LAL encourages East Lancashire hospital staff and patients to ‘Take 5’ for their physical and mental wellbeing

Lancashire Adult Learning has launched its health and wellbeing ‘Take 5’ initiative to staff and patients at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Working in partnership with the Trust, members of the LAL team have been at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital and Clitheroe Community Hospital in January promoting the NHS Change4Life healthy eating smartphone app, raising awareness of high fats, salt and sugars through the app’s scanning facility in popular off-the-shelf foods. Staff and patients also had the opportunity to take part in Chair Based Exercises with Drumming to support improvement in upper body activity.

The activities put on are themed around physical exercise and wellbeing, and the LAL team will be at ELHT’s hospitals in Burnley, Accrington and Nelson in February to continue the sessions. Other themed activities based around mental and financial wellbeing are planned at the Trust’s sites later this year.

Nicola Hall, Head of Curriculum and Strategic Partnerships at Lancashire Adult Learning said: “Our ‘Take 5’ initiatives have been months in the planning and it is wonderful to see them now come to fruition. We’ve had some fantastic feedback from staff and patients and I’m delighted that the activities the LAL team put on have been so positively received.

“Working in partnership with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust provides us with a brilliant opportunity to reach even more people in Lancashire, so that they too can benefit from important health and wellbeing initiatives and put them into action to improve their lives.”

Claire Jones, Head of Well Service and Health Promoting Hospital Lead at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Maintaining the health of our staff is essential because we know that poor staff wellbeing has a significant impact on the performance of NHS organisations.

“Our five hospitals employ 8,000 staff and see more than 400,000 outpatients a year. With the support of Lancashire Adult Learning and our own Well Team, we’re confident that ‘Take 5’ activities have the potential to benefit many, many people.”

Bernadette Blackburn, 62, from Burnley, is an Accommodation Manager at the Trust. She said: “I think the initiative is a brilliant idea, and it has brought a few things to my attention.

“I’ve been very impressed with the healthy eating app for your phone. I wouldn’t have thought that there is the amount of saturated fat in ice cream, for example. I think I’m quite aware and I eat pretty healthy. I will definitely think about salt and saturated fat more in the foods I buy going forward.”

John Hargreaves, 53, from Blackburn is a Healthcare Assistant at ELHT. He said: “It’s been quite surprising what I have learned – there is more sugar in foods than I thought.

“I’m trying to improve my diet at the moment and I’ve cut my drinking down. I’m going to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge in the summer so I have a goal to work towards.

“I found the app very useful and I’ve already downloaded it to use when I’m buying foods. I find its colour chart helpful and easy to understand.”

Carol Beardsworth, 58, from Blackburn, called in at the Lancashire Adult Learning stand on her way out from an appointment with a family member.

She said: “I’ve learned about the app and food scanner and I’m going to use that in the future. It’s very surprising how much fat is in crackers, which are something I enjoy.

“I’m really interested in nutrition, and I’ve picked up a lot of useful information today which I’m going to read through and put into practice regarding my diet.”

Lancashire Adult Learning’s guide for Spring is out now and is full of inspiration for the new year, with courses to help adults across the Red Rose County develop a new hobby, learn a new skill, improve their wellbeing, enhance their social life, gain employment or change career.

As well as its targeted delivery and partnership work, Lancashire Adult Learning offers a huge range of planned provision across Lancashire, from Arts and Crafts to Humanities classes, Languages to Health and Wellbeing sessions and Functional Skills English and Maths and Employability courses.

In February 2018, Lancashire Adult Learning was named as the inaugural winner of the national Adult and Community Learning Provider of the Year at the TES FE Awards.

Further information about Lancashire Adult Learning can be found at or by calling 0333 003 1717.

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