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New collaborative working agreements will benefit the health and wellbeing of Suffolk communities

Abbeycroft Leisure has signed two 5-year collaborative working agreements with Suffolk Mind and Allied Health Professionals Suffolk, with the aim of improving the health and wellbeing of residents in Suffolk.

The aim of each agreement is to ensure that wherever there is an opportunity to provide joined up solutions that involve improving the mental and physical health of Suffolk residents through initiatives that involve physical activity we work together and not in competition. This will ensure that the clients and patients of each organisation will receive the very best outcomes for their health and wellbeing.

All three organisations have significant but different levels of expertise and resource, and the agreements will ensure that these specialisms are used to the maximum benefit for clients and members.

Warren Smyth, Chief Executive of Abbeycroft Leisure, said: “We’re so pleased to be working collaboratively with both organisations and we’re excited about what we can achieve together.

Sharing our expertise, knowledge and resources will not only drive innovation, but importantly it will maximise our ability to help our communities’ live longer and healthier lives.”

“It’s especially important to our partners to know that whenever a health or wellbeing problem exists they only need talk to one of us and we will work together, not in competition, to come up with a solution. Being committed to smart partnerships such as this, makes perfect sense”

Jon Neal, Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind, said: “Suffolk Mind wants to make Suffolk the best place in the world to talk about and take care of mental health. To make this a reality, we need to work with excellent local partners like Abbeycroft Leisure. We are so pleased to be teaming up with one of the leading sports and fitness providers in Suffolk, combining their excellent sports and fitness knowledge with our mental health expertise to enable people in the community to access advice around movement and wellbeing together.”

“We all know the benefits of movement on our mental health and we are looking forward to working with Abbeycroft to reach a wider audience.”

“Our partnership will begin with The Stand Tall project which takes fitness and sport into high schools in West Suffolk to teach young people about their emotional needs.”

Jo Douglas, Chief Executive of Allied Health Professionals Suffolk, said, “The aim of AHP Suffolk is to lead the way towards healthier, happier lives for our people.  Working in partnership withAbbeycroft Leisure for the past 4 years has enabled us to develop a broader range of services – supporting more people to return to an active life and access leisure facilities.  This new agreement, encompassing Suffolk Mind, will extend the reach of our services to more people, promoting health and wellbeing and building on the social return all three organisations deliver.

“We are excited, to be delivering musculoskeletal services, including physiotherapy, within this partnership.”

Cllr Jo Rayner, Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs  at West Suffolk Council, which owns leisure facilities managed by Abbeycroft Leisure in five of its towns, said, “increasing awareness of how inseparable physical activity is from mental wellbeing must be reflected in the way we offer our residents opportunities to improve both. I look forward to these agreements making a positive difference for local people.”

Cllr Derek Davis, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Working closely with a wide range of health partners benefits our wonderful communities in Babergh. We are delighted to back Abbeycroft Leisure and their strategic agreements with Suffolk Mind and Allied Health Professionals Suffolk which shows how, by pooling resources and expertise, we can further support our residents”.

“At Babergh we understand the value of promoting and improving wellbeing, being the first district council in Suffolk to sign up to the Local Councils’ Mental Health Challenge. I look forward to seeing how this work evolves and continuing to champion more things like this in the future.”

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 8th July 2019

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