Community Connectors joined the team on the bus on Tuesday 27 June and spoke to people about their general health, including their height and weight, as well as offering checks for high blood pressure and diabetes. The Community Connectors are part of the Health in Your Hands project, undertaken in partnership between Richmond charity, Ruils Independent Living, the NHS in South West London and local GPs in Hampton, Whitton and Heathfield. The project aims to engage local people with health and wellbeing services, identifying those at risk of, or already diagnosed with long term conditions.
Euan Carter, Community Connector with Ruils, said: “We were very busy at the event and had some really great interactions which led to us referring people on to other services. A lot of these were for people interested in getting help to manage their weight and some who had blood pressure readings that indicated possible hypertension, which necessitated a follow-up with their GP. It’s great to know that with our support, people are getting the help they need quickly before things can get more serious.”
A representative from Diabetes UK was also present at the event and was able to support people who showed a high risk of the disease.
Cathy Maker, Chief Executive at Ruils, said: “A lot of this work is about raising awareness about the importance of looking after your health and staying well. Assessing indicators such as blood pressure and weight management and asking how someone’s mental health is, can have a real impact on long-term health conditions, by helping people understand how they can prevent them from developing, or getting help early if they do become unwell. Health in Your Hands it is all about people taking control of their own health and getting in the driving seat, we just help make that happen.”
It’s great to know that with our support, people are getting the help they need quickly before things can get more serious.”Euan Carter, Community Connector with Ruils
The ’Come and Have a Chat’ about your health bus, run by the Public Health Richmond team, regularly makes stops throughout the borough and will be offering a range of different services throughout the rest of the year. The aim is to bring health services and information directly to residents, hopefully making it easier for them to stay as well as possible.
Richmond residents will have another chance to catch up with the Health in Your Hands team at their Summer Health and Wellbeing Fair at the YMCA White House in Hampton which is being held on 28 July. The team will be joined by a variety of local organisations including Mind, Age UK, CAB, Diabetes UK, Crosslight and the Metropolitan Police. As well as health checks, attendees can try some sporting activities, face painting, henna tattoos, massage and more, all provided by local businesses and charities.