Getting back on track with free Health Trainer support

Throughout coronavirus restrictions the North Somerset Council’s Healthy Lifestyle service continues to provide free health and wellbeing support to local residents.

It can be difficult to stay on track with healthy habits at the best of times but with free support from a Health Trainer, local couple Helen and Dave Gosling have returned to healthy habits by taking regular exercise, eating healthy foods and quitting smoking.

Helen and Dave explain in their words how they have found the support provided to them, during coronavirus restrictions:

“I’ve been bigger all my life – I just love food! But since I joined Carmen’s team with the North Somerset Health Trainers I’ve learnt so much about food, diet, and what healthy eating actually looks like on a daily basis. I’ve also lost 4 stone, quit smoking, binned the booze, incorporated regular exercise into my life and become so much healthier in just 6 months! I can’t thank Carmen enough for all the help and support especially though this terrible covid time! The first few weeks I hit the booze and the food hard but with the regular support and contact with Carmen I was able to find better ways of dealing with the stress and got myself back on track. Honestly try this out it’s worth it and it really does make a difference!” (Helen Gosling)

“With the event of Covid 19 starting I must admit I lost my drive to diet and soon put back on a stone! But thanks to Carmen calling and helping me get back on track I can honestly say I am back on track and I am back to the weight I was before this started. Carmen does not put you down but chats and makes you feel better. She talks to you without rebukes or telling off or making you feel bad, just a positive attitude to help. She has helped me to get back to my goal weight. She is a lovely lady with a positive outlook and has helped me AGAIN and I feel positive too. So much so that I am going to try and lose more weight. Thank you so much Carmen for all your help and positivity” (Dave Gosling)

Support from a Health Trainer is completely free to North Somerset residents, up to six sessions of 1-1 support can be provided.  In addition to support and guidance, nicotine replacement therapy for stop smokers and activity sessions are also provided free of charge.

Staying healthy by keeping active, eating a balanced diet, cutting back on alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and being smoke free keeps the immune system balanced and ready to fight infection and viruses, which is especially important at this time.

Hundreds of local residents are supported by the service each year to achieve their personal goals to lose weight, eat well, get active and become smoke free. If you would like to find out more or to book a telephone appointment to get started please contact the service on 01934 427661, email or via the website page

FREE Sports Care Package

Through Nova Sports and Coaching North Somerset families who have a child with a disability and are in need can choose 5 pieces of sports equipment from a list of 34 items. There are options for indoor and outdoor use, adapted and sensory items.

The free equipment will also come with an Activity Pack full of adapted game ideas, sport specific skills, online activities, sports clubs for post lockdown and wellbeing activities. 

Families can access the free package via a professional referral for example from their Social Worker, Family Intervention Worker or Teacher.

Families eligible for this scheme could include those on a low income (for example receiving free school meals), family member/s are struggling with their mental health, they are shielding at this time or the child’s behaviour is challenging at home.

A limited number of boxes are available and they will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. If you would like to refer a family visit:, for further information contact / 07880743453. 

Online Education Sessions

The National Centre for Sport and Exercise medicine will be hosting a series of online lifestyle education sessions in June and July in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These sessions are aimed at GPs and other healthcare professionals but are open to anyone with an interest in the topics. Exercise instructors would also benefit from these sessions.

COVID-19 lifestyle education sessions

Walk/Run/Cycle 4 Life

Have you been more active during lock down?                                                 

Have you been cycling, walking or running?

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We would like to hear from anyone who wants to continue to be active after lock down and would like to exercise with others for enhanced enjoyment and motivation.

As lock down lifts we want to bring people together and/or signpost individuals to existing physical activity groups and clubs.

If you are interested, please fill in this short form and we will get back to you.

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Partners’ Bulletin

Our latest Partners’ Bulletin is available here. It includes information about:

  • Stay In Work Out – latest guidance from Sport England and the Government regarding getting active
  • Active at Home – new booklet to encourage older adults to become more active
  • Local virtual classes
  • FREE training – Mental Health Awareness in Sport and Physical Activity
  • Webinar – Physical Activity for good Mental Health
  • Club Matters workshops
  • New to cycling/walking/running?
  • Couch to 5k
  • Health Trainer update
  • WW support
  • Getting active during COVID-19

There is also a bulletin with a few funding opportunities:

  • Inequalities funding
  • Crowdfunder
  • Step Up funding

More Ideas to keep active during and after lockdown

For those needing extra motivation and support to keep active during this current pandemic AgeUK in London have produced some useful resources to stay active for the older population. From video workouts, gentle chair based exercises, virtual spring tours and activities around  mental health and well being there is definitely lots of options.

The video workouts are supported by Nuffield Health, the National Institute of Aging and Arthritis Action.

Although London focused there are lots of ideas for home based physical activity where ever you live.


FREE Mental Health Training

UK Coaching has announced today (18 May) – in collaboration with its awarding organisation 1st4sport, and partners Mind, the mental health charity, and Sport England – that the nation’s coaches can access the Mental Health for Sport and Physical Activity online course for free.

The news comes at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and runs from the 18-24 May.

Usually £18, the course is accessible via the organisation’s learning and development platform,, and will remain free of charge until the 31 August 2020.

Coaches across the UK will be able to increase their knowledge of mental health, and confidence when applying the learning into their coaching practice.

Specifically, learners will be able to:

  • welcome and support people living with mental health problems in their sport and physical activity sessions
  • increase their knowledge of mental health problems
  • apply the learning in their coaching practice
  • make their club or organisation more inclusive.

More info is available here.

Club Matters Virtual Workshop – Tonight!

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Club Matters team from Sport England have adapted all of the workshops to be delivered online. Please see the full list of workshops available via Club Matters pages here and the list of the sessions available in May below:

  • Introduction to Legal Structures: Wednesday 6th May 2020 (6.30-8.30pm)
    · Leadership Teams: Tuesday 12th May 2020 (6.30-8.30pm)
    · Participant Experience: Friday 15th May (2-4pm)
    · Volunteer Experience: Wednesday 20th May (6-8pm)

Wesport will be assessing the need locally and arranging additional workshops if the national ones are oversubscribed.

Please take a couple of minutes to view the video below, this shows how Flyerz Hockey Clubs, coaches and members have been adapting to stay in contact during the pandemic:

Health Trainers are just one call away

Our North Somerset Health Trainer service have been providing healthy lifestyles support over the phone since the start of the coronavirus restrictions.  Many of the clients the team support are elderly or have health conditions, so have been staying at home.

The team have been busy giving advice about how to eat well during coronavirus, keep active at home and quit smoking.  Clients who are isolated at home have been so grateful for the call and support given, the team have also been able to flag up several vulnerable and isolated clients with local support agencies.

Some ex-clients had gone back to old eating habits due to stay at home restrictions making it difficult to stay on track, and so have signed back up to the service to focus on  eating well again with some support and guidance. 

Smokers are at greater risk of severe symptoms from COVID 19 and we are pleased to report that there has been some positives to the stay at home restrictions. Many of the clients the Health Trainers have been supporting to quit smoking have found it easier to stay smoke free as they have not been socialising.

North Somerset resident Philippa Mears explains why she is so pleased to be smoke free:

‘My husband Peter and I will be smoke free for a year on 5 May 2020. Since we stopped smoking it has given our daughter and granddaughter the incentive to stop also, which we are so happy about, even more so with what we are living through now. One fantastic thing I noticed is that for the first time in 45 years my husband’s chest does not wheeze, we have also noticed how much more energy we have, and it’s all down to the help from our North Somerset Health Trainer that we eventually cracked it.

Jane Oultram talks about her experience of receiving support from the North Somerset Health Trainer Service during coronavirus:

‘Health Trainer, Debbie Stone has been ringing me up every couple of weeks to see how I am getting on with my goal of losing weight.  To keep spirits up I have been going to the allotment, at the moment I am sowing seeds, tidying up, planting potatoes and strawberries.  I also go out on my bike along the seafront most days for the hour we are allowed, or I go out for a walk’.  If you would like to speak to a Health Trainer about making a healthy lifestyle change call us on 01934 427661.

Our team of Health Trainers have also been sharing how they have been keeping active and eating well during restrictions, follow them on Twitter @NSHealthTrainer.

Club Matters workshop

📣📣📣Calling all Clubs/Coaches/Instructor 👇👇👇

The Club Matters team have a wealth of club support on their website, this has been updated to reflect the challenges clubs are facing during lockdown. Visit:

Club Matters are also facilitating a workshop that on April 30th: Planning for Your Future which helps you to effectively plan and develop specific objectives to enable you to tackle key issues and become sustainable. Sign up here:

West of England Sport Trust (Wesport) have also set up support groups for Sports Clubs, and Coaches/Instructors. To join, visit: