WHO ARE WE?
Rushmoor Healthy Living (RHL) was set up in 2002 with a Big Lottery Fund grant as part of the Healthy Living Centres programme. Our main geographical focus has historically been the pockets of significant disadvantage and disadvantaged groups in the borough of Rushmoor which covers the towns of Farnborough and Aldershot in North East Hampshire. Over the last few years we have expanded locally to other areas which also contain pockets of disadvantage, including South Reading and Basingstoke.
WHAT DO WE DO?
Our projects aim to deliver meaningful interventions which will have a fundamental impact on the quality of life of those most in need. We focus on removing barriers and providing support to individuals which will not only alleviate short term issues, but which will also encourage sustainable behavioural change and therefore longer-term impact. Wherever possible we incorporate elements into our projects which encourage peer support and facilitate the building of social relationships to create support networks and improve mental resilience. We also facilitate and encourage dissemination of knowledge gained.
BEFORE & AFTER
We see ourselves as a “before” and “after” organisation. Our “before” work incorporates exercise, education and social programmes which prevent illness, reduce social isolation and loneliness, help older people to be healthy, safe, independent and remain in their homes, encourage integration, encourage mental resilience, improve physical health and mental wellbeing, increase knowledge, prevent possible hospital admissions, encourage long-term behavioural change, improve quality of life, and help people to support themselves and their peers.
Our “after” programme of rehabilitation and education helps people recover from serious conditions such as heart problems and lung conditions. It can help support independence, reduce hospital re-admission and the need for care services, and significantly improve quality of life. It encourages long-term behavioural change and peer support and makes a substantial positive difference to the mental wellbeing of many of the individual participants.
We deliver high-quality cost-effective, sustainable projects which have a real impact on those most in need. In addition to addressing UK wide issues (including an ageing population, high levels of obesity, mental health issues, social isolation affecting older adults and the need to decrease hospital admissions), our projects also target specifically identified local needs. These include the integration issues caused because of the recent Nepali influx into Rushmoor, the significant health inequalities experienced across the local area and the high level of income deprivation affecting local older adults (made more acute by the stark contrast with the affluence of neighbouring areas just a few miles away).
We have a proven track record of delivering successful effective projects, many of which continue to be sustainable long after funding has finished. Examples include our 30 active Rushmoor Cancer Ambassadors, our Diabetes Self Help Group, Cancer Self Help Group, social sessions, and several walking groups that we set-up which are still functioning today; run by the participants themselves.
OUR SERVICE USERS
We primarily target those with or at risk of serious health conditions, disadvantaged and vulnerable older adults, the Nepali community (with a focus on the older population) and Gurkha veterans. Last year we achieved over 23,000 attendances across over 25 different projects and classes.
Service users are at the heart of everything we do. They help design our services, give feedback on what works/does not work and help deliver services through volunteering. We currently have over 50 active volunteers and many others who we can call on when needed.