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Healthier lifestyles get thumbs up from boss

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

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Pioneering initiatives which helped people across West Lindsey live a healthier lifestyle were praised during a visit by a Government health boss.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, visited Gainsborough's Guildhall this week.

He met with local health professionals and four individuals who had lost weight and undergone life-changing experiences with help from the district's health trainers.

During the visit, he said: "I'm glad I came to West Lindsey because it has so much of which it can be proud. Public health is all about giving everyone a reason for getting up in the morning.

"So it's all about job creation, housing provision and all the health-related issues which directly affect everyone's lives.

"Feeling safe is also of crucial importance, so making people feel less socially isolated is vital – because if you live alone and don't get out it's very detrimental to your health.

"The council understands all this and the leadership here is outstanding.

"West Lindsey is as good as I've seen in all my visits so far, although I want the council to be more ambitious."

The council's chief executive Manjeet Gill co-ordinated Mr Selbie's visit. She said: "His presence in Gainsborough was very important because, as chief executive of a top health organisation, he came to listen to us.

"Mr Selbie understands the importance of dealing with health issues, not only in the towns and cities but out in the countryside.

"So we've asked him not to forget the rural areas when it comes to funding issues in the future. I think he's very supportive and understanding of our needs."

Ann Bradshaw, 70, from Torksey, joined three other local residents helped by health trainers on a panel to answer questions from Mr Selbie's London-based team.

"I was new to the area when I joined the Health Walks programme," she said. "My mission was to lose weight and meet new people. I lost four stones and became the treasurer."

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