Health and wellbeing
Though provision housing is at the core of every registered social landlord's business, they also seek to support tenants to live well too. In addition to providing formal support services, organisations also work with local partners to help their communities live healthy lives.
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Live Life to the Full - United Welsh
In 2022 United Welsh introduced the Live Life to the Full course to help meet the increasing needs of customers specifically regarding mental health. Live Life to the Full is a course designed for people that are experiencing isolation, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, anxiety, low moods or low motivation.
This year, United Welsh has seen an increase in customers who were experiencing poor health and struggling with their wellbeing, and the negative impact this was having on their daily lives.
This manifests itself in people feeling unable to: tackle household tasks such as cleaning, decluttering and gardening; deal with their bills; manage neighbour issues, or family issues without support; take responsibility for themselves.
United Welsh introduced the six-week course for customers to embrace their strengths. Forty customers have taken part, and all have reported significant improvements in their health and wellbeing, self esteem and confidence.
Many attendees have also since enrolled in training and volunteering opportunities, with all reporting that the course had a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
One participant said, “The course has given me a greater understanding of how my mental health affects me and the people around me. It’s also given me more ways to manage my mental health, allowing me to understand what I can control and what I can’t.”
GetFit Wales: improving physical and mental wellbeing - Newydd Housing Association
Newydd Housing Association has been encouraging tenants, along with people living across Cwm Taf Morgannwg and Cardiff and Vale to go outdoors and get active through Getfit.Wales, an incentive reward scheme which was developed to reduce health inequalities and improve access to healthy goods and services.
Participants on Getfit.Wales can select local quests and step challenges ranging in difficulty levels by choosing targets they set themselves. Numerous incentives and local rewards are on offer to encourage them to continue the programme and gain points to spend while achieving their goals.
Newydd HA knows that with the current rising costs of bills, participants’ disposable income will become less. So, they wanted to address this by offering healthy goods and services which help improve personal health as rewards - such as gym membership and healthy foods that are typically cut back or stopped in times of hardship.
So far, findings have shown a positive effect on participants' physical and social activity as a result of spending more time exercising, being outdoors and socialising. It has also been found that participating in Getfit.Wales resulted in other positive health benefits including weight loss, loss in body fat, better sleep, reduction in stress, better breathing, and eating healthier.
The most significant result is how Getfit.Wales motivated groups who are hard to reach and are less motivated to be physically and socially active. A recent ‘step up’ challenge held during Children's Mental Health Week saw over 100 young people take part in a virtual 10K. Feedback from the participants highlighted that, for many, it was their first-time taking part in a 10K challenge. The Getfit.Wales team hopes to continue to support local schools, community groups and individuals to build upon their success by helping to develop strong positive habits.
Have any questions or would like further information on how this scheme was set up? Email Scott.Tandy@newydd.co.uk
Bathrooms essential cupboard - Cardiff Community Housing Association
The cost of living crisis means that people who are struggling cut down on using certain bathroom items, but this can quickly affect their quality of life.
Cardiff Community Housing Association has set up a space in their office where staff can drop off spare items like shampoo, shower gel and deodorant. The idea is simple: you donate items that you don’t need and they get used by anyone that needs them.
Staff can pick up a few items to use themselves or for tenants they are supporting.
Tai Calon's Wellbeing Team
Tai Calon’s Wellbeing Team is taking a multi-faceted approach to engage with tenants and residents of all ages.
The team supports partner organisations, such as Job Centre Plus, Communities for Work, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Careers Wales, and local schools, to help with engagement activities such as jobs fairs, Find your Future events and careers days and activities for pupils and parents.
They also offer employment and volunteering support on a one-to-one basis and lead Blaenau Gwent’s Working Wardrobe project, which provides free workwear and interview clothes to help people kickstart their careers.
In addition to their partnership activities, the Wellbeing Team engages with community groups operating in their area to support various activities such as food hubs, warm hubs, Fit and Fed for schoolchildren, mental wellbeing sessions, physical literacy, and food growing operations such as community allotments. The team also has a sustainable food co-ordinator who holds a strategic role within the Blaenau Gwent Sustainable Food Partnership and works closely with the wellbeing coaches to ensure consistent delivery.
Some recent activities that the Wellbeing Team have been involved with include the Working Wardrobe project, which partnered with Moxie People, Tai Calon, United Welsh, Working Families, and Blue Egg to launch a Blaenau Gwent Hub. This project provides people free workwear and interview attire to help them feel confident when starting a new career. The local hub opened on the 25th of August 2022, providing clothing to local people applying for work or in a recently secured new role.
The Community Kit Room is another initiative that the Wellbeing Team is involved in, working in partnership with Aneurin Leisure and Street Games Wales. This free service provides appropriate sports clothing and footwear for people aged three to adults, to support community members in their health, sport, and fitness journey.
The Wellbeing Team also offers support to the community through warm hubs, recipe packs in Tredegar, Cwmcelyn, and Swffryd, food support for young people in the Aspire Project, Christmas food hampers, and employability support.
Tai Calon’s Wellbeing Team is committed to supporting the community and engaging with partner organisations and community groups to help people of all ages in Blaenau Gwent to achieve their potential.
Winter Wellbeing Club - Taff Housing
Taff Housing founded its Winter Wellbeing Club in 2022.
Its workshops from October to February every year provide tenants with a warm space and a hot lunch, along with the chance to connect with their community, and seek advice and guidance for free in an informal, welcoming environment.
The workshops are provided by experts from several organisations covering topics such as budgeting, accessing food banks, handling debt and health and wellbeing.
Clare Dickinson, community inclusion manager at Taff Housing said: “The Winter Wellbeing Club was formed from the need for tenants to have the access to a warm, friendly space where they can socialise, communicate their concerns with like-minded people.
"It helps people recognise that they’re not the only ones facing problems like debt, budgeting, stress, and anxiety. They can also access same day support such as emergency food and fuel vouchers, if required.”