Healthy Peterborough

About Healthy Peterborough

About Healthy Peterborough

Healthy Peterborough will help residents prevent and tackle common health problems and live healthier for longer 

On this website you will find medically proven information and advice on how to kick poor health into touch, by making simple lifestyle changes. Each month the campaign will focus on a different health issue, starting in March with heart health.

Councillor Diane Lamb, cabinet member for public health said: "Improving the lives of all our residents and tackling the health issues that they face is one of the council's biggest priorities. This is why we are proposing to maintain the amount of money we spend on public health, despite a ten per cent cut in the grant the government gives us to provide these services.

"But we can't help people unless they're willing to help themselves. We know that people are busy and may not feel they have the time to eat healthily or exercise, but it's the small changes that matter. It could be as simple as upping your fruit and vegetable intake or walking to the shops instead of driving. Even the smallest changes could have a big impact on your health and ultimately your life expectancy."

Residents can find also follow health tips on the Healthy Peterborough Facebook page and Twitter @HealthyPboro. 

Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Peterborough City Council, said: "We understand that it can be confusing for people to know what a healthy diet looks like or the best way to exercise, as there is so much conflicting information out there.

"We want to give local people trustworthy and medically proven advice on how to stay healthier for longer. By making simple changes, such as eating less fat or doing 30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week, people can make a big difference to  their own health and increase their overall life expectancy."

Other health issues to be covered as part of Healthy Peterborough in the coming months include smoking, mental illness, alcohol intake and stroke awareness.

The Healthy Peterborough campaign is led by Peterborough City Council, and supported by Peterborough City Hospital, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Pharmaceutical Committee and Public Health England.

Services in Peterborough


If you’re in need of medical help or advice urgently but it’s not a life-threatening situation, it’s time to call 111.

Calling 111 will connect you to a team of fully trained call advisers, who are supported by experienced nurses and paramedics.  The person who answers your call can give you healthcare advice you need or direct you to the most appropriate and available local service, and in cases where an ambulance may still be required, they can alert 999 and dispatch an ambulance for you.

You can also call 111 if you are unsure how to go about treating a particular condition or illness, or you cannot wait for an appointment with your GP.

The 111 service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Your calls are answered by local staff based in Peterborough.

More than 25% of calls made to 999 are ‘neither serious nor immediately life threatening’. NHS 111 is the service that these callers should be using – it will save lives by freeing up emergency staff and will also mean you receive the correct treatment as quickly as possible. Contacting the 111 team is key to treating your condition appropriately.





If you have an illness or injury that won’t go away, phone your GP practice to make an appointment with your local GP or ask for advice. You can also see your practice nurse for a range of services including vaccinations or blood tests. You can make an appointment with your practice for medical advice, examinations and prescriptions.

If you need to see a GP urgently when your practice is closed, you can:

  • Call your normal surgery number and you will either be redirected automatically or there will be a recorded message to tell you what number you need to call
  • Call NHS 111

More and more GP practices now have online systems which mean you can book appointments, request prescriptions and contact the practice online. Remember to ask your local practice if they run such a service, if you think it would be beneficial to you.

You may have heard of the Prime Minister’s GP Access Fund, a scheme which is being run by GPs in the Peterborough area. Its aim is to increase access to GPs in a number of ways, including: extra evening appointments, weekend appointments, and online systems for patients. So your practice may have made recent changes to how it operates, or be about to – each practice is different and will be able to advise you on what services are provided.

You can walk into your local GP practice at any time during opening hours to register as a patient or ask questions. A wealth of information is available there, by way of leaflets, posters and electronic, on-screen bulletins.

Unsure of your local GP practice and want to talk to someone? Call Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group’s Patient Experience Team, on 0800 279 2535 or 01223 725588, for help and advice.

Click on images below to search for your nearest GP, or click here to find out more about the services your local GP practice can provide.


Dentists and Dental Health

As experts on dental and oral health problems dentists can treat – and help you to prevent – tooth decay, gum disease and injuries.

Dental hygienists will also help you to look after your teeth, and dental therapists, can carry out a range of treatments but also help those who might have a fear of going to the dentist.

Anyone who visits a dental hygienist or therapist must first be seen by a dentist, but these additional staff members help spread the dental workload by specialising in certain areas.

Hygienists will carry out procedures such as scaling and polishing, applying sealants, and sometimes teeth whitening.

Therapists can do fillings, pulp treatment, and extractions of baby teeth amongst other tasks.

Dental technicians are also on hand to make false teeth, crowns, bridges and braces for patients.

Finally, orthodontists will usually work on straightening or moving teeth using braces.

The answers to common questions about NHS dentists can be found here.

Click on images below to search for your nearest NHS dentist





Pharmacists play a key role in providing quality healthcare. They are experts in medicines and will use their clinical expertise, together with their practical knowledge to advise you on common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking. 

Pharmacists can also help you decide whether you need to see a health professional. They can help you consider the alternatives next time you are thinking of making a doctor's appointment.

Find a local pharmacy.


What services do pharmacies offer?

All pharmacies will provide the following services:

  • dispensing
  • repeat dispensing
  • disposal of unwanted or out-of-date medicines
  • advice on treatment of minor conditions and healthy living

Other services that may be available from your local pharmacy:


Stop Smoking

5 benefits of quitting

1. Quit smoking to live longer

Half of all long-term smokers die early from smoking-related diseases, including heart disease, lung cancer and chronic bronchitis.

Men who quit smoking by the age of 30 add 10 years to their life. People who kick the habit at 60 add three years to their life.

In other words, it's never too late to benefit from stopping. Being smoke-free not only adds years to your life, but also greatly improves your chances of a disease-free, mobile, happier old age.

2. Stopping smoking lets you breathe more easily

People breathe more easily and cough less when they give up smoking because their lung capacity improves by up to 10% within nine months.  

In your 20s and 30s, the effect of smoking on your lung capacity may not be noticeable until you go for a run, but lung capacity naturally diminishes with age.

In later years, having maximum lung capacity can mean the difference between having an active, healthy old age and wheezing when you go for a walk or climb the stairs.

3. Stop smoking gives you more energy

Within 2 to 12 weeks of stopping smoking your blood circulation improves. This makes all physical activity, including walking and running, much easier.

You will also give a boost to your immune system, making it easier to fight off colds and flu. The increase in oxygen in the body can also reduce tiredness and the likelihood of headaches.

4. Ditch the cigarettes and feel less stressed

The withdrawal from nicotine between cigarettes can heighten feelings of stress. As the stress of withdrawal feels the same as other stresses, it's easy to confuse normal stress with nicotine withdrawal.  So, it can seem like smoking is reducing other stresses whereas this is not the case.

In fact, scientific studies show people's stress levels are lower after they stop smoking.

If you're finding that you are prone to stress, then replacing smoking with a healthier, better way of dealing with stress can give you some real benefits. 

5. A smoke-free homes protects your loved ones

By stopping smoking, you'll be protecting the health of your non-smoking friends and family, too.

Breathing in secondhand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. In children it doubles the risk of getting chest illnesses, including pneumonia, ear infections, wheezing and asthma.

They also have three times the risk of getting lung cancer in later life compared with children who live with non-smokers.


Support and Useful Links


Support & Useful Links - Smoking

Join your FREE local NHS stop smoking service

Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with the help of your local stop smoking service?

Services staffed by trained stop smoking advisers are available all over the city, including GP Practices and local pharmacies. Peterborough City Hospital and in some community settings. You can join a local group which meets once a week or have one-to-one support if you prefer. You usually go for a few weeks and work towards a quit date.

Find your nearest NHS Stop Smoking Service by calling the Peterborough Stop Smoking Service on 0800 376 56 55 to speak to a trained advisor or email


Talk to your GP

Many people don't realise that their GP can help them quit smoking. Your doctor can support you by referring you to a 'specialist stop smoking' clinic where you will be prescribed, nicotine replacement therapy such as patches and gum, or stop smoking medication such as Champix. You will also be offered one to one behavioral support to help deal with your cravings.

Visit your local pharmacy

Stop smoking services are also on offer at many pharmacies as part of local NHS Stop Smoking Services. As well as getting nicotine replacement therapy, such as nicotine gum or patches, or other stop-smoking medication, you'll meet with your specialist smoking advisor to discuss your progress. To find out about participating pharmacies please contact the Peterborough Stop Smoking Service on 0800 376 56 55.

Peterborough pharmacies providing the Stop Smoking Service:

Rowlands Pharmacy - Craig St

Boots Pharmacy - Bretton Centre

Boots Pharmacy - Eye

Boots Pharmacy - Hampton

Boots Pharmacy - Queensgate

Botolph Pharmacy

City Pharmacy

Co-op Pharmacy - Paston

Graham Young Chemist

Lloyds Pharmacy - Bushfield

MI Pharmacy Werrington

Netherton Pharmacy

Newborough Pharmacy

Sainsburys Pharmacy - Bretton

Sainsburys Pharmacy - Oxney Road

West town Chemist

Health advice

Useful links

Millions of people have used Smokefree support to help them stop smoking.

The following links provide information about the harms of smoking, the benefits of quitting and the support to help you, from app and tools to Quit Kits to face-to-face guidance.


Physical Activity

Physical activity

1. Children under 5 years old

Children under five should not be inactive for long periods, except when they're asleep. Watching TV, travelling by car, bus or train, or being strapped into a buggy for long periods are not good for a child's health and development. There's growing evidence that such behaviour can increase their risk of poor health. 

Being physically active every day is important for the healthy growth and development of babies, toddlers and preschoolers. For this age group, activity of any intensity should be encouraged, including light activity and more energetic physical activity.

2. Children and young people aged 5 to 18

To stay healthy or to improve health, young people need to do three types of physical activity each week: aerobic exercise and exercises to strengthen bones and muscles, such as:

  • at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day – this should range from moderate activity, such as cycling and playground activities, to vigorous activity, such as running and tennis
  • on three days a week, these activities should involve exercises for strong muscles, such as push-ups, and exercises for strong bones, such as jumping and running

Many vigorous activities can help you build strong muscles and bones, including anything involving running and jumping, such as gymnastics, martial arts and football.

Children and young people should reduce the time they spend sitting watching TV, playing computer games and travelling by car when they could walk or cycle instead.

3. Adults aged 19 - 64

To stay healthy, adults aged 19-64 should try to be active daily and should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Moderate activity will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you're working at a moderate level is if you can still talk, but you can't sing the words to a song.

4. Older adults aged 65 and over

To stay healthy or to improve health, older adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and strength exercises.

Older adults aged 65 or older, who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility, should try to be active daily and should do:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or walking every week, and
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).


Support and Useful Links


Support & Useful Links - Physical Activity

If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented. It’s free, easy to take and has an immediate effect.

People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers. Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

However for some people becoming more active requires support which is why local physical activity programmes have been established (see below):

Enrol your child on the FREE local MoreLife programme

MoreLife is the local weight management programme for children and families in Peterborough that has helped hundreds of families lose a little weight and gain a load more energy! MoreLife Clubs are completely free to children in the Peterborough area and their families. To be eligible you need to be aged between 4 and 17 years old, and be above a healthy weight.

To find out more or book your place, 0800 376 56 55 or email

Join your FREE local Let’s Get Moving programme for adults

Let’s Get Moving supports inactive adults and those with long-term conditions to become more active. Patients identified as not meeting the physical activity recommendations are offered a brief intervention that:

  • highlights the health benefits of physical activity;
  • works through key behaviour change stages; and
  • concludes with a clear physical activity goal set by the patient, identifying local activity-based opportunities.

To find out more or book your place, 0800 376 56 55 or email


Fit for Life

A FREE 10 week Healthy Lifestyle Course with physical activity sessions for anyone over the age 16 who has a BMI of 25+ or health problems such as type II diabetes and CVD who are interested in making health changes.

To find out more or book your place, 01733 207187 or email



Health guidance:


Useful links




Healthy Eating

6 healthy eating tips

1. Base your meals on starchy foods

Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat. Starchy foods include potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread. Choose wholegrain varieties (or eat potatoes with their skins on) when you can: they contain more fibre, and can help you feel full.

2. Eat lots of fruit and veg

It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg a day. It’s easier than it sounds. A glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice (150ml) can count as one portion, and vegetables cooked into dishes also count. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit?

3. Eat more fish

Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish. Oily fish contains omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease. You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned: but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.

Oily fish include salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines and pilchards. Non-oily fish include haddock, plaice, coley, cod, tinned tuna, skate and hake. If you regularly eat a lot of fish, try to choose as wide a variety as possible.

4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

We all need some fat in our diet. But it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat we’re eating. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.

Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as hard cheese, cakes, biscuits, sausages, cream, butter, lard and pies. Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake, and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.

Most people in the UK eat and drink too much sugar. Sugary foods and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in energy and if eaten too often, can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.

Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means that the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means that the food is low in sugar.

5. Eat less salt

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke

About three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces. Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt.

6. Drink More Water

Water makes up about two-thirds of the weight of a healthy body. To stay healthy, it is important to replace the fluid we lose when we breathe, sweat or urinate. We get some fluid from our food but most comes from drinks.

The European Food Safety Authority recommends about eight glasses of 200ml each for a woman, and 10 glasses of 200ml each for a man.



Support and Useful Links

Support & Useful Links - Healthy Eating

Being overweight can seriously affect your health. If you’re overweight, you’re more likely to develop health problems such as heart disease, a stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Most overweight people are overweight because they consume more energy than they use through physical activity. This means that the best way to lose weight is to make achievable, long-lasting changes to your eating and physical activity habits.

If you’ve tried changing your diet and physical activity habits but are finding it difficult to lose weight, a referral from a health professional, such as your GP, to our local nutrition and dietetic service may help.


Enrol your child on the FREE local MoreLife programme

MoreLife is the local weight management programme for children and families in Peterborough that has helped hundreds of families lose a little weight and gain a load more energy! MoreLife Clubs are completely free to children in the Peterborough area and their families. To be eligible you need to be aged between 4 and 17 years old, and be above a healthy weight.

To find out more or book your place, 0800 376 56 55 or email

Fit for Life

A FREE 10 week Healthy Lifestyle Course with physical activity sessions for anyone over the age 16 who has a BMI of 25+ or health problems such as type II diabetes and CVD who are interested in making health changes.

To find out more or book your place, 01733 207187 or email


Health advice

Useful links

The following links provide information about the food and diet, the benefits of healthy eating and a range of tools to help you.






5 benefits of drinking less

1. Drinking less reduces the risk of harming your health

Regularly drinking more than 14 units a week risks damaging your health. Fourteen units is equivalent to six pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of low strength wine.  

To reduce the risk of harming your health if you drink most weeks:

  • men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
  • spread your drinking over three days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week.

2. Cutting down makes you feel better

The immediate effects of cutting down include feeling better in the mornings, being less tired during the day, your skin may start to look better and you’ll start to feel fitter.

3. Drinking less alcohol reduces the chances of gaining weight

Did you know a standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate, and a pint of lager has about the same calorie count as a packet of crisps? Or that drinking five pints of lager a week adds up over a year and is equivalent to eating 221 doughnuts.

Tips to avoid weight gain include:

  • Alternate an alcoholic drink with a glass of water – this will help to prevent you becoming dehydrated.
  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach. If you do reach for snacks while drinking, opt for a healthier option.
  • If you’re drinking white wine, why not add a splash of soda water to help the same number of units last longer?

4. Not drinking while pregnant is the safest approach

The Chief Medical Officers for the UK recommend that if you’re pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.

Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink the greater the risk.

In addition to the risk of miscarriage, more recent research found that drinking, particularly in the first three months of pregnancy, also increases the risk of premature birth and low birthweight.

5. Avoiding binge drinking keeps you in control

Binge drinking usually refers to drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time or drinking to get drunk. Binge drinking increases the risk of accidents, like head injuries and fractures, alcohol poisoning and heart disease

To reduce the risk of harming your health if you drink most weeks spread your drinking over three days or more days.



Support and Useful Links


Support & Useful Links - Alcohol

Realising you have a problem with alcohol is the first step to getting better, but it is often the hardest one.

You may need help if:

  • You always feel the need to have a drink. 
  • You get into trouble because of your drinking.
  • Other people warn you about how much you’re drinking.


Talk to your GP

A good place to start is with your GP. Be honest with them about how much you drink. Your GP may refer you to a local community alcohol service.


Health advice


Useful links

Information to support you to cut down or stop drinking is available through a number of national websites. Some of the key sites are provided below while for those that need it there is local support.





5 benefits of quitting

1. Cannabis (hash, weed, grass, skunk, marijuana)

Cannabis is a calming drug that also alters perceptions. It's seen as "natural" because it's made from the cannabis plant, but that doesn't mean it's safe. Cannabis can make you feel relaxed and happy, but sometimes makes people feel lethargic, very anxious and paranoid, and even psychotic.

It is possible to become psychologically dependent on cannabis. And some people do experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it.

2. Cocaine (powder cocaine, coke, crack)

Powder cocaine (coke), freebase and crack are all types of cocaine, and all are powerful stimulants. Freebase and crack can be smoked, and powder cocaine can be snorted in lines. Both cocaine powder and crack can also be prepared for injecting.                             

If you take cocaine, it's possible to die of an overdose from over stimulating the heart and nervous system, which can lead to a heart attack. It can be more risky if mixed with alcohol.

Cocaine is highly addictive and can cause a very strong psychological dependence.

3. Ecstasy (MDMA, pills, crystal, E)

Ecstasy is a "psychedelic" stimulant drug usually sold as tablets, but it's sometimes dabbed on to gums or snorted in its powder form. It's also known as MDMA or "crystal".

Long-term use has been linked with memory problems, depression and anxiety. Ecstasy use affects the body's temperature control and can lead to dangerous overheating and dehydration.

Ecstasy can be addictive, as users can develop a psychological dependence on this drug. It is also possible to build up a tolerance to the drug and need to take more and more to get the same effect.

4. Speed (amphetamine, billy, whizz)

Speed is the street name for drugs based on amphetamine, and is a stimulant drug. It's usually an off-white or pink powder that's either dabbed on to gums, snorted or swallowed in paper.

Taking speed can be dangerous for the heart, as it can cause high blood pressure and heart attacks. Injecting speed is particularly dangerous, as death can occur from overdose. Any sharing of injecting equipment adds the risk of catching hepatitis C and HIV. 

5. Heroin

Heroin is a drug made from morphine, which is extracted from the opium poppy. ‘Street’ heroin often sold as 'brown' is highly addictive and people can quickly get hooked.

Injecting heroin and sharing injecting equipment can be very risky, as it runs the risk of the injector catching or spreading a virus, such as HIV or hepatitis C. There is also the risk that veins may be damaged and that an abscess or blood clot may develop.



Support and Useful Links

Support & Useful Links - Drugs

Support for Recovery

If you or somebody you know is struggling with substance misuse and wish to begin or continue a recovery journey our local support and recovery organisation is CGL Aspire.

Address: 102-104 Bridge Street, Peterborough, PE1 1DY
Telephone: 01733 895624 / 0800 1114354
Fax: 01733 349221

A further hub in Bretton will open in mid-May.The service will also have a base in Orton, at Unit 26 Herlington Centre, Orton Malbourne, Peterborough, PE2 5PW.  This will be open from 4th April.

Talk to your GP

A good place to start is to visit your GP. Your GP can discuss your concerns with you, assess the nature of your problems and help you choose the most appropriate treatment. Your GP might offer to treat you or might refer you to your local specialist drug service.

Many drug treatment services accept self-referrals so, if you're not comfortable talking to your GP, you might be able to approach your local drug treatment service directly.


Health advice

Useful Links

The following links provide information about the harms of drugs and the support available.




The Safer Peterborough Partnership                                               

The Safer Peterborough Partnership is the body responsible for delivering the National Drug strategy at a local level.

Our three year plan is an overarching strategy looking at the key themes from the national drug strategies.

The three key themes from these are:

  • Reducing Demand
    Creating an environment where the vast majority of people who have never taken drugs continue to remain substance free and making it easier for those that do use illicit substances to stop.

  • Restricting Supply
    By robust national and local enforcement, we must make Peterborough unattractive destination to those dealing in drugs.

  • Building Recovery in Communities
    We will ensure those people that want to take the necessary steps to tackle their dependency have the service and support in place to ensure recovery is achievable.

Overarching aims are:

  • Reduce illicit and other harmful drug use.
  • Increase the numbers recovering from their dependence.

Using the three key themes and the two overarching aims as our base the partnership has developed a strategy which aims to tackle a vast number of local issues related to drugs.



Sexual Health

Sexual health

1. Contraception

Contraceptive methods allow you to choose when and whether you want to have a baby. Barrier methods such as condoms are a form of contraception that help protect against both sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy. Contraception is free for most people in the UK. With 15 methods to choose from, you'll be able to find one that suits you best.

2. Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if your contraceptive method has failed – for example, a condom has split or you've missed a pill. There are two types the emergency contraceptive pill (sometimes called the morning after pill) and the IUD (intrauterine device, or coil). Both types of emergency contraception are effective at preventing pregnancy if they are used soon after unprotected sex.

3. Chlamydia

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK. It's passed on from one person to another through unprotected sex (sex without a condom) and is particularly common in sexually active teenagers and young adults. Almost 7 in every 10 people diagnosed with the condition were under 25 years old.

Testing for chlamydia is done with a urine test or a swab test. Anyone can get a free and confidential chlamydia test at a sexual health clinic, a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic or a GP surgery. People under 25 years old can also get tested by the National Chlamydia Screening Programme. This is often in places such as pharmacies, contraception clinics or colleges. 

Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics. You may be given some tablets to take all on one day, or a longer course of capsules to take for a week.

4. Gay Health

If you’re gay, lesbian or bisexual, by being aware of your health risks and having relevant health checks, you can stay healthy and reduce your risk of illness.

Gay men, lesbians and bisexual people have the same health needs as straight people. However, research shows that people with same-sex partners may have a higher risk of contracting certain conditions. Gay men, lesbian women and bisexual people may also be less likely to take advantage of screening and other health checks so health problems are not picked up as early as they could be.

5. HIV and Aids

The number of people with HIV in the UK is rising and according to Public Health England, around a quarter don't know they have the virus. HIV is spread through bodily fluids, such as semen or blood. It's most commonly passed on during unprotected sex, including oral and anal sex.

HIV attacks the immune system, the body's defence against infection and disease. This means someone with HIV has a higher risk of getting a serious infection or disease.


Support and Useful Links



Support & Useful Links - Sexual Health

Access your FREE local contraception and sexual health service

iCaSH is you nearest contraception and sexual health service at 39-41 Priestgate, Peterborough PE1 1JL or call 0300 300 3030.

Opening hours:

  • Monday: 09:00-19:30
  • Tuesday: 09:00-19:30
  • Wednesday: 09:00-19:30
  • Thursday: 09:00-19:30
  • Friday: 09:00-16:30
  • Saturday: 10:15-12:30


Useful links

The following links provide information about sexual health to help you.


Mental Health

Mental health

1. Low mood and depression

Difficult events and experiences can leave us in low spirits or cause depression. It could be relationship problems, bereavement, sleep problems, stress at work, bullying, chronic illness or pain. Sometimes it's possible to feel down without there being an obvious reason.

A low mood will tend to lift after a few days or weeks, but if it doesn’t it can be a sign of depression. If negative feelings don't go away, are too much for you to cope with, or are stopping you from carrying on with your normal life, you may need to make some changes and get some extra support.

2. Struggling with stress?

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else.

There is little you can do to prevent stress, but there are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively, such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise and adopting good time-management techniques.

3. Why can’t I control my anger?

Anger is a feeling that affects us all. Things that can make us feel angry include a threat to us or people close to us, a blow to our self-esteem or social standing in a group, being interrupted when we’re pursuing a goal, being treated unfairly and feeling unable to change this, being verbally or physically assaulted, or someone going against a principle we feel is important.

You can also look at what makes you angry, and how you deal with those feelings. For specific tips, you can read this article about how to control your anger. If you feel you need help controlling your anger, see your GP.

4. Why do I feel anxious?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life, but for some people it can be an ongoing problem. A little bit of anxiety can be helpful; for example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.

A little anxiety is fine, but long-term anxiety may cause more serious health problems, such as high blood pressure (hypertension). You may also be more likely to develop infections. If you’re feeling anxious all the time there are effective treatments available, so do talk to your GP.


Support and Useful Links

Support & Useful Links - Mental Health

If you're having mental health problems, you're not alone. One in four of us will have problems with our mental health at some time in our lives.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT)

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust provides integrated community and mental health, learning disability and social care services

Address: Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge, CB21 5EF
Telephone: 01223 726789 (open 8:30am to 5pm)

Search here for CPFT local mental health services and contacts.



If something's troubling you, get in touch:


Telephone: 01733 312 727 (local call charges apply)
National telephone: 116 123 (this number is free to call)
Email Samaritans:
Address: Samaritans Peterborough, 441 Lincoln Road, Millfield, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE1 2PE
Usual hours open to receive callers at the door: 12:00pm - 8:00pm


Health advice



Useful links



Workplace health

How fit are you?

The risk of many of the leading causes of ill health, such as coronary heart disease, cancer and type two diabetes, could be reduced if we were to play more sport and increase our overall levels of physical activity. 

Fitting some physical activity into your day is easier than you think.  Being active is really good for your body, mind and health – and there are lots of easy ways you can get moving!

By meeting recommended levels of physical activity for adults, your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes is reduced by up to 50%. 

Experts recommend that adults should do 150 minutes a week of physical activity that makes you breathe faster such as cycling or fast walking. This can be done in 30 minute sessions at different times.

Examples of activities that require moderate effort for most people include:

  • walking fast
  • water aerobics
  • riding a bike on level ground or with few hills
  • doubles tennis
  • pushing a lawn mower
  • hiking
  • skateboarding
  • rollerblading
  • volleyball
  • basketball 

Moderate activity will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you're working at a moderate level is if you can still talk, but you can't sing the words to a song.

We should also carry out strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Are you doing enough? Find out by taking the One You quiz.

Vivacity leisure centres in the City Centre, Orton, Werrington, Netherton and Hampton offer exercise for health classes, as well gym and swimming options. 

Sit less and move more

Modern day life means it’s never felt easier to get to the end of the day and realise you’ve been sat down for most of it. 

People are less active nowadays, partly because technology has made our lives easier. We drive cars or take public transport. Machines wash our clothes. We entertain ourselves in front of a TV or computer screen. Fewer people are doing manual work, and most of us have jobs that involve little physical effort. Work, house chores, shopping and other necessary activities are far less demanding than for previous generations.

We move around less and burn off less energy than people used to. Research suggests that many adults spend more than seven hours a day sitting down, at work, on transport or in their leisure time. People aged over 65 spend 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group.
Inactivity is described by the Department of Health as a “silent killer”. Evidence is emerging that sedentary behaviour, such as sitting or lying down for long periods, is bad for your health. Not only should you try to raise your activity levels, but you should also reduce the amount of time you and your family spend sitting down.
Finding ways to be more active can start with reducing the amount of time we spend sitting down – get up, stretch your legs and do more steps each day.

Take the stairs whenever you can and go on a brisk walk to the shops instead of driving.  

If you work at a computer most days, try getting up to talk to a colleague instead of an email, or make a cup of tea for your team. 

Spending hours watching television is not good for our bodies so why not swap the living room for the garden? Gardening is a great way of getting outdoors and being active – you could even have fun growing your own veggies too!

Surprise the dog by taking it for a walk twice a day or a much longer walk than usual – you’ll both benefit!  

Try going for a brisk walk in the park or a bike ride, or even dancing to the radio.   If you’re looking for some great places to take a walk, why not try local nature and wildlife reserves such as Cuckoo’s Hollow in Werrington, Thorpe Wood Woodlands or the Stanground Wash. 

Maybe clean the car by hand yourself using a bucket and sponge, rather than taking it to the car wash. Good for you and your wallet and you could even get the kids to help!

For young adults there are a number of skate parks and BMX tracks open to the public at all times, some are nationally recognised facilities attracting riders from all over the country.

For most of us, daily chores such as shopping or housework don't count towards your activity target. This is because your body doesn't work hard enough to get your heart rate up.

Click on the links below for ideas on building more activity into your life:

Check out Amazon's One You Health Hub where you can find products to help you live a healthier lifestyle, whether that's getting you more active, tracking your health or getting a better night's sleep.


Build strength

Building your strength helps keep your muscles, bones and joints strong. This will help you feel stronger, more flexible and full of energy.

Muscle strength is necessary for all daily movement, to build and maintain strong bones, to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure and to help maintain a healthy weight. 

To achieve health benefits from strength exercises, you should do them to the point where you struggle to complete another repetition. 

There are many ways you can strengthen your muscles, whether it's at home or in the gym such as carrying groceries, stepping and jumping such as dancing, heavy gardening such as digging or shovelling and exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups or lifting weights. 

Watersports and outdoor activities provide great strength-building exercises for people of all ages, and you can try lots of thee type of activities at Ferry Meadows Country Park.  Ferry Meadows also has lakes, meadows, woodlands and a riverside that make it a popular destination for many visitors throughout the year for relaxing walks as well as cycle routes.

The Strength and Flex exercise 5-week plan consists of a series of equipment-free exercises designed to improve your strength and flexibility. Strength and Flex will help you achieve your recommended two weekly sessions of strength exercises.


Get moving now

It is estimated in the UK that one out of every six early deaths results from not being physically active. 
Physical inactivity costs the NHS £900 million per year and if other costs such as social care are taken into account, this rises to £7.4 billion per year.

It's easy to move more and doing something is better than nothing. Start small and build up gradually – just 10 minutes at a time can be really good for you.  Make a start today. It's never too late.

By building activity into your day it keeps your heart healthy, reduces your risk of serious illness and strengthens muscles and bones. It can also be a great way of reducing your stress levels and lifting your mood if you’re feeling down. Our busy lives often means our own health is at the bottom of our list of priorities, but remember that it’s important to take time to look after yourself as not only will you feel the benefits but so will your family.  Get your heart beating faster and your lungs working harder for at least 10 minutes at a time.

Take the free online One You health quiz, to get personalised recommendations on how to start the fight back to a healthier you. Check out your score and see what tools and offers One You suggests to help you change.  Being active is all about having fun. If we don’t enjoy it, we won’t keep it up, and we all deserve to spend some time doing something we enjoy.

10 minute workouts
Short on time? Hate the gym? Too tired to exercise after work? These 10-minute workouts are just what you need. These equipment-free fitness routines are great to do at home and short enough for you to easily fit them into your daily schedule. There are six workouts, one for every day of the week if you include a rest day, each working on a different area of your fitness. 

10,000 steps challenge
Walking more, whether it's for work or leisure, is an easy way of being more active without trying too hard. Setting yourself a target of walking 10,000 steps a day can be a fun way of increasing the amount of physical activity you do. Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and give you a healthier heart.

12-week fitness plan
Want to improve your health? Need to lose weight? This activity plan for beginners, combining running and strength and flexibility workouts, will get you into the habit of regular exercise in 12 weeks.  The plan is structured but flexible enough to allow you to fit the exercise sessions around your other weekly commitments.

Fitness Studio exercise classes
Take your pick from among 20 instructor-led videos in our aerobics, strength and resistance, pilates and yoga categories. No gym fees, no intimidating group classes, no timetables: exercise from the comfort of your own home whenever you want.

Gym-free workouts
Put the fun back into fitness with these equipment-free workouts for all levels.  These illustrated guides are designed to help make your workouts effective and easy to follow. 

Couch to 5k
The NHS Couch to 5K plan is designed to get you off the couch and gradually work you up to running 5K or for half an hour, in just nine weeks.

5 minute wake-up workout
Start your day feeling on top of the world with this five-minute bedroom workout combining strength and flexibility exercises.

Perkins Great Eastern Run 5k or half marathon
If you’re really keen, Peterborough hosts the Perkins Great Eastern Run in October each year and it is one of the fastest growing half marathons in the country. It also has a 5k fun run. 


Protect your mind

Being active is really good for your mind as well as your body. Getting some physical activity each day can help prevent you getting depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.

Moving more can also help you get a good night's sleep, which helps your brain to rest and recharge. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, being active every day can help to ease the symptoms. Physical activity can also help with stress by helping to clear your thoughts so you can deal with any problems more calmly. 

How exercise helps your mental wellbeing 

Scientists think that physical activity helps maintain and improve wellbeing in a number of ways. Physical activity can help people with mild depression. Evidence shows that it can also help protect people against anxiety. Physical activity is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can help to positively change our mood. Some scientists think that being active can improve wellbeing because it brings about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.

How you can get more active

If you want to get active, think about physical activity in the broadest sense. It can help to read the physical activity guidelines for adultsAdults aged 19 and over should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity – such as fast walking or cycling – a week.

Find activities that you enjoy, then make them a part of your life. There's lots of information and advice on NHS Choices to help you get active:

Feel happier and enjoy life more with these five evidence-based steps for improving your mental wellbeing.

Benefits of physical activity

It’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don’t need a GP to get some. Its name? Exercise.

Physical activity can help keep you fit and well and reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.

Click on the links below to find out if you're doing enough for your age:

Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose. Our health is now suffering as a consequence.

This is no snake oil. Whatever your age, there's strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life.

People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.

Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

“If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented,” says Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant.

Health benefits

Given the overwhelming evidence, it seems obvious that we should all be physically active. It's essential if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.

It's medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:
  • up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
  • up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
  • a 30% lower risk of early death
  • up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
  • up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
  • a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
  • up to a 30% lower risk of depression
  • up to a 30% lower risk of dementia

Being active means getting your heart rate up, feeling warmer (perhaps even breaking into a light sweat) and making your lungs work harder.  There are dozens of local community centres around the Greater Peterborough area and surrounding villages, offering lots of opportunities to get moving, try something new and meet local people, so why not find out what yours has to offer?

Active Travel

We all rely on cars and public transport, because they make our lives so easy.  

Choosing more active ways to get around is a fun and easy way to fit more activity into your daily routine.  It can take a little longer and you may not be able to do it for all your journeys, but you may be surprised where you can swap the car or public transport for two legs or two wheels.  

Also, walking or cycling instead of can also be good for your pocket, as well as the environment. 

The Peterborough Green Wheel offers 45 miles of on-road and traffic-free cycle paths in and around the city to help you find alternative ways of getting to and from work, taking the school run or leisurely rides. Find out more at Travelchoice They can also do you a personalised travel plan.

Sustrans have great advice on how to start cycling to work, and you can even get a new commuting bike without having to pay up front through the cycle to work scheme.

 Pledge to take part in the Cycle to Work Day on 14 September 2016 - you can even win prizes! 



Age well

Living healthily in middle age can double your chances of being healthy when you are 70.  Being active is critical to maintain a healthy body and mind for later years, and poorer health in later life is not inevitable.

Older age can mean living as well as young people by making relatively small changes to our habits and lifestyles now.  Not being active increases our risk of many conditions that will impact on future quality of life, including dementia, osteoarthritis and general physical limitations in older age. 

Older adults can be more at risk of falling, and should do exercises to improve balance and co-ordination on at least two days a week, such as yoga, tai chi and dancing. 

Being active slows the natural breakdown of your bones and muscles, and helps us maintain a healthy weight and good circulation. It also helps maintain our brains. 

If you’re looking to be active with the children or grandchildren, there are over 200 play areas for families of all ages in and around PeterboroughFacilities at some of the parks such as Central Park include a paddling pool, sensory garden, an aviary, a cafe and sports playing grounds.  The Embankment is within easy walking distance of the city centre and runs along the picturesque views of the River Nene, Bretton Park boasts one of the largest green open spaces whilst Itter Park in Paston has a bowling green and a putting green.



Pedal yourself to a healthier lifestyle

There are over 250km of cycle lanes and paths in Peterborough make cycling safe, accessible and enjoyable for the whole family. Whether you are taking leisurely rides on the Green Wheel or using our primary cycle network to reach your school or place of work, this city loves cyclists. 

Dust off your saddle and get on your bike for an easy and low impact activity, whilst improving your fitness and reducing your stress levels.

  • A cycle ride of fifteen minutes to work or the shops and back meets the recommendation for an adult’s daily activity
  • On average, cyclists live two years longer than non-cyclists and are as fit as an average person ten years younger
  • Too dangerous to cycle? Being inactive presents a much greater risk than non-cycling, with 50,000 people dying in the UK each year due to coronary heart disease related to insufficient physical activity
  • From gentle exercise to serious sport, cycling burns off calories, raises your metabolic rate and helps you to feel and look a whole lot healthier
  • Cycling firms your thighs and bottom and can even help tone your stomach muscles

As well as being good for your health you will also save money and the environment.

View Travelchoice's Get Cycling booklet for advice on cycling around Peterborough. 

For cycle routes, download Peterborough's urban cycle map and rural cycle map or try out a scenic cycle leisure routes Nene Park Loop, Nassaburgh Trail, John Clare Country, Crown Lake Link and Celtic Causeway.


Set yourself a Great Eastern Challenge

Why not set yourself the challenge to be part of one of the biggest and best half marathons in the region. If your fitness levels aren't up for the half marathon, sign up for the 5k fun run (you can walk it if running is still a but daunting for you). You could even get the whole family involved in the 5k. 

The Perkins Great Eastern Run takes place on 9 October and has a great reputation among half marathons in the UK, as its fast, flat course gives runners an excellent chance of a personal best. 

Novice runners can get all the running support and training advice they need for the race. Free weekly training sessions take place at the Peterborough Embankment Athletics Track from July and on race day pacers will lead runners around the course at a variety of speeds.

To register for this year’s half marathon or 5k please go to


Walking for health

Vivacity have joined forces with Walking for Health and are currently running local walks in the Peterborough area.

Walking can improve general health and happiness, joining a local walking group often encourages people to explore the outdoors, get to know their local area and meet like-minded new people. It’s really easy to get started with walking as you don’t need any special equipment, it’s completely FREE, plus it counts towards your recommended amount of physical activity.

There are a number of different locations across the Peterborough area where the groups meet on a regular basis including Ferry Meadows, Werrington, Orton Mere and Dogsthorpe to name a few. There are some beautiful routes so great for taking in some of the local scenery.

Most of the walks can be adapted so you can either take a short walk, or a longer stroll depending on your own preference or ability. Everyone is welcome!

Elaine Pringle, who is one of the Walk Leaders commented: “All of the walks are on solid paths and are not just through housing estates. The walks accommodate people of differing capabilities and speeds. You do not feel that you are in a race and everyone is friendly and welcoming. The walk leaders are all volunteers but take the time to make sure all of the walkers are OK throughout the walks. Some of the walks are followed by a cuppa and a good old natter in a local café!”

The Walking for Health scheme has helped Elaine personally following chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for lung cancer 2 years ago. “Some of the medication I was on led to weight gain and it was suggested that I walked on a regular basis to tackle this. I was made aware of the Walking for Health scheme and joined a twice weekly 3 mile walk at my local country park. When I first joined I didn’t know anyone else but everyone was very friendly and welcoming. As the walks were at the same time and place each week I found it easier to attend. I would most definitely recommend this scheme to others. It's a great way to get some exercise and you meet some lovely people too!”

To find out about your nearest walking group, visit the walking for health, call Kerry our friendly Walk Co-Ordinator on 01733 864738, or email


Weekly park runs

Peterborough Parkrun is a FREE weekly 5km event for runners of all standards, which takes place every Saturday at 9am in Ferry Meadows Country Park, Ham Lane, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 5UU. It is not a race against other runners, but a 5k timed run and it can really be whatever you want it to be, whether that's for fun or as part of a training plan.

It offers an opportunity for all the local community, male or female, young or old, to come together on a regular basis to enjoy this beautiful park and get physically active into the bargain. We want to encourage people to jog or run together irrespective of their ability – this event is truly open to all and best of all it really is FREE!

Taking part is easy – just register before your first ever parkrun. The great thing is that you only ever need to do this once! Then just set your alarm for Saturday morning and get yourself there!

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the Ferry Meadows Café, show you barcode and get a 10% discount - please come and join us! Maybe swap stories about your run that day, chat to other runners over a cup of tea or coffee and just be an important part of this new running community.

So whether you are a complete novice looking to get yourself started on your own "running journey" or a seasoned athlete wanting to use this as a part of your training schedule, you’re welcome to come along and join us.





How are you?



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