DASH residents have been involved in a number of classes and activities aimed at improving their health and wellbeing.

At the beginning of the programme residents were invited to respond to a questionnaire about their physical and mental health. A lot of residents said they lived sedentary lives, with little exercise and that they suffered from depression, anxiety and stress. A programme of activities was developed to help address some of the problems and issues identified in the resident’s survey.

The programme has included workshops on diet and nutrition, fitness and exercise, mindfulness, arts & crafts and ceramics. Walks have been organised with picnics to encourage residents to leave their accommodation, mix with other people and take some valuable exercise. Residents have been encouraged to take more responsibility for the care of their health and wellbeing through this programme of activities.

A number of cookery demonstrations have been delivered by the Canny Kitchen (a.k.a. Carolyn Hough) http://www.thecannykitchen.co.uk - where residents are encouraged to sample simple, easy to make recipes. As well as eating the food they have been invited to decorate cakes.

Volunteer, Clare Swift, has been helping DASH to organise and deliver activities and encourage residents to attend. Clare said “I chose to work with the Health and Wellbeing programme as I felt this was a great way to deliver sessions for residents that would set them up for a positive start in their new futures. I have found my confidence has built back up through the work I have succeeded to do whilst working in a team. It has also reminded me of my strengths and abilities and prepared me for return to work”.

The Residents Health and Wellbeing Programme is being delivered with funding from the Durham City Area Action Partnership (AAP) Grants Scheme with valuable volunteer help to run it.

Funding is being sought to continue the programme beyond the current AAP funded programme, building on what has been learned from the current programme to deliver a wider variety of activities over a longer period of time with continued volunteer support.

If you are interested in volunteering with DASH visit our volunteering page - https://www.dashorg.co.uk/How-to-Volunteer