Lismore City Council’s exercise program Move2Change picked up a gong at the 2014 Heart Foundation Local Government Awards in Coffs Harbour on Monday night.
The program, which was designed to provide a range of gentle exercise for people at risk of heart disease and diabetes beat six other finalists in the ‘Councils with populations greater than 15,000’ category to claim the national award.
But the council has not run the program since June after federal government funding ran out.
Kerry Doyle, Chief Executive of the Heart Foundation NSW, congratulated Lismore City Council for its commitment to the health and wellbeing of the local community.
‘Lismore City Council received this national award for their commitment to creating an environment that is a healthy and vibrant place to work and live, supported by numerous key initiatives, and the Heart Foundation congratulates all those involved,’ Ms Doyle said.
Move2Change was funded by the federal government and administered by Council. Twenty-six programs were run with 829 people attending.
After federal funding ran out in June, local health professionals have taken over the programs, which are now ‘self-sustaining’, according to a council spokesperson.
Move2Change included a variety of programs, from gentle exercise classes for those at risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions to community garden workshops for older people who wanted to make friends and get their hands dirty.
The programs were targeted at groups in the community that traditionally have trouble accessing health programs including the unemployed, people with disability, seniors, carers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, refugees and people from non-English speaking backgrounds.