Funding to promote healthy regional communities

The Marshall Liberal Government is encouraging rural and regional communities from across the state to apply for a share of $1 million to improve the health and wellbeing of their communities.

The second round of the SA Healthy Towns Challenge launches today, and the Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said grants of up to $50,000 each are on offer to regional towns to develop preventative health programs within their community.

“In regional areas, communities play a vital role in supporting their residents to engage with each other, be active and eat well,” Minister Wade said.

“Most risk factors for chronic disease are preventable through increasing physical exercise, decreasing rates of smoking and alcohol consumption and encouraging healthy eating.

“Through the SA Healthy Towns Challenge, we are investing in our regional communities to better support the health and wellbeing of all South Australians.

“We’d like to see applicants come up with creative and innovative ways to help prevent chronic disease and improve the overall health of the people in their area.”

Examples of possible projects include:

  • Establishing a farmers’ market or community produce swap meet to increase access to affordable and healthy food
  • Conducting screening for type 2 diabetes risk or skin cancer at Field Days
  • Replacing or upgrading community-based sport or playground equipment
  • Training volunteers at sport clubs in responsible service of alcohol and providing healthier food options in canteens and for functions
  • Providing suicide prevention programs through qualified agencies

Professor Paddy Phillips, SA Health Chief Medical Officer and Public Health Officer, said the focus of the grants will be on initiatives that have measurable results and benefits to the community.

“Maintaining good health and wellbeing is a shared responsibility between individuals, government and communities more broadly,” Professor Phillips said.

“Investing in prevention will avoid future health costs and ease pressure on hospitals and the wider health system.

“With the Healthy Towns Challenge, we are empowering our regional areas with the right tools to improve their own health and wellbeing.”

Applications will close on Monday, 15 April 2019, and successful projects will run from July 2019 to June 2020.

Projects must be in partnership with a non-government organisation or university to help communities develop projects based on evidence and best practice.

The six winners of the first round of the Healthy Towns Challenge have received their funding and begun their projects.

The Healthy Towns Challenge was an election commitment from the Marshall Team, with $250,000 funding per round over four years allocated in the 2018 State Budget.

For more information visit the SA Health Website.

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