New health network underway

VOLUNTARY organisations from across Ipswich are being rallied to come together to discuss health issues in a new initiative.The Ipswich Health Network, set up by the Ipswich Council for Voluntary Service (ICVS), will give voluntary groups a chance to discuss issues that matter to them with health officials.

VOLUNTARY organisations from across Ipswich are being rallied to come together to discuss health issues in a new initiative.

The Ipswich Health Network, set up by the Ipswich Council for Voluntary Service (ICVS), will give voluntary groups a chance to discuss issues that matter to them with health officials.

Richard Middleton, of ICVS, has been involved in setting up the project.

He said: "There are around 900 voluntary organisations in the Ipswich area, so that's a considerable number of people.

"Wherever you get a group of people meeting regularly they are bound to be discussing and taking an interest in what's happening around them."

The network has developed out of the One-Ipswich programme which pledges to look at a number of issues surrounding the health and well-being of the town's residents.

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Future possibilities include setting up a web-forum on the One-Ipswich site where people can get together to discuss health issues.

Important health-related documents would also be posted on there.

Mr Middleton said: "We envisage meeting maybe a couple of times a year but the important thing about it is that there will be access to information and ways of communicating available all the time.

"We won't have to wait to sit round a table and discuss things, which can often be quite intimidating for some people."

The network hopes to include all voluntary groups, regardless of whether or not they are health-related such as residents associations or clubs for the elderly.

The first meeting of the Ipswich Health Network will be held on Wednesday September 22 at the board room in Suffolk House, in the grounds of St Clements Hospital at 10.30am. People will get the chance to meet members of Ipswich Primary Care Trust.

If you are a member of a voluntary group and you are interested in finding out more contact Richard Middleton on 01473 251834.

What do you think of the idea? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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