Community hero honoured for health and wellbeing project

The founder of a public health and wellbeing programme in Glossop has been recognised for his pioneering work with a national government award.

Mick Owen, who runs the social enterprise WellFit Health and Wellbeing CIC, was hailed as a public health hero at the Excellence in Public Health and Wellbeing 2016 celebration event in Westminster on June 30.

The awards honour unsung heroes from across England who are leading local initiatives to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing.

Mick was nominated by High Peak MP Andrew Bingham, who said: “WellFit is a great project, it gets people out of their armchairs and active. As well as encouraging exercise it creates social bonds between the participants.

“I’ve played walking football, done seated exercise and walked a few times with WellFit as part of my constituency work and it is always fun, sociable and the exercise is a great benefit to all of us.”

Mick said: “It was a huge surprise but a very pleasant one. Being invited to the Houses of Parliament by Andrew was brilliant. To be called a hero is fantastic but it’s the volunteers, supporters, staff and participants who earned this award, not me.

“We now see over 100 local people every week and have regulars who have been with us since 2012.”

Public Health England director Professor Kevin Fenton said: “One of the things we often see is that real grass roots initiatives – those by communities for communities - often have the biggest impact in tackling health challenges.

“The people we are celebrating know their local area best and they know how to change things for the better.”

For more details on Wellfit, visit www.wellfitglossop.com.