Supporting East Durham residents to be more active
A campaign supporting people with long-term health conditions to lead an active lifestyle is
being extended across County Durham.
Following a successful launch in Ferryhill and Chilton last year, Durham County Council’s We Are Undefeatable campaign is now helping communities in East Durham to move more and improve their health and wellbeing.
East Durham was chosen because of a high proportion of people living with a long-
standing health condition, with efforts set to focus on Easington, Blackhall, Peterlee and
Cllr James Rowlandson, Cabinet member for resources, investment and assets, said: “We
are delighted that more residents are able to benefit from the We Are Undefeatable
campaign. It is so important that we support everyone to be as active as they can,
promoting better physical and mental health.
“One of our key aims is to help everyone in County Durham to live a long and independent
life. Having seen the benefits of the campaign in Ferryhill and Chilton, we look forward to
supporting more residents to lead a more active, healthy and happy lifestyle in the east of
To support residents, activity packs containing exercise bands, a booklet of exercises,
DVD, and water bottles to use as hand weights, are being distributed through targeted
community centres. The Make Your Move DVD, offering inspiration and advice on how to
move more at home, is also available to borrow from libraries. This has been created by
the leading health and social care charities behind We Are Undefeatable and supported by
National Lottery Funding from Sport England.
Other opportunities for physical activity are also being promoted across the area, including
the Mental Health Swims at Seaham. The group meets at The Slope Beach, Seaham
Marina, on the last Sunday of each month for a cold-water dip to help improve their mental
and physical health.
The Peterlee Pavilion also provides a varied programme of sport, wellbeing and physical
activities to encourage people to become more active.
Meanwhile, training is available to support those who live and work with people who have
long-term conditions. The training aims to spread the message that the benefits to activity
outweigh the risks, giving people confidence to start the physical activity conversation.
One resident to benefit from a more active lifestyle is 64-year-old Elaine, from Peterlee,
who lives with ulcerative colitis. She also suffers from arthritis in her knees.
Elaine is a regular at Peterlee Pavilion and has joined the Peterlee Active Community
Exercise Scheme (PACES), which provides low impact, social exercise sessions for
Having retired four years ago, Elaine decided to join a local exercise group to get into a
routine and support her health.
Elaine said: “The group was so friendly and welcoming. I found it hard at the beginning as
I hadn’t done anything for such a long time, but little by little I built up and now come to a
group every day.
“Since starting, my ulcerative colitis has not flared up and the combination of losing weight
and exercise has helped control the arthritis in my knees. The feel-good factor is amazing,
and the social side has been a great bonus as we meet for teas and coffees outside the
group and go for nights out too. I have more energy and feel fitter now than I have for
For more information, visit www.durham.gov.uk/weareundefeatable
To find out more about the training, email Liz Oakes at
email@example.com or call 03000 262 539.