25th May 2018
There were joint winners of the Health Site of the Year Award with Countess of Chester Country Park and Port Sunlight River Park sharing the honours at the Land Trust Awards 2018.
The Countess of Chester Country Park was recognised for a year which has seen their innovative Health for Life project completed which saw a huge improvement in participant’s physical and mental well-being.
The £70,000 programme, which was funded by the Cheshire Wirral Partnership NHS Trust, The Big Lottery, The Mersey Forest and Cheshire West and Chester Council, saw nearly 700 different events and sessions organised at the park for the public and NHS staff from the nearby hospital.
These activities ranged from Nordic Walking and hedge-laying to buggy walks and a popular weekly park run, which attracts more than 300 runners every Saturday morning.
In virtually all cases, people reported spending more time outdoors and feeling healthier and happier as a result. There was a dramatic reduction in the time participants spent sitting each day, with a corresponding leap in vigorous physical exercise of nearly 60 per cent.
Port Sunlight River Park has also enjoyed a fantastic year. Working in partnership with Autism Together, the site has held 78 health walks across the course of the year, with 40 walking groups using the site on a regular basis.
There have been 21 Big Bike Revival sessions run on the site, benefiting 114 children, while the site is also used regularly by Wirral Athletic Club.
Land Trust, director of portfolio management, Alan Carter, said:
“With our NHS in crisis, the importance of people spending time outdoors simply can’t be underestimated.
“We know that time spent outside in green space can have a hugely positive impact on people’s physical and mental well-being which could save the NHS billions in years to come.
“All our sites provide a myriad of health benefits for their users but over the last 12 months Countess of Chester and Port Sunlight really stood out and they were both worthy winners of the award.”
Being active and outdoors, volunteering, gives me a sense of well-being, as well as satisfaction.
Hannah Bagguley, AB Agri volunteer
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