Healthy Loddon Campaspe
What is Healthy Loddon Campaspe?
Healthy Loddon Campaspe (previously known as Healthy Heart of Victoria) is an initiative aimed at improving health outcomes in the Loddon Campaspe region – the 'heart of Victoria'.
The initiative was developed in response to the region showing higher than state average rates of obesity, chronic disease and high-risk health behaviours.
Healthy Loddon Campaspe projects are designed to focus on those parts of the community that are the least supported, to help encourage healthy eating and get more people, more active, more often.
There are six local councils involved in the initiative – Campaspe Shire, Central Goldfields Shire, City of Greater Bendigo, Loddon Shire, Macedon Ranges Shire and Mount Alexander Shire.
In 2016, the community told the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership that it was concerned about health statistics and outcomes in the region. They also believed that health is everyone’s business, not just that of health services and professionals.
To address these concerns, a series of design workshops were undertaken involving more than 100 stakeholders from local government, health services, primary care partnerships, universities and state government departments. An implementation framework was developed from this work.
The three components of the program are:
- Health Brokers – a workforce to work within the six local government areas
- Active Living Census – data to support planning for health and recreation services
- Infrastructure and programs – to focus on physical activity and healthy eating
Active Living Census
All households in the Loddon Campaspe region were invited to take part in the Active Living Census (ALC) in May-June 2019. Almost 25,000 responses were received.
The results provide important information about people’s health and wellbeing. They also provide information about barriers to healthy eating and active lifestyles.
The ALC findings provide evidence at a local level, and enable reliable comparisons with other data, as well as across townships and demographic groups such as age and gender.
The data supports planning for health and recreation services and a better understanding of people’s activity levels and preferences.
Key findings for Campaspe include:
- Walking is the most popular physical activity with 21.2% of the population reporting that they went walking for exercise in the last 12 months.
- 55.4% of adults meet physical activity guidelines.
- 12.5% of adults meet vegetable dietary guidelines. Females were more likely than males to be meeting the consumption guidelines (18.5%, compared to 6.3%).
- 45.7% of adults meet fruit dietary guidelines. Females were more likely than males to be meeting the fruit consumption guidelines (49.4%, compared to 42.1%). Females aged over 70 were most likely to be meeting fruit consumption guidelines (61.3%).
- 42.6% rated their own health as excellent or very good, with 39.1% rating their health as good and 18.3% rating their health as poor.
Active Living Census reports:
Stage 1 projects - completed
Projects completed in Campaspe Shire included:
Activating Crossenvale: Park upgrade and activation sessions for young people.
Healthy Choices EWMAC: Healthy eating audit, food and drink changes made and small-scale infrastructure.
Walking on Eyre Street: Installation of 250 metres of connected footpath along Eyre Street in Echuca East providing an accessible corridor for a historically disadvantaged community to critical sporting, commercial, health and education facilities.
Girgarre Walking Track Enhancement: Installation of two picnic tables (one wheelchair accessible) and two park benches (with armrest) to provide a safe rest area for users of the 800 metres walking path.
Hydration Stations Installation: Installation of hydration stations in Colbinabbin, Stanhope, Girgarre, and Rushworth.
Activating Tongala Hub: Activation sessions delivered at the Tongala Fitness Hub for Primary School aged children. A Healthy Lunch Box program was also delivered and recorded for the school to share with the community.
Jamie’s Ministry of Food Program: Working with local neighbourhood houses, a healthy cooking program was delivered to communities experiencing high food insecurity.
Healthy and Well Campaspe:
- Healthier Sporting Clubs Initiative: Working with sporting clubs to enhance healthy food and drink offerings to patrons with small scale infrastructure support.
- Kitchen Garden Program in Early Years: Revitalised kitchen garden programs in the early years setting.
- Active Biking Campaspe: Installation of ten bike racks throughout the Campaspe Shire to encourage active transport options.
Stage 2 projects - underway
Following the positive impact of Stage 1, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Government provided further funding for an additional four years as part of the 2022 State Budget.
Works to continue include:
- Implementing place-based activations focusing on physical activity and healthy eating. Projects will continue to focus on those parts of the community that are the least supported to help encourage healthy eating and get more people, more active, more often.
- A workforce of localised Health Brokers in each Local Government Area focusing on developing relationships to help build knowledge about health and wellbeing.
- Utilising and sharing the findings from the Healthy Loddon Campaspe Active Living Census to help ensure that investments, infrastructure, programs and services across the region are what is needed and where it’s needed.
Planning is currently underway for the implementation of Stage 2 of the Healthy Loddon Campaspe initiative, with new projects to be announced in early 2023.
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