New Year New You

Fourteen community groups have been recommended to receive funding

Whether you’re doing Dry January, Veganuary, or you have made a resolution to improve your health, making a pledge does't just have to be to join a gym - there are plenty of ways to improve your health in 2019.

Quit smoking or switch to vaping

Are you one of Hackney’s 43,000 smokers? Smoking is still the single biggest leading cause of preventable disease and death in Hackney, killing more than 200 people a year. It is also the biggest cause of inequalities in health.

If you smoke, rather than go cold turkey, try switching to vaping this year - 3 million people use e-cigarettes to help quit tobacco. Hackney’s Stop Smoking Service have specialist advisors across the borough to give you advice on switching to an alternative or to quit smoking altogether.

Try to stop smoking for 28 days to help increase your chances of quitting smoking for good or switch to alternatives like vaping to help you cut down. With the help of Smokefree Hackney, you are four times more likely to quit than if you go it alone. To book an appointment contact the Stop Smoking Service or call 0800 046 99 46 / 020 3316 1085.

Cllr Feryal Demirci, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care, Transport and Parks, said: “Every year more and more people in Hackney quit smoking because they know there are multiple benefits for their health, their quality of life and the environment around them, not to mention the money they can save to spend on other things.

“Whether you want to quit smoking or become more active, there are lots of ways in which you can become healthier this year to benefit you, your family and friends. The Council and partner organisations offer a range of services to ensure Hackney is a healthier place for everyone.”

Become Sugar Smart

Join the Council and Hackney Food Partnership to make Hackney a Sugar Smart place. The campaign offers simple steps for people to reduce their sugar intake, helping to address the high rates of obesity and diabetes in adults and children - 1 in 7 children in Hackney are already obese when they start reception and this proportion almost doubles to 1 in 4 when children leave primary school. The campaign involves working with schools, early years settings, workplaces, community groups, leisure centres and independent food outlets to raise awareness and take actions to reduce sugar consumption. For ways to get involved go to https://hackney.gov.uk/sugar-smart.

One You programme offering low cost fitness and cooking classes

Join Hackney’s One You programme and find a £2 fitness class near you. There are also new free six week Cook and Eat courses for residents to help people learn to cook healthily on a budget. There is something for everyone of all ages, whether you are looking to be more active or learn new skills. For more information go to www.hackney.gov.uk/healthy-hackney or contact Henry Muss on 020 8356 6326 / henry.muss@hackney.gov.uk.

Dry January

This month is also Dry January, ideal for people looking to take a break from drinking alcohol or just looking to drink less. Dry January doesn’t mean staying in as there are plenty of venues across Hackney that offer mindful drinking so you can still enjoy yourself and save money at the same time. Sign up at www.dryjanuary.org.uk, and visit the Club Soda Guide for the best low-alcohol venues https://clubsodaguide.com.

Dry January is not a medical detox programme for people with an alcohol dependency problem. If you need advice and information about a drug or alcohol issue affecting you, a family member, a friend or someone you care for, contact Hackney’s Recovery Service on 0300 303 2611, call out of hours on 0808 168 8669, or go to http://hackneyrecoveryservices.org.uk.

Young Hackney’s substance misuse service is for children and young people aged 6 to 25-years-old who are at risk or have developed problems associated with alcohol or drug misuse. Call the service’s confidential advice line Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm on 020 8356 7377 or email yhsms@hackney.gov.uk.

Thriving wellbeing

For many people this is a stressful time of year, so it is really important to look after your mental health. Here are 5 simple things you can do to deal with stress and other feelings more effectively.

Connect - social relationships are so important to promote wellbeing and acts as an effective buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages

Be active – Taking regular exercise is linked to lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. It doesn’t have to be particularly intense for you to feel good

Take notice - Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you, there are plenty of things to enjoy and see in Hackney

Keep learning – Setting yourself goals, particularly in learning for adults, has been strongly linked to higher levels of wellbeing

Give – Carrying out one act of kindness each week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.

For more practical and local ideas go to http://fivetothrive.net