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My Norwich

Locals asked: What’s good for hearts and minds in Heartsease?

Published on Tuesday, 18th December 2018

People living in the Heartsease area of Norwich are being asked to vote for their favourite healthy living project.

The “Heartsease Healthy Living” project has seven great, local ideas lined up to help people get active, eat well and live a whole lot better. All of them are feel-good projects that local people have devised, and want to run in their community.  

And now Heartsease Healthy Living needs to win over hearts and minds, and find out which ones the local people want to support.

Bob Hines runs Café 33 in Heartsease and proposed one of the schemes. He said: “I think it’s great that the council and NHS are doing this in Heartsease. It could make a big difference to people’s lives.”
The projects going to the people’s vote are:

  • Community meals at Café 33 – to provide affordable hot meals, company and support for people who might benefit, on Mondays and Thursdays for 10 weeks. 
  • Table tennis taster sessions at Frere Road Community Centre – a series of free sessions open to anyone interested in learning how to play or improving their skills. 
  • Bushcraft sessions for children at Heartsease Primary Academy – a free after-school club which will provide sessions from Bushcraft instructors for 100 children, allowing them to develop skills, be active and improve wellbeing.
  • Fortnightly cycling group run by Mind and Pushing Ahead – free, fun and friendly cycle rides for beginners and more experienced cyclists, helping people to beat the blues, alleviate stress and boost physical fitness. Includes a chance to get your bike fixed and optional stop offs at a café after the rides.
  • Free complementary therapy tasters and sessions from Mind – to feel pampered, tackle muscular pain or emotional difficulty with Mind’s experienced massage, reiki and reflexology therapists. This project would provide sessions for up to 60 people and is aimed at people who may not otherwise be able to afford to access these therapies.
  • Healthy Hive drop in session at St Francis Church – relaxed, regular drop in sessions over 10 months, where people can come together to support each other’s mental and physical health and wellbeing through chat and laughter, discussion, making food together, going for walks and anything that helps positive change. 
  • Family community meals at St Francis Church with Food Cycle – weekly evening meals from 6-8pm allowing attendees to come together to eat delicious food, chat, enjoy new company and try new foods. 

Voting in Heartsease is open from Saturday 15 December to Friday 18 January. You can fill in a form in the Thorpe Wood Medical Practice, St Francis Church, Café 33 and the Norwich Vape Lounge, vote online at and join in the conversation on social media at #HeartseaseHL.  

Residents and community organisations in Heartsease are already working together to find ways to tackle local issues around health and wellbeing. This project looks to build on this, bringing people living and working in the area together to support healthier lifestyles.

Heartsease Healthy Living is funded by the Healthy Norwich project – a collaboration between NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group, Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council public Health and Broadland District Council. Previous schemes to help people live healthier lives include The Daily Mile in schools and Smokefree Sidelines at local junior football clubs. The Heartsease Healthy Living community grant scheme is being run in partnership with Norfolk Community Foundation.

Healthy Norwich is offering the seven proposed projects in Heartsease up to £1,000 each to get up and going. Because they have been developed by local people – and will be run for local people by local people – they have a much better chance of taking off.

Tracy Williams, the Chair of NHS Norwich CCG, said: “We really do want to win the hearts and minds of residents living in Heartsease. Eating well, reducing fat and sugar in your diet and taking regular exercise can make your life much healthier. All of this is good for your physical health and good for your mental health. So it really is the case that it is a win-win, for your heart and for your mind.”

Councillor Matthew Packer, Norwich City Council cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: "The seven projects being put forward to the public vote are all absolutely fantastic. They are so wide-ranging in what they're offering the local community, we're sure it's going to be a tough choice for people to pick the one they want to support.

“We wish the very best of luck to all the groups involved and thank them for their inspiring ideas. Now, people of Heartsease, it's up to you - which will you vote for?"

Author: Tim Curtis on behalf of Healthy Norwich partners: NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group, Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council (Public Health) and Broadland District Council