Printed Date: 28/05/2023

Dame Jenny Harries announces GLL’s Public Health exemplars winners of national showcase

Hackney’s Healthier Together Team announced winners at the gala RSPH Health & Wellbeing Awards 2022 held at the East Winter Garden in London on 20 October.

The ‘Healthier Lives’ Award was presented to charitable social enterprise GLL by CEO of the UK Health Security Agency Dame Jenny Harries in recognition of its contribution to improving and protecting the public’s health.  

This event is the highlight of the public health calendar, celebrating best practice in programmes and projects, across communities and workplaces throughout the UK. The ceremony was hosted by RSPH Vice President and broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky FRSPH, and RSPH President Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE FRSPH.

Healthier Together Hackney is the largest healthy living scheme run by GLL, and receives over 4,000 referrals every year. It operates across one of London’s boroughs with high levels of deprivation, obesity and inactivity. GLL operates affordable leisure facilities across Hackney through the Healthier Together Hackney programme offering both weight management and physical activity on referral programmes to those who are inactive or have health conditions or related risk factors. The team calls and speaks to every single one of these members of the public in need of health support, booking them in for crucial health-related activities.

GLL found that referrals to the Healthier Together programme saw significant changes in behaviour leading to improvements in health and wellbeing. The service remains very popular with health professionals despite the pandemic and has continued to grow, develop and integrate with wider health and social care services including community groups and charities across Hackney. HTH continues to bring together health providers and commissioners with local authorities and other local partners, to plan health and care services locally, having the benefit of improving health and reducing inequalities.

After carefully scrutinising all the nominations in the category, the judges’ GLL commendation said:

“A strong application from a well-established programme which is clearly achieving positive outcomes and extending its reach. The programme goes beyond an individualised approach to weight management with initiatives to address some of the wider determinants of health through local employment initiatives, volunteering ‘champion’ opportunities and support for the wider community.”

Chris Kennedy (Lab), Hackney's cabinet member for health, adult social care, voluntary sector and leisure said: "We're incredibly proud of the award-winning work of the Healthier Together Hackney service, which is helping thousands of people build confidence and feel healthier."

Mark Sesnan, Chief Executive of GLL said: “The positive change evidenced has been founded on the strong partnership with Hackney Council, who really understand the added value they get for local communities when commissioning leisure services with a charitable social enterprise like GLL.

“Improving community health and wellbeing is why GLL exists – our socially purposed business model invests all surpluses into creating healthier and happier communities.”


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