Library health drive is hailed a success

Leigh MP Andy Burnham reading to under-fives at Golborne Library during the health week organised by WLCT
Leigh MP Andy Burnham reading to under-fives at Golborne Library during the health week organised by WLCT

HEALTHY Wiganers did their bit to get in shape by ensuring they went the extra mile in a cycling challenge against Leigh.

The age-old rival sides of the borough were pitted against each other in an inter-library exercise bike contest to see who could rack up the most miles in the saddle, as part of a week-long health awareness drive organised by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT).

Visitors and staff at Wigan library clocked up 304.5 miles on the bike to ensure their triumph, with the Leythers racking up 270.7 miles.

The challenge was just one of scores of activities organised at libraries across the borough by WLCT, including a street dance demonstration in Wigan Library and a visit to Golborne Library by Leigh MP Andy Burnham to take part in an under-fives’ storyteliing session encouraging them to take care of their teeth.

Mr Burnham said: “Libraries are ideal places for people to find out more about healthy living and these types of events are definitely something I’d like to see more of.

“Health promotion and prevention have a major role to play in society.”

Health professionals Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust were on hand throughout the week, offering advice on health issues including weight loss, quitting smoking, eating more healthily and drinking sensibly.

There was also a Pram Push, held in conjunction with Sure Start, themed around the popular children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar which ended with a fruit tasting session, and a cookery demonstration at Hindley which proved so popular the library is now looking at running a similar Christmas event.

Organiser Wendy Heaton from WLCT said: “It’s been a great success and something we’ll look to build on next year.

“The cycle challenge was particularly popular. A friendly competition between the two central libraries emerged throughout the week with both desperate to win.

“Health trainers have been visiting libraries, helping to change people’s lifestyles for the better.

“Having them in the libraries has increased their visibility and people have found the general health advice useful.”