ubu North West successfully launched their 2015 health and wellbeing campaign last Thursday with an inventive and social team challenge. ubu’s “Home to Rome” challenge will see the people we serve and staff undertake to walk over 1700km collectively - the equivalent distance of Wigan to Rome, Italy - over the following weeks. This is no small feat, but everyone is committed to increasing their health and fitness levels and to support each other on to success. Regional Manager, Karen Baker says, “We hope to promote this in the local press, and help raise awareness of how important it is for everyone to keep healthy and active.”
According to a study by the Department of Health and the Royal College of Nurses, people with learning disabilities are 2.5 times more likely to have health problems than non-disabled people. This is the result of lower levels of fitness, unhealthy diets, and mobility issues leading to greater risk of obesity and age-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and respiratory disease. Some people with learning disabilities have a specific genetic makeup which carries higher risks as they age, and therefore they embark on the ageing process from a position of vulnerability rather than strength. ubu recognises these factors and works actively with the people we serve to develop support plans that identifies an individual’s needs and enables them to make the right lifestyle changes that improve their health and wellbeing.
Excitement was high as participants gathered at Haigh Hall Country Park to begin the first mile and half walk together. All those attending were provided with pedometers (which they will keep) and each week the number of miles they complete will be deducted from the total distance, until they reach their virtual destination of the eternal city of Rome. A photographer was on hand as two local rugby players joined ubu Wigan at the inaugural event.
We all can take inspiration from Wigan and set ourselves a challenge to get more active. Why not join a walking group in your area, or start your own if none exists. Our journey to better health begins with the first step.
You can follow their progress on our Twitter feed: #ubusupport. Check back for more news in the upcoming weeks as we cheer them on. Go, North West!