Birkby residents in unique drive to increase wellbeing

Residents of Birkby are readying themselves to receive the first-ever Birkby Health & Wellbeing Playbook.

A joint venture between Sport England, The University of Huddersfield, withinu and proudly supporting We Are Undefeatable, the Birkby Health & Wellbeing Playbook is a first of its kind, crowdsourced document, with the aim of raising the awareness of and encouraging more physically active lifestyles in order to combat long term health conditions.

Starring residents of Birkby who outline what they do for their wellbeing, the Playbook is a 24-page document that offers tips and advice from Birkby residents to help the people of Birkby with their physical and mental wellbeing. The intention of the Playbook is to help to convey the message of the benefits of increased activity and most importantly educate people to take the first step to a more active lifestyle.

The Playbook is available in digital format and in printed format across areas of Birkby.

The idea is of using tips and pictures of people from the Community is to make it more appealing and accessible whilst using English and Urdu language for a more inclusive product.

Available in both printed and digital formats, the Playbook also has a standalone website where the Playbook and Activity Sheets can be downloaded along with an events section where residents can learn about the many activities and support groups in Birkby that people can attend.

Danny Matharu of withinu said: “This project has been really rewarding and enjoyable for us. The people of Birkby with whom we have engaged have all been really positive about this initiative.

“The aspect that has stood out the most is that everyone who has read the Playbook has really taken to seeing people they know ‘starring’ in it. This has had the desired effect of them reading further into the ‘tips’ then continuing through the Playbook.”

Sharma Syed, Tutor at Birkby Community Skills Centre features within the Playbook.

Shama Syed, Tutor at Birkby Community Skills Centre, commented: “The Playbook is an amazing way to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. It has really engaged with the local community, and we are looking forward to using the Playbook with our learners as part of teaching and learning at the Community Skills Centre.”

Sean Brennan, a resident of Birkby, said: “COVID has affected people in different ways, but one common outcome is that it gives an opportunity for all of us to revisit our current lives and try and improve on them this time around.

“To me, it made me realise I don’t commit enough to the ‘wellness’ side of my life. I just assumed I could carry on like this forever. COVID made me realise just how fragile that balance is and that good health is not a given – it must be earned.

“I have outlined how I am trying to earn it in the Playbook and other people will have their own solutions. There is no one right way to do it but we all share the same outcome – a healthy life.”

Printed copies of the Playbook will hit Birkby late this week and can be found for free in major areas of footfall including GP surgeries, shops, the new Birkby and Fartown Library and places of worship. Digital versions of the Playbook can be downloaded at www.playbook.withinu.net/birkby.

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