Halton’s Director of Public Health has given thanks and recognition to people in the Halton community whose actions and care have helped to keep people safe and healthy over the last year.
The recently published Public Health Annual Report for 2021 highlights the contributions from staff at Halton Borough Council, community partners and voluntary organisations together with residents and businesses who went over and above in helping people with food, money, housing, learning and their physical and mental health all whilst adapting to and coping with an on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
Ifeoma Onyia, Director of Public Health said, “I see every day how ordinary people are doing extraordinary things to keep people safe and healthy in Halton. Help with food, jobs, housing, exercise, learning and leisure all makes such a big difference to how well and healthy people feel. In my first annual report, I wanted to celebrate our public health heroes, all those people who go over and above to help others. Thank you!
Cllr Marie Wright, the Council’s Portfolio for Health and Wellbeibng, said, “I am so proud of our local Halton community and how people have helped to tackle COVID-19 and helped to keep life going whilst we faced one of the biggest challenges we will ever meet.
“We are very fortunate to work with some wonderful partners in our local NHS, Police, Fire and voluntary organisations who support health in their own ways. In particular, I would like to recognise our local schools, teachers and staff who kept teaching and looking after our children’s wellbeing as well as supporting families with a range of challenges that COVID presented.”
While this year’s report very much focuses on achievement and recognition, we also have to record and acknowledge the health challenges our community faces. COVID-19 has shone a light on the health inequalities which already existed in Halton – for example, life expectancy is 11.1 years lower for men and 8.6 years lower for women who live in the in the poorest areas. The local Health and Wellbeing strategy has been revised to reflect the impact COVID-19 has had on these inequalities and work is underway to do what we can locally to address them.
“We know there are still many challenges for the Council and our community while trying to get back to a new normal after such a turbulent time. We will continue to support people across the borough who need our help.” Cllr Wright added.
Going forward, the Council will continue to monitor and protect residents from infectious disease and will work in a joint system, One Halton, with local NHS and voluntary sector colleagues to find new, better ways to support local people.
There are already a number of local services available if you need help with things like the cost of living, stopping smoking and losing weight or if you need support for your mental health – there is lots of information in our ‘looking after yourself’ section on the Council’s website. You can also get in touch by e-mail email@example.com or call us on 0151 511 5200. Also, look out for our public health bus which is visiting local shopping and community areas over the summer.
If you have been inspired by the community spirit shown in recent times and would like to volunteer to help some of our local services and charities please contact Halton and St Helens Voluntary Community Action who match up people and interests as well as offering training and support for volunteers.
PHOTO: Halton Borough Council’s public health bus which is visiting shopping and community areas throughout the summer.
Members of Halton Borough Council’s Streetscene Team who worked continuously during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep our public and green spaces clean, tidy and open so people could get their exercise, fresh air and access to nature.