The event, held at the Ingeus branch on Railway Road, was the first health and wellbeing fair hosted by Ingeus and included a range of local partner organisations including West Norfolk Mind, One to One Project, Norfolk Recovery Partnership and training group TCHC. More than 60 Ingeus clients attended the fair to learn about the huge range of wellbeing-focused support services available and to try out exercise taster sessions with Ingeus staff.
"Most people can undertake some form of exercise but many lack confidence about starting, especially if they have a physical health condition or haven't exercised for a long time," explains Ingeus physical health advisor, Elizabeth Warren, who led the sessions.
"We break down these barriers and demonstrate simple and fun exercises that can be easily replicated at home by people of all different fitness levels. Exercise brings huge benefits to your physical and mental health and is a vital ingredient in getting ready to start and maintain work in the future."
Jobseeker Danielle Grantham couldn't agree more after trying out some simple exercises and stretches at the group. Danielle, 21 and from North Lynn, has epilepsy and greatly enjoyed getting active at the wellbeing fair.
"I've already started doing the exercises from the class at home, being fit and active really helps motivate me," said Danielle, who currently volunteers at a local charity shop. "It was also great to see the large number of other organisations at the fair which are out there offering help to jobseekers."
Ingeus partners with a number of local groups and charities to offer specialist support to clients with specific health or social barriers. Julie Simper, mental health trainer and community development worker at mental health charity West Norfolk Mind attended the fair and said:
"The fair was a great opportunity for people to pick up information on training and support available to them. It was very busy and there was a real buzz about the activities going on. Helping people with their general health and wellbeing is a really important first step in their journey back to employment."
Ingeus delivers the government's Work Programme throughout the East of England, which aims to support people who face significant barriers to employment. Specialist mental and physical health advisors give practical help and support to clients with health issues, while dedicated employment advisors help jobseekers prepare for and maintain a working life.
Debbie Coe, senior mental health advisor for Ingeus helped plan the wellbeing fair.
"We were delighted that so many of our clients came along on the day and entered fully into the spirit of the exercise sessions," she said. "Based on how successful the fair was for our partners and clients we certainly hope to plan similar events in the future."