Hi, I am Faye McDool and I am the Well Doncaster Community Development Officer
in Edlington. I’ve been working in Edlington for since July 2019 and have enjoyed going around meeting residents and amazing organisations who are dedicated to the town and share great passion in all they do for the community.
In this post I will be sharing what I have been up to in Edlington and the plans for the future using the Well Doncaster ethos of Assets Based Community Development (ABCD) approaches to reduce health inequalities.
Just a bit of background; Get Doncaster Moving (GDM) aims to help Doncaster’s communities become healthier and more vibrant, by increasing participation in physical activity and sport. In late 2017 Sport England selected 12 locations around England to become Local Delivery Pilots (LDP). Their aim is to explore how stubborn participation and physical inactivity patterns can be addressed in a place-based way with a clear focus on delivering sustainable behaviour change for individuals. As part of this work, Get Doncaster Moving is working with the Behavioural Science Consortium to explore current physical activity levels and to understand why people are more, or less active within different communities in Doncaster. Gathering insight from residents has been key and has included a survey in targeted communities with high proportions of people on low incomes and households with children and families and recruiting local residents to be ‘Community Explorers’ to conduct more in depth interviews to understand the barriers to physical activity. The next step was to build on this insight and develop interventions to increase physical activity co-designed with members of those communities.
In Edlington we held a community celebration event where these findings were shared and discussion facilitated to build on them and design intervention which would address the barriers and build on community assets. There were 4 main priorities identified:
- The affordability of facilities to enable more locally based physical activity
- Improving the physical environment to encourage physical activity by creating cleaner, greener spaces
- Utilise existing community assets and encourage locally based activity by conducting street audits, allowing for more walking and utilising all parts of the community
- Crating a safer environment through working with local partners such as PCSOs
I am working closing with the GDM Walk Lead to create walking maps and identify areas which are in need of development. Local community group, Edlington Community Organisation (ECO) have arranged a family litter pick who will accompany us on the next mapping session. Since this mapping, Edlington Town Council are also planning another community litter pick which they piloted in August, and are hoping to engage more community members to become more active and take more pride of their town. Additionally, once routes are all mapped local organisation, Edlington Hilltop are walk leader trained and expressed how they were happy to relaunch health walks.
To continue gathering more community insight, Well Edlington is launching a Health and Wellbeing drop in session for any community members or organisations to express their and the communities health and wellbeing issues from 29th Oct. This will run every week for 6 weeks, and then I will be there once a fortnight.
A next step is to employ a community activator, a local resident who will have a paid contract of 10 hours to encourage community members to become more active, changing people’s perception of what being active is. Watch this space!
COPD Self-Management Groups
A key health priority for Edlington is the prevalence of respiratory and circulatory conditions. Emergency hospital admissions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are twice as high as the rest of England, lung cancer is the most prevalent cancer and COPD is the leading single cause of mortality the area. Respiratory conditions are largely caused by smoking and smoking prevalence is 22.8%, higher than the borough average of 19.7%. The high numbers of emergency hospital admissions suggest that patients are struggling to self-manage their condition.
On 20th November, it is world COPD day which is when Well Edlington is launching its own COPD management group. This will be for existing patients to meet, discuss how they self-manage and request a key speakers and information to support their self-management. The groups will meet every 3rd Wednesday of each month, 1-2.30pm.
Edlington Community Organisation Cooking
Poverty is a key issue in Edlington with 31.4% of children living in poverty and 23.6% of households in the ward in receipt of means-tested benefits. There are high levels of unemployment, particularly ESA (employment support allowance) claimants due to a health condition. Alongside of this, Edlington has high levels of obesity with 9.7% of children are obese and 30.3% with only 16.7% engage in healthy eating. These are key health inequalities Well Doncaster seeks to address.
ECO currently run a community food cupboard where the community can have a £20 shop for £5 and they offer food parcels for those in desperate need. They also run a Foodbank which is food donated from a local shops. However, at the foodbank there was a significant amount of wastage of fresh food due to the fact that individuals did not know how to cook them.
From talks with Well Edlington, ECO have joined forces with Doncaster Council Adult, Family and Community Learning (ADCL) to delivery cooking classes to help prolong the life food and support cooking healthy fresh food which is appealing to all of the family. The classes are taking place during the food back hours and the first sessions caused a huge buzz around the centre. The first session was a roaring success! One lady who said that she has never eaten vegetables as she hates them, however, by the end of the session, she had had her and three others helping with preparing veg soup and even asked for the recipe. Everyone got involved or tried the foods, there was a lot of conversation around food and healthy eating.
On a Friday, ECO also run a playgroup and parents have reported how they struggle to make meals which is appealing, quick and healthy for their children. Again, with high levels of obesity for adults and children, having some guidance around this would benefit the community’s health. There will be another session on the 25th Oct for the parents at the session sharing ideas on how to be creative with their meals to make them healthy and appetising with the children, in a cost effective way.
Your Health Edlington
To unitise the extra footfall through the local GP practices during flu vaccination season, a health information event was organised with partners where over 25 organisations promoting their services for local people to find local solutions to their health and care needs.
The GP practices are jointly located at the Martinwells Health Centre, along with the community library so it was the perfect location to provide residents with the help and support they need. Around 400 local resident come through the door for their flu vaccination and then found themselves chatting to local services regarding their own or loved ones health and wellbeing. There was a great response from the local partners, expressing they had positive conversations with residence, gaining a list of referrals and others who found it great to network with other organisations and even planned some future work within Edlington. One resident said they couldn’t believe how many services were available within Edlington! The overall day was a huge success offering freebies including free refreshments and raffle. The Martinwells centre was thriving and set a positive marker for any other health and wellbeing events which will be held in the building in the future.
As you can see it’s a busy and exciting time in Edlington and it has been great to work in an community with so many people dedicated to the improving the lives for its residents. I’m exciting to see what the next 4 months brings!