They are the Champions

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A GROUP of people with learning disabilities have successfully completed the new ‘Introduction to Health Champions’ course at Borders College.

The Borders students, including one from Berwickshire, received their certificates following completion of a six week course run by Borders College in partnership with NHS Borders and the social work department at Scottish Borders Council.

The course has been delivered for the first time to eight volunteer health champions who have been recruited by the Scottish Borders learning disability service to talk to other people with a learning disability about keeping well, staying fit and active and healthy eating.

his new course offers training on spreading the word about health and well being, and setting a good example. It also provides the opportunity to learn new skills in talking to groups of people about being healthy in order to help others make positive changes in their lifestyles.

The eight students were presented with their certificates last week at Borders College.

One of them, Lucy Porteous, said: “The course was really enjoyable but it had some serious messages about how to look after yourself by keeping fit and eating the right things. It is up to us now to help get those messages across to other people.”

Fellow student Steven George added: “The course has taught me a lot and I now have a much healthier diet. We are all looking forward to working as health champions and helping other people to change their own lifestyles to become healthier”.

Jane Davidson, chief operating officer, NHS Borders commented: “Congratulations to the health champions for their great achievement in completing the course. We really appreciate their hard work and commitment to helping others.”

Congratulations also came from Dr Eric Baijal, joint director of public health for NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council. Dr Baijal said: “I welcome this commitment to improving health and wellbeing. After all, the public’s health is everyone’s business.”