Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Once again Goodwood South shows the way with their two elected members (Jennie & I) the only two who coudl join the mayor for his recent “round table” discussion on Healthy & Active Communities

We had a great discussion last week discussing things healthy, with some really good thoughts put on the table for council to consider.

Key Points to come out are as follows:
Health is not only about playing sports.  Health needs to be viewed as inclusive of physical and mental health.
·         Council’s primary role in ‘healthy and active communities’ is in providing infrastructure for both physical activity and for social connection (mental health).
·         Community gardens,( e.g. Fern Ave) encourage positive physical and mental health
·         Windsor Nature Garden is viewed favourably as a facility to increase physical activity, however bike signage needs to be improved.  Views that it should be a shared bike/ pedestrian path.
·         People’s ‘disconnection with community’ has a detrimental role in health and recovery times from illness.
·         Goodwood Community Centre should cater more to those community members who work, by providing health and well being programs after hours and on weekends.
·         The important role ‘dog walking’ plays in physical health and support for dog parks which also enable community integration.
·         Coffee shops often act as ‘community centres’.
·         Public campaigns needed to further encourage healthy eating.
·         Definitions of ‘healthy community’ should also include a pollution fee and safe community.
·         Physical activity on the decline due to technology and competition with ‘in house’ entertainment options.
·         Importance of building resilience, defined as the ability to deal with stress or changes in personal conditions.
·         Importance of maximising the use of shared spaces.
·         Role of ‘Community Gardening kits’ in encouraging healthy eating and sustainability.

In answer to the question “What could encourage you to be more ‘healthy and active’?” we got these responses

·         Pedometer program/ community walking challenge
·         Being able to walk to other activities
·         Free activities
·         Trolleys that could be walked home (for additional step count on pedometers)
In answer to this question “What could encourage the community to be more ‘healthy and active’?”

·         Organisation of walking groups
·         Promotion of pedometer program (Council purchases or gives discounts on pedometers – perhaps as incentive for paying rates on time)
·         Use ‘meet up’  ap to advertise online opportunities for people to meet with other members of their community
·         More access to dog parks
·         Organised historical walks
·         Using visitor schemes to take people out walking with others
·         Link physical and social connections program with providing a walking maps of coffee shops, including the distance between each.
·         Outdoor exercise programs in the Village Green
·         Encourage community centres, schools, kindys, coffee shops etc. to invite the community in to build connections
·         Big Yoga event on Unley Oval
·         Letting people know schools and other community facilities are open after hours for community access for recreation
·         Regular come try activities
·         Improved communication on what is already available
·         Public health campaigns
·         Walking paths that are well lit and functional
Target Groups were identified as follows:
Elderly – in particular those in nursing homes, (encouraging them to be part of the broader community)
·         People with physical disabilities
·         Young people – need to understand their needs
·         Mums of young children
·         Target elderly for bike riding.
 For your information this information will help with   Development of a joint City of Unley/ Mitcham Public Health Plan, Development of a healthy communities program proposal and to help us review our Recreation and Sport Plan