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Rotherham residents share their feel-good things

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The Great Big Rotherham To-Do List has launched, inspiring people to do more things that make them feel happier and healthier as we recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether it is jumping in puddles, learning to knit, finding a pen pal or simply listening to the birds – the people of Rotherham have found countless ways to keep themselves going through the upheaval of the past 15 months.

Many discovered an inner strength they didn’t know they had – but for experts in health and wellbeing, this new-found resilience isn’t a surprise. 

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Rotherham Council’s Director of Public Health, Ben Anderson, said: “Lots of the things people made a special effort to do because of COVID-19 restrictions are actually things that make us more resilient to stress – such as being physically active, learning something new, helping others or just pausing to reflect.

“Many of those new behaviours were actually helping us to stay healthy – in mind and body.”

To help people continue good habits, Rotherham Council and the NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group asked residents to share the things which had helped them feel happier and healthier.

These were used to create The Great Big Rotherham To-Do List: an illustrated record of simple pleasures that helped Rotherham get through months of COVID restrictions – things that were right on the doorstep and cost people no more than their time.

Ben Anderson, said: “We want The Great Big Rotherham To-Do List to be the start of an ongoing conversation and for people to keep on sharing the things that make them feel healthier in mind and body.

“We hope people will keep it handy and use it to inspire everyday moments of calm, kindness, fun and fascination – because those little actions can make a big difference to how we feel today, and our ability to adapt and cope when times are tough.”

The guide also shows how these activities relate to the Five Ways to Wellbeing – a nationally recognised, evidence-based set of actions that help people function and feel at their best.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, Cllr David Roche said: “It’s been wonderful to hear about the range of things that have helped people stay strong through COVID-19. In the coming months, as we all work to recover from the many effects of the pandemic, it’s going to be just as important to keep a check on our own wellbeing – whether we’re nine years old or 90.”

The Great Big Rotherham To-Do List is available for free in libraries across the borough. It can also be found as a PDF download at www.rotherham.gov.uk/great-to-do, along with an accessible text-only version and more information to help people take steps to look after their wellbeing.

Rotherham residents can share their own ideas for activities with @RotherhamCouncil on Facebook, or @RMBCpress on Twitter using #Rotherham #greattodo

Distribution of the Great Big Rotherham To-Do list has been made possible through funding from the ‘Welcome Back Fund’. The Welcome Back Fund provides councils across England with a share of £56 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to help build back better from the pandemic.

Images: RMBC

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Tom Austen
Tom grew up in Aston, Rotherham and studied Human Geography at Nottingham Trent University before developing a passion for promoting Rotherham and a nose for a good story.

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