Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust is re-launching its ‘Champions Show the Way’ service under the new name of ‘Well Together’ to better describe the wide range of activities the service offers and the positive impact it has on people’s wellbeing, particularly as communities are beginning to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The wellbeing service is led by community health volunteers and offers a range of interesting, sociable activities and support groups for local people across Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven. It is primarily targeted at those with long-term health conditions as well as older people. A lot of their work focuses on bringing individuals together in supportive environments, helping people to be more active and meet others to improve their wellbeing.

The name change reflects the important work the service does to support our communities to be healthier and happier, so that more people who may benefit from the activities will get involved. As we start to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Care Trust wants to ensure local people know where to access support if they need it.

The activities are free, or low cost, and cover the whole of the Bradford District in wheelchair-accessible venues or online. They range from walking groups and coffee mornings, to arts and crafts activities and guided relaxation groups. Anyone can register to the Well Together service and GPs can also refer patients who they feel would benefit.Two members of Trust staff play ukuleles in park

Sarah Wimpenny, Well Together service manager at the Care Trust, said: “We are very pleased to announce that the service has the new name of Well Together. We know how vital it is to connect people and to work together, to help deliver activities that provide this support. We want to ensure everyone gets the chance to participate in something, whatever that might be, that boosts their physical or mental wellbeing.

“The pandemic has highlighted the impact isolation has had on so many people and as life starts to return to normal, services like ours are going to have a critical role in supporting the recovery of our communities.

“We would also really welcome anyone who has an activity or session that they would like to volunteer to run as part of the service. As it is entirely volunteer-led, we are always on the look-out for more sessions and we rely on people to come forward with ideas to support their local community.”

The service would like anyone who has an idea for an activity they would like to offer as an online or in-person session for the Well Together service to get in touch with the team on 01274 259190 or welltogether@bdct.nhs.uk.

Jenny Medley, who volunteers for the group Friday Friends, says she started the group because she knew there would be others like her who were feeling isolated after retiring. She says that during the pandemic, ‘isolation and loneliness have been great problems for mental health’, but that Friday friends is great for helping her ‘get out of the house, have a good time and make new friends.’

More information including how to get involved as a volunteer or register to take part in groups and activities, can be found on the Trust’s website under ‘Well Together’: https://www.bdct.nhs.uk/our-services/.