New healthy living area open at Hackney Central library
Residents of all ages packed into Hackney Central library, Tuesday 1 April, for the official opening of the Health Spot, an area dedicated to helping residents lead a healthier life.
The Health Spot has hundreds of practical ideas about how to be happy, healthy and active. There are five hundred specialist books covering a wide range of wellbeing topics aimed at helping residents change their lifestyle, improve their health and boost their mood.
On the first Tuesday of every month the Health Spot will host a programme of activities, highlighting a different health theme. For April the theme is ‘healthy happy Hackney’. All Health Spot activities will link with local groups and services, so if residents have enjoyed the taster in the library, they can join the local group or service.
Libraries are a fantastic, free, community resource and traditionally a place where people come for information. Through the Health Spot we are we using Hackney Central library as a place to support and give guidance to residents about making changes to their lifestyles that could have a significant impact on their health and happiness.
To mark the opening residents enjoyed tasters of the kinds of activities on offer each month and they also got to take home free potted herbs and plants. Activities on the evening included healthy cooking demonstrations from Gaby’s Kitchen, massage from Hands INC, knitting workshops with St John at Hackney, yoga with City and Hackney Mind, Pilates with GLL and gardening from The Sharp End.
Laura Honore, 73 from London Fields, came to the Health Spot as she is interested in knitting. She said; "It's great that I can come to my local library and get some help with my knitting. Events like this are an easy way to mix and meet people.
Twenty four year old Eleanor Bruhn from Clapton said; "We came along to support a friend and this is not what I expected to find, it's really good. I'd definitely use my local library more if there were more events like this.”
Organisations including Macmillan Cancer Support, Prostate Cancer UK, Hackney Diabetes Centre, Hackney Council’s Drug and Alcohol Team and Hackney Sexual Health Services were also on hand to give advice and answer questions on important health issues which affect Hackney residents including Cancer, sexual health and diabetes.
Suzi Howie, Macmillan Cancer Support Direct Volunteering Services Manager, said; “We are delighted to be part of the Health Spot and to have the opportunity to provide much needed cancer awareness information to the local people of Hackney. Our trained volunteers are on hand to provide library visitors with a listening ear, signposting to local services and a range of information leaflets. Having the right information and support at the right time is very important to people affected by cancer and this new service will help to ensure that that the people of Hackney can have this help when they need it.”
A Health Spot activity booklet is available from libraries and other council buildings.