Five Ways to Health Equality

Working together with a community empowerment group for South Asian women to help improve well-being and tackle health inequalities.

The Local Challenge

The Greater Manchester borough of Oldham is a diverse, largely metropolitan, local authority in north-west England with an ethnically diverse population. Nearly 25% of local residents identified as Asian in the latest census. With high levels of deprivation, Oldham also faces significant health inequalities. Cultural barriers exacerbate issues such as isolation and health decline, worsened by post-COVID challenges like vaccine hesitancy and economic strain created by the cost-of-living crisis. 


 The Initiative  

In partnership with the local CHAI project (which stands for care, help and inspire), Oldham Libraries aim to address these issues through targeted programmes, promoting community resilience and empowerment among isolated South Asian women. They are doing this through a four-month programme based on the Five Ways to Well-being. Activities include community hubs for heritage and arts, exercise sessions promoting active living, mindfulness practices, access to educational resources and skills-sharing to empower participants to contribute back to the community. The aim is to combat social isolation while promoting healthy living. 


What’s Next?

The initiative will culminate in a public arts and crafts event showcasing the achievements of women who have been taking part. In the next phase, participants will not just benefit from a toolkit for well-being but will actively shape the initiative’s future impact. Their involvement will fuel ongoing initiatives that empower diverse communities. By embracing the Five Ways to Well-being, the initiative is tackling health disparities and isolation head-on, not just in Oldham but also serving as a role model for libraries across Europe, thanks to support from the Europe Challenge 


This is an ongoing Europe Challenge project that will be completed in autumn 2024. Stay tuned for more updates and contact if you have any questions or want to be connected with the team behind the project.

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