The start of a new year often brings resolutions for people to get fitter and healthier, so it’s perfect timing that Ashford has teamed up with Kent County Council and the NHS to open a brand new health hub where people can kick-start their journey to becoming more healthy and active.
Ashford Borough Council has joined forces with KCC Public Health and its service provider Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) to open ‘One You’; a health shop located in Ashford town centre.
The new health shop, which opened today (Friday 10th February), is part of Public Health England’s national campaign of the same name which encourages people to quit smoking, lose weight and be more active.
Located in Unit 7 of Park Mall, One You provides support and advice on how to lead a healthier lifestyle. Services will include: stop smoking support, healthy weight advice for adults and children, on-the-spot blood pressure checks, a weigh-in service plus support and advice on a range of lifestyle issues.
One You offers a friendly and welcoming environment where people are encouraged to pop in, ask questions and take advantage of the free health services on offer. Visitors can either drop-in or arrange a scheduled appointment.
Visitors can pop in and get a free NHS Health Check or health MOT, as well as take part in interactive games. People can jump on the smoothie bike and using pedal power, whizz up a healthy fruit smoothie, guess how much sugar is in everyday drinks, adorn a fat suit to experience carrying around extra weight and much more. There will be a ‘booth of truth’ installed in the shop, where people can find out their true weight and total body fat in private, and then receive on-the-spot advice about how to reach and maintain a healthy weight if they are worried.
Cllr Brad Bradford, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Wellbeing and Safety, said: “We are excited to team up with local health providers to offer One You – Ashford’s very own health shop. One You is unique in the way it brings various health services together in one convenient location, making it simple and easy for people to access. We hope it encourages our residents to consider their health, whether it’s to maintain a healthy weight or it’s taking their first steps towards quitting smoking. It is never too late to get your health back on track. Obesity and smoking have been identified as a priority for the Ashford Health and Wellbeing Board and One You aims to tackle these health issues to help make Ashford a healthier borough.”
KCC Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark said: “We know that people lead very busy lives and won’t necessarily have the opportunity – or feel they have the need – to be checked for underlying health issues. This One You shop allows us to work together as service providers and get into the heart of the community; people can factor in a visit as part of their shopping trip and it maybe the healthiest decision they make all day.”
Anne Ford, Assistant Director for Health Improvement at KCHFT, said: “We are looking forward to bringing all our health improvement services to Ashford in a new way as part of the One You shop. It’s a great opportunity for us to let people know what support is available to them to help them to lead a healthier lifestyle.”
Dr Navin Kumta, Chair of NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Making small changes to your lifestyle now can have a really big improvement on your future health. We want to help people stay healthy now and in their older life. So please spare a few minutes and pop into the shop to see how you can make a difference for yourself or for your family.”
Health services are currently available to the Ashford public via local community venues such as Children’s Centres and Healthy Living Centres, but One You is unique in the way it brings various health services together in one central location. Ashford Borough Council has collaborated with KCC and its commissioned service provider KCHFT to offer One You on an initial four-month trial basis.
The shop is part of the council’s aspirations to reduce the prevalence of smoking and obesity in Ashford, as highlighted by the Ashford Health and Wellbeing board as a priority for the borough. One You is a national Public Health England health campaign which aims to encourage adults to take control of their health by making small lifestyle changes which have health benefits now and in later life.