Healthy City Week is an eight-day programme of activities that will aim to inspire citizens of Bristol to achieve healthier lifestyles as part of a more sustainable future city. Launched last year as a brand new initiative from Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC, Healthy City Week is the product of contributions from local organisations and individuals whose free or low cost events, talks and workshops will explore the links between sustainable living, personal wellbeing and the health of our environment. The week is supported by Bristol Health Partners.
The programme kicks off on 15 October with a community day at the Wellspring Healthy Living Centre and Barton Hill Settlement, with talks, creative workshops, activities for the whole family and delicious food while offering health checks and practical advice on health issues, green living and keeping homes warm.
Meanwhile, at the Healthy City Week Hub hosted by Triodos Bank, a Walkable Neighbourhoods conference will set the tone for a week-long series of talks, debates and seminars aiming to bring together the city’s health and sustainability communities to consider a range of issues. These include sustainable energy and the health implications of fuel poverty, neighbourhood planning and health, transport as a public health issue, and how nature and health partners can work together to deliver integrated and improved health through a ‘Natural Health Service’ - from green prescriptions to woodland wellbeing, inspiring young people and empowering elders, shifting the focus from illness to lifelong wellness…naturally!
This year sees the number of events doubling from last year, taking place across Bristol at venues including Southmead, Avonmouth, Knowle, Broadmead, Barton Hill, Keynsham, Lockleaze and Easton. The programme will include talks, cycle rides, taster sessions and holistic wellbeing clinics, offering opportunities to try everything from ‘wellies and wellbeing’ nature walks and laughter wellness, to gong meditation, mindfulness workshops and green yoga – all for free or a reduced cost.
There will be a business and employee-focused Workplace Wellbeing Week, a Fairtrade gala evening, community meals and a wide range of screenings and performances. Organisations including Bristol Community Health CIC, Voscur, Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine, Bristol City Council Public Health, Coexist and the Social Prescribing Network of Great Britain and Ireland will all be addressing sustainable approaches to health through social prescribing, self-care and integrative medicine with a range of free conferences, workshops and experiences for patients, healthcare professionals and care providers.
Dr Trevor Thompson from University of Bristol’s School of Social and Community Medicine, GP at Wellspring Healthy Living Centre and co-chair of Healthy City Week’s steering group, said:
“Many of the things we can do to improve our health – to drive less, to eat more vegetables, to enjoy nature, to connect with our local community – also benefit the planet. Healthy City Week throws these links into sharp relief, bringing together many perspectives on health, wellbeing and sustainability: from patients and the public to NHS clinicians, alternative therapy practitioners to the big local health institutions, from voluntary and community groups to scientists and researchers. This year’s programme really does offer something for everyone, and shows that we can all make a difference, to our health and that of our planet.”
David Relph, Director of Bristol Health Partners, said:
“Bristol Health Partners is proud to be supporting Healthy City Week again. Last year’s programme shone a light on the innovative sustainability and health related work happening in our city, inspiring Bristolians to take positive action to improve their health and wellbeing, while also making decisions that reduce their impact on the environment. It looks like this year’s is set to be even bigger and better. I am especially heartened to see an even greater involvement from Bristol Health Partner organisations than last year.”
Ian Townsend, Chief Executive of Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC, says:
“Healthy City Week is a unique platform that brings together grassroots projects, collaborations and strategic initiatives. It makes a real contribution towards the Partnership’s vision of a low carbon city with a high quality of life for all. The Bristol Green Capital Partnership team is pleased to be able to spotlight the work of Bristol’s broad and vibrant health community. We could not do this without the creativity and commitment of so many across the city who have contributed to making this event happen."