Author Archives: andrew


The Big Life Group – Free Training
To be delivered as e-learning on Rochdale Council’s COLIN online learning site.

Free Training in Health Improvement
Health Chats – Understanding Health improvement Level 2
The course is 7 guided learning hours; this can be split over two sessions or three shorter sessions. I have also delivered full day sessions to suit need.

Accredited by Royal society of public health – This gives any person trained a stepping stone in health improvement and a qualification equivalent to GCSE A –C.
Each person trained can state they are a Health Chatter and will be able to link in with other services to receive more training. This is done through a quarterly newsletter and regular email and text updates.

There are case studies highlighting the benefits of the Health chats from people losing weight to joining groups. Three Health chatters actually got jobs after the course.

What are Health Chats?
Health Chats are opportunistic generic brief interventions aimed at imparting knowledge of healthy lifestyle behaviours, signposting to lifestyle and other services and nudging members of the community to take action to improve their health and wellbeing for themselves, their family and their community.
The aim of our Health Chats programme is to develop and systematically harness the work of frontline staff and community services, to improve customer, staff, patient/client and visitor health. Our initial programme will focus on:- Alcohol, Be active, Healthy eating, Mental wellbeing, Sexual health (focused on under 19s), Tobacco.

These lifestyle factors contribute to cancers, heart disease and strokes, respiratory diseases and diseases of the endocrine system. They also contribute significantly to excess and premature deaths, poor quality of life, increased hospital episodes and length of stay.

These themes will be core subjects, and woven into that will be learning on how these link to cancers, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and heart disease. Supplementary learning on wider determinants of health such as housing, employment, skills and debt management will also be offered.
Why have a Health Chat
Evidence from the World Health Organisation shows that:-
• One third of the industrial world’s disease burden is due to tobacco, alcohol, obesity and high blood pressure
• Three quarters of all cardio vascular disease is due to tobacco, high blood pressure and obesity
By acting on these issues we have the potential to reduce the burden of disease by 33% and reduce healthcare costs by 70%.

Each person trained could potentially save a life through signposting and raising awareness.
The Course covers:
• What is Health?
• Dimensions of Health
• Wider determinants of Health
• Extension exercise
• The 6 factors that affect health inequalities
• Health promotion policy – including NICE guidance and 5 Ways to Wellbeing
• Break out session – up to date health promotion messages
• Behaviour change approaches
• Communication skills
• Confidentiality
• How to have a Health Chat
All modules are covered in the course content.
Module 1 – Accredited session of 7 guided learning hours plus exam for RSPH Level 2 in Understanding Health Improvement. This has worked well so far as a two half-day sessions, but this may be offered in different formats depending on type of Health Chatter being trained.
Module 2 – Practical skills – how to chat and motivate behaviour change. Has worked well as part of the second half day session as per above.
Module 3 – Wider determinants on health – including employment & skills, debt & income, and housing – services and referral routes. To be delivered as e-learning on Rochdale Council’s COLIN online learning with relevant sections to be undertaken by Health Chatter to supplement their knowledge.
If you are interested in this training please contact Michelle Duffy on 07773078130 or email on



Lethal proposal for people with depression unable to work

Think tank Ekklesia raises some serious issues for concern about yet another element of Welfare Reform which is ill thought out by people with little or no understanding of peoples individual circumstances :

Dr Sarah Wollaston is a former GP and chair of parliament’s health select committee condemned the proposal as “Unethical, unworkable nonsense”.

“If the scheme is pushed through, many people with clinical depression who fail to turn up to CBT sessions will be left without enough money for food or heating, which may also increase suicidal tendencies. There is also a risk that some will be declared ‘cured’ after a short course of treatment even if they are still too depressed to work.

This is especially cruel because being clinically depressed, even without added problems, can be a very unpleasant experience. And people who have suffered in other ways may be especially at risk, for instance those who have had a major bereavement or who have been sexually abused. “

Please see link at
for the original article in today’s Ekklesia. Thank You


[photographs Courtesy of Rochdale Environmental Action Group ]

“ Love Rochdale ~ Hate Litter “, proclaims Rochdale Online this weekends as Rochdale Environmental Action volunteers take to the streets of Deeplish, Rochdale.

“We were impressed with the response we received from from the residents. Men, women, children came out and offered their help. We need more and more people with the same passion for the Borough of Rochdale.”

Said REAG Secretary Ghulam Shahzad OBE .

People sharing the groups passion for a cleaner greener environment can join the group for their weekly Saturday Morning Litter Picks at 10.00am. Thank you .

For original article please see Rochdale Online at :


Rochdale Online article from today showing pickets outside No.1 Riverside earlier.

Rochdale Town Hall was shut all day with pickets outside from early this morning:

Here’s the link to a letter about Unites online e|action to lobby Rochdale Councillors about Fair Pay , please share, cascade and take part in this action if you have not already done so thanks :

People may also be interested in :


George Orwell once famously described the Church of England as “ The Tory Party at Prayer”

Less than two weeks after evicting disabled protesters against the closure of the Independent Living Fund on wonders if he wasn’t right and which version of Christianity they now actually represent ?

Ekklesia report today that :

“Westminster Abbey has again drawn criticism over its treatment of peaceful protesters. The Abbey’s staff threatened to evict Christian peace activists who were singing hymns outside a nearby arms industry conference while standing on the Abbey’s land “.

“The incident comes less than two weeks after Westminster Abbey staff called the police to evict non~violent disabled campaigners who had tried to camp outside the building while protesting against the closure of the Independent Living Fund “.

“When Christian activist Symon Hill asked if the Abbey was built on the foundation of Jesus Christ, she said “I work for the Dean and Chapter” and “I don’t know what the church is built on”.

For full article please see web link at :