Championing the health of Havering residents

Published: Wednesday, 5 April 2023

Havering Council is calling on residents to join an army of local health champions keeping residents fit and well across the borough.

Health champions have been doing some extraordinary work to help residents think about their health and look at ways that they can make healthier lifestyle choices. 

They aren’t necessarily health professionals and many have their own jobs, but the health champions have been equipped with information to help signpost other people to where they can get help and advice on issues affecting their health.

They can be found in schools, businesses, GP surgeries, local shops and Havering Council.

And they’ve been geared up to support people with a range of health issues, such as healthy eating, diabetes, mental health and being more active.

Trained by My Health Matters, a community project working in partnership with Havering Council, they encourage local residents to become healthier and more active.

The health champions come from a variety of backgrounds, ages and offer different levels of support.

Some talk to colleagues and friends, while others attend events with the My Health Mattersteam.

Either way, the time given is optional and fits into their daily lifestyles. 

Councillor Gillian Ford, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health and herself a health champion, said: 

“Becoming a health champion isn’t about becoming an expert, but more about pointing people to the right places to get more information on issues that relate to their own health.

"It might mean dropping something into a conversation when speaking to family, friends or colleagues.”

Health champions don’t need to have a background in health, this is for anyone over 18 with a connection to Havering who is a keen individual able to attend and pass a one-day accredited course or complete an online training session.

Once qualified, they will receive ongoing support from the My Health Matters team who offer a range of tools to keep health champions stay informed and motivated.

Sharon Adkins, Project Coordinator for My Health Matters said:

“I have been involved in this project since it started over 10 years ago and have trained over 430 health champions in that time.

"The project makes a difference for anyone needing support and motivation to make healthy lifestyle changes, working alongside community partners and Age UK colleagues.”

To train to become a health champion, email or call 07538 798478.

The next training dates are: 

  • Wednesday, 19 April 2023
  • Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Read the stories from our current health champions