Seeds sown for a healthier Kidlington

Residents, businesses, schools and community groups in Kidlington have come together to discuss a future for the village with health and wellbeing at its core.

Published: Friday, 25th October 2019

Participants representing a wide range of interest groups, from sports clubs and charities to the parish council and emergency services, were invited to Exeter Hall in Kidlington on Wednesday (23 October) to help form the principles for a healthy place shaping project designed specifically for the village and surrounding area.

The initiative, funded by Cherwell District Council, will take many of the experiences gleaned from the Healthy Bicester partnership, while tailoring it for those living and working in Kidlington.

Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing, was among the 70 attendees. He said: “This is the start of something very special for Kidlington and the surrounding villages. In Bicester we’ve seen how effective healthy place shaping can be in improving the lives of the people living and working there. Delivering similar projects across the district is a key priority for the council."

Presentations were delivered by Cherwell’s healthy place shaping team, highlighting the benefits of putting wellbeing at the heart of the community, while representatives from Oxfordshire County Council advised on the health challenges facing Kidlington and neighbouring villages.

Delegates were given the opportunity to share their experiences of the current wellbeing offerings in the area, helping to create a wider understanding of what needs to be done to enable the village to become a healthier place to live and work. They were also consulted on a possible name and logo for the project and offered ideas of activities that needed to be included in the programme.

Cllr McHugh continued: “Cherwell has committed to funding this project, but it’s vitally important that the community are the ones who agree the key health challenges it should address and determine how best to improve the wellbeing of local people. As a council, we have a broad understanding of what needs to be done, but it’s only by listening to the residents and workers in Kidlington that we can uncover the real wellbeing priorities.

"Thank you to everyone who took the time to join us in sowing the seeds of this project at Exeter Hall. I look forward to working with them and the whole community as the partnership flourishes."