Smithers. More than 50 volunteers also help deliver vital services in local communities.
Covid-19 had a big impact, and Livewell quickly adapted so it could remain open. Obesity and smoking are already linked to a large number of health problems but they are also likely to increase the risk of dying from Coronavirus. Smoking also makes people more likely to catch the virus. It’s little wonder that Livewell has experienced an increase in people seeking support in the last year.
Rob Smithers, Livewell Manager said:
“We are very proud to celebrate this milestone that we are summarizing with the claim ‘10 years of changing lives in Derby.’ Our team is passionate about making a positive difference to people’s health and the service wouldn’t be able to be successful without the support of GP practices, Derby County Community Trust and our colleagues in leisure. Making small changes can bring big health benefits, that’s why we’re encouraging everyone in Derby to give our manageable 10 for 10 challenge a try.”
Councillor Roy Webb, Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Housing at Derby City Council said:
“Livewell originally launched as b-You in 2011, and it’s amazing to think of the impact it has had since. Ten years later, thousands of people have transformed their lives, health and wellbeing with the help of the service. I would encourage everyone in Derby to join them in marking the anniversary with the ’10 for 10’ challenge.
I want to say a big thank you to Livewell for helping our city become healthier and happier over the past ten years. Here’s to ten more.”
Dr Robyn Dewis, Director of Public Health, Derby City Council, said:
"Livewell has been supporting people to lead healthier lifestyles for a decade which is an outstanding achievement, and they have rightly received national recognition for it. I want to applaud the Livewell team for all their hard work. I also want to thank them for adapting so quickly during the covid-19 pandemic in order to continue providing support safely to those at high risk of severe illness."
Norman Todd, who lost 10 stone with the service, is now a volunteer for Livewell added:
“Livewell is one of Derby’s gems. The difference they made to my health and wellbeing is second to none. With their support and encouragement, I was able to make significant lifestyle changes. My eating habits have improved for the long term, and I now routinely engage in physical activity. Whether it is walking, running, cycling, or just working out in the gym, I am always doing something. The benefits of being happier, healthier and fitter are definitely desirable. Congratulations to the fantastic Livewell team past and present, on achieving 10 years of successfully changing people’s lives.”