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 & 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


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 & 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


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 & 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


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 & 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.



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 & 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.


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 & 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 & 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


Useful links



Workplace health

Eat your way to 5 A Day

Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Children and adults are recommended to eat at least 5-a-day, every day.

Benefits of 5 A Day

The Eatwell Guide shows us that fruit and vegetables should make up just over one third of the food we eat each day. Fruit and vegetables help us to stay healthy, for example they:

  • Lower our risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
  • Provide us with important vitamins and minerals to be healthy
  • Contain fibre, which helps our digestion and gut health plus reduces risk of bowel cancer.
  • Help us to be a healthy weight as they are low in fat and calories.

How Much Do You Need?

Aim to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. This is 5 different varieties not 5 of the same type. It can be a combination of fruit and vegetables; it isn’t 5 of one and 5 of the other.

  • 80g of fresh, frozen or tinned fruit
    This is often referred to as the amount that will fit in to the palm of your hand – you can use this as a measure instead of weighing it out. Remember that children have smaller palms and so will need to eat less than an older child or an adult.
    An 80g portion of fruit is about the same as; large fruit - a slice or half e.g. a slice of melon or half a grapefruit; 1 medium size fruit e.g. an apple or 2 small size fruits e.g. 2 plums or satsumas.
    80g of vegetables is about the same as; 3 heaped tablespoons of peas, beans or pulses; 2 broccoli spears or a dessert bowl of salad.
  • 30g of dried fruit 
    30g is about one heaped tablespoon of dried fruit. This counts as a maximum of one portion a day, even if you eat more.

  • One 150ml glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice or a smoothie
    This counts as a maximum of one portion a day, even if you drink more.  

5-A-Day Throughout the Day - What Counts?

  • Fresh, frozen and tinned varieties all count. Watch Out! Choose tinned fruit in natural juice (not syrup) and tinned vegetables in water with no added sugar or salt.
  • Dried fruit also counts but only as one portion a day. Remember to keep dried fruit to mealtimes only for children, not as a snack, to help protect their teeth.
  • Did you know? Beans and pulses also count e.g. lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, split peas. These count as a maximum of one portion a day.

Don’t be caught out! Potatoes, yam, plantain and cassava do not count towards your 5-a-day. Instead these are counted as a starchy carbohydrate - along with bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. They are still part of a healthy balanced diet.

Easy ways to 5 A Day

It can be easier than you think to eat 5-a-day. Check out some of our top tips.  

  • Set the family a challengeIf you don’t all eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day already then see how quickly you can build up from the number you do currently eat.
  • Get the children involvedThey could keep a sticker chart of how many portions they have. Make snacks fun by letting them design something like a ‘fruit face’.  Teach them about different varieties when you go shopping, can you interest them to try something new?  
  • Can you add at least one portion to each of your main meals? Breakfast could be a glass of fruit juice, berries on top of cereal or a banana on toast. At lunch try adding a side salad, have vegetable sticks with dip or a whole piece of fruit. With dinner serve a side of one or two different  vegetables. If you’re having desert try plain natural yoghurt with sliced fruit.
  • Fruit and vegetables make great snacks too.
  • Try to ‘eat the rainbow’. This means eating a variety of different fruits and vegetables which are different colours, textures and flavours.  
  • Look for things in season. These often taste better and are better value. In season in July are; cherries, cucumber and lettuce. Also; blueberries, bramley apples, broad beans, cauliflower, carrots, celery, courgette, raspberries, runner beans, rhubarb. Not forgetting; strawberries, peas, savoy cabbage and spinach! So much choice.

Sign up for free to the Change4Life Fruit and Veg Boost! Get free recipes, useful hints and tips, shopping advice and more! 

Change4Life has lots of ideas to help your family to eat at least 5-a-day


First foods for your baby

Babies and children should be encouraged to eat healthily from the very start. At around 6 months you should start to introduce your baby to solid foods. This is often referred to as weaning.

From 0-6 months it is recommended babies are exclusively breastfed. They can get everything theyneed from breast milk or formula milk. At around 6 months babies then need solid foods in addition to their usual breast milk or formula milk feeds. This helps to meet their large energy requirements as they grow and develop.

Start to introduce your baby to solid foods by around 6 months old but not before 4 months. This is for babies who are breastfed or on formula milk. Advice for premature babies may differ, please speak to your Midwife, Health Visitor or GP.

Some signs that your baby is ready for their first solid foods:

1. They can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady.
2. They have eye, hand and mouth co-ordination so they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth on their own.
3. They can swallow food, rather than pushing food back out and getting most of it on their face rather than in their mouth.

Learn more signs to look out for.

The Start4Life website has lots of useful information. They offer guidance on choosing your baby’s first foods. This page also gives ideas for finger foods which introduce your baby to different textures and types of foods.

It is important to introduce your baby to a healthy diet from the start including:

  • Vegetables and fruit,
  • Starchy foods (bread, rice, potatoes and pasta),
  • Protein foods (meat, fish, eggs and beans or pulses)
  • Dairy foods (plain full fat yoghurt).
  • Foods should have no added sugar and no added salt.

There are some foods which you should avoid giving to babies

It will take time to introduce your baby to different foods. When you first introduce solid foods you are just getting your baby used to eating. The amount they eat is less important as they will still be getting most of what they need from breast milk or formula milk. Slowly increase the amount and variety of solid foods they are having. Until by 10-12 months your baby can be offered 3 meals a day eating the same as the rest of the family in smaller amounts.

Some helpful tips:

  • Be patient and relaxed at mealtimes.
  • Be prepared – introducing solid foods will be messy!
  • Don’t worry if your baby’s appetite varies day to day this is normal.
  • Take away any distractions at mealtimes (e.g. TV, mobile phones or toys)
  • Keep trying your baby with new foods. Refusing food is common.
  • Babies learn to like foods they are given regularly. Keep offering foods even if your baby is not sure at first, it can take several attempts before they accept it.
  • Introduce lots of different foods from 6 months so they get used to different flavours and textures.
  • Be a good role model by eating well yourself.
  • Eating together as a family will help to teach your baby good habits.

From 6 months to 5 years it is recommended that your baby takes a vitamin supplement.

Remember to speak to your Midwife, Health Visitor or GP if you need any advice. You can also get more information on complementary feeding  from Start4Life, NHS Choices, British Nutrition Foundation.


Healthy Start Scheme

Could you qualify to receive free vitamins for children under 4 and as a pregnant or breastfeeding woman? There are also free vouchers to spend on some basic foods. Healthy Start helps you to give your family the best start in life.

Healthy Start Vitamins

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for everyone. However some groups of people may still find it difficult to get all of the goodness they need from their diet. It is recommended that pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and small children take a vitamin supplement in addition to eating well. This helps them to get the vitamins they need to stay healthy.

Vitamin tablets are available for pregnant women and mothers with a child under one who qualify. Children’s vitamin drops are available for those aged from 6 months to 4 years. Find out if you qualify or for more information you can speak to your Midwife or Health Visitor. Applying for Healthy Start is easy.

If you already receive Healthy Start vitamin coupons but aren’t sure where you can swap them for free vitamins click here for a list of places in Peterborough.

Healthy Start Vouchers

Healthy Start vouchers can help you to buy these basic foods; milk, fruit and vegetables and infant formula milk. Click here to check if you qualify for free vouchers or speak to your Midwife or Health Visitor. 

  • Pregnant women and children over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week.
  • Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.

You can use the vouchers in any local participating shop. Click here to find a retailer near you.

Who to contact

Telephone 0345 6076823 or visit Healthy Start

Get Sugar Smart!

Our children are eating and drinking too much sugar. In-fact they consume three times as much sugar as recommended.

Too much sugar can lead to weight gain. Unhealthy weight increases the risk of serious illnesses including type-2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Regularly having a lot of sugar can also cause tooth decay.

Many of the foods and drinks we give our children contain a lot of sugar. This sugar has been added to make products taste sweeter. You might be surprised at just how many everyday foods have added sugar, including; breakfast cereals, soft drinks, and yoghurts.

How can you reduce sugar?

  • Swap high sugar items for similar choices with less sugar
  • Give smaller portions of sugary items
  • Cut back on how often children have sugary drinks and snacks

As adults we can encourage children to make a swap to a lower sugar item by choosing these for ourselves too. For ideas to cut back on sugar visit Change4Life Sugar Smart to help you to reduce sugar in your child’s diet.

The Change4Life Sugar Smart App allows you to scan barcodes on food and drink packaging to reveal how many sugar cubes it contains. This is a free app and can be downloaded via their website.

Sugary Snacks

Sweets, cakes, pastries, biscuits and chocolate should be occasional treats and not given or seen by children as regular snacks. There are lots of other ways to treat and reward children. What about you reading them a story, playing or doing an activity with them, a walk or run together or even extra time to play with friends.

Snacks can provide extra energy in-between main meals. Swap sugary snacks for healthier alternatives, some ideas include;

  • Whole fruit or chopped fruit salad.
  • Vegetable sticks with dips such as hummous or low fat soft cheese. This helps towards children’s 5-a-day.
  • Natural yoghurt. Adding fruit will make this naturally sweeter.
  • Slice of toast, tea cake, crackers, rice cakes or plain popcorn.

When does your child snack and which one you could change first? Some parents swap the after school snack to start with. Plan ahead so you have a healthier snack to give them when they ask for it and neither of you reaches automatically for the usual unhealthy option.  

Change4Life has lots of suggestions for swapping sugary snacks.

Sugary Drinks

Do you know how many cubes of sugar are in a can of fizzy drink compared to a glass of tap water?
There can be as many as 9 cubes of sugar in fizzy drinks cans but there are zero in plain tap or bottled water!

Children get most of their sugar intake from sugary drinks. These include fizzy drinks, juice drinks, squash and cordial, energy drinks and fruit juice. Even no added sugar and sugar free choices can still damage the protective layer (enamel) on children’s teeth.

Swap sugary drinks for plain water and milk as these are the only tooth friendly drinks for children.

Change4Life has top tips for swapping sugary drinks.




Active Children, More Often, Everyday

Being physically active every day is important for your child’s growth and development. There are lots of different activities to keep children active, this makes exercise more fun and helps to use and strengthen different parts of the body. 

How much activity should children do?

These are the minimum amounts of time children should be active for, doing more is recommended. 

Children under 5
Should be active for at least three hours (180 minutes) every day.
This could be rolling and playing on the floor, standing up and moving around while grabbing, pulling and pushing through play. More energetic activity may include parent and child swimming, using a climbing frame, running around or playing ball games.

Children and Young People (5-18 years)
Should do at least 60 minutes of activity every day.
Children over 5 should do different types of exercises of moderate and vigorous intensity and for muscle strengthening. These activities include walking, skating and cycling; swimming, running and football or similar sports; plus gymnastics or martial arts.

This activity doesn’t all have to be at once, it should be spread over the whole day. Any 10 minute burst of energy counts towards the total minutes.

Need some more ideas for keeping children active? 

Check out for hundreds of games, ideas and activities to have fun and get active – indoor and out, rain or shine – there’s something for all the family!


Stop sitting for long periods

Being inactive and sitting still (being sedentary) for long periods is bad for our health, even if we do the recommended amount of exercise for the day. Being inactive while we are asleep is ok though.

Try not to let children sit watching TV or playing on the computer or games console for long periods, and reduce the time they are sitting in a buggy or in the car.  Break up the time they spend sat down to do homework or reading.

Remind children to do something active to break up long periods of sitting, even just a few minutes helps. Putting toys away, setting the dinner table and playing away from a screen are some ideas to encourage movement.    

Find out more about being inactive and get ideas to build up children’s activity levels

Great rewards for being active!

Encouraging children to achieve their recommended amount of physical activity each day will help to reduce their risk of poor health. Activity helps to strengthen muscles and bones and improves fitness. It builds confidence and improves concentration and learning at school. Being active is part of staying a healthy weight and improving health. Physical activity makes children feel good too!


Get healthy for free this summer

Tips for Teeth

For a confident smile it is important to establish a good oral health routine. You can also help ensure healthy teeth by giving children tooth friendly foods and drinks.

Change to a Cup

If you are bottle feeding try to put in only water or milk. These are the only tooth friendly drinks for babies and children. 

As your baby reaches around 6 months, start to introduce a cup or free flow beaker. From the age of one, look to give all drinks in a cup or free flow beaker and ‘bin-the-bottle!’

Tooth Friendly Foods and Drinks

Sugar increases the risk of tooth decay. To protect your child’s teeth, work at cutting down on how often they have sugary foods and drinks. Every time they eat or drink anything sugary, acid then attacks their teeth for about an hour. It is best to give sugary items as occasional treats and at mealtimes.

Visit chanage4life for more ideas on sugar swaps.

Swap sugary foods & drinks… For these healthier choices!
Fizzy drinks (including sugar and sugar-free or ‘diet’ drinks) Plain still water …For more flavour add some fresh fruit e.g. a slice of orange or mixed berries. Plain milk
100% Fruit Juice Limit to 1 x 150ml glass a day and serve only at mealtimes.
Sweets and chocolate

Children should view these as a treat (not an everyday snack) and not to be had very often. Have them at the end of a mealtime not on their own.

Try not to give these as a reward, non-food rewards include stickers, time spent reading a story with a parent or extra time playing with a friend.

Sugary snacks e.g. sugary cereal, biscuits, cakes, chocolates and sweets

Fruit e.g. apple, blueberries and other berries, Satsuma, banana, pear. Only give dried fruit as part of a main meal.

Raw vegetables e.g. carrot, pepper, cucumber. Chop these in to sticks and serve with a hummous dip.

Toast or rice-cakes with low-fat spread or plain popcorn.


Do you know how much sugar is hidden in foods and drinks children eat?

Download the free SugarSmart App from Change4Life which lets you scan items to revel how much sugar it contains.


As an adult you can teach children the routine of brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes. This will establish good habits to keep teeth healthy and avoid tooth decay or gum disease. Consider these top brushing tips;

  • Brush your baby’s teeth as soon as their first tooth appears; this is usually around 6 months but can be earlier or later.
  • Brush teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. You can use regular fluoride toothpaste; you don’t need to buy special toothpaste for children.
  • Use a smear of toothpaste for under 3 year olds and a pea size for children over 3.
  • Brush for 2 minutes twice a day, including before they go to bed.
  • Children often need help with tooth brushing until the age of 8.

Visit the Dentist

When your child’s first teeth appear take them to see the dentist. The NHS dental care is free for children. Continue to visit the dentist regularly, at least once a year.

More information on dental health for both children and adult

Wake up to Breakfast


Breakfast is an important start to the day. Making sure children have had breakfast each morning will give them energy to help them concentrate at school and improve behaviour. Breakfast can help improve mood, reduce stress and make us feel happier too. It helps us to reach and maintain a healthy weight too.

Our bodies can get important vitamins and minerals from eating breakfast, including;

  • Calcium to build strong bones and teeth
  • Iron to make red blood cells, which take oxygen around the body

Eating breakfast together as a family can encourage children to adopt the habit. It’s also a really good start to the day for everyone! Try to eat breakfast within 2 hours of waking up.


Healthy breakfast choices

Cereal is a popular breakfast choice. Healthy breakfast cereals include plain wheat biscuits, shredded wheat and porridge. These cereals are low in sugar, fat and salt. They are also high in fibre, which helps to keep us feeling full for longer compared to foods low in fibre. 

Watch out though! Many breakfast cereals contain a lot of sugar which makes them unhealthy choices to eat everyday.  Check out our blog on food labels. The first time you buy a new cereal learn to read the food label to check it is low in sugar, fat and salt. When you’ve found a healthy cereal you won’t need to keep checking the label until you change to a different cereal.

Children (and adults) do not need to add sugar to cereal. Instead, to make breakfast sweeter, experiment with adding different fruits. With so many fruits to choose from breakfast never needs to be boring or the same. You can add fresh, frozen, tinned (in fruit juice not syrup) or dried fruit. For example; banana, raisins, strawberries, blueberries, prunes and many, many more! 

Serve cereal with low fat yoghurt, skimmed, 1% or semi-skimmed milk (children over 5 years). This is a good source of calcium for healthy bones and teeth.

Breakfast isn’t just about cereal. Bread is another healthy choice. Wholemeal bread has more fibre than white bread to keep you feeling full for longer. This could be made in to a sandwich with meat, fish or cheese fillings. Or toasted and served with baked beans or an egg - scrambled, poached, dippy or hard boiled. Aim to add a piece of whole fruit or some vegetables such as tomatoes, mushrooms or lettuce as well.


Less healthy breakfasts

Be careful of some breakfast choices which are higher in sugar or fat. These foods give a short burst of energy but they may not keep children full until lunchtime or keep them focused on their work all morning. Regularly eating these foods can lead to unhealthy weight gain.   

Avoid cereals with lots of sugar. You may be surprised at which cereals are higher in sugar, try to read the food label to make a better choice. Most cereal bars also contain a lot of sugar. Croissants and other pastries are high in fat and should not be an everyday option. If a full English breakfast is fried or cooked in a lot of oil it will be less healthy. Instead grill sausages, bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes and poach or scramble eggs.  


Bold ideas for breakfast

For breakfast inspiration, recipes and tips visit;






Benefits of Breastfeeding

The first year of life has a big influence on your baby’s health now and in the future. Breastfeeding can help your baby get off to the best start in life. It provides all the nourishment they need for healthy growth and development.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breast milk contains all the goodness your baby needs for their first 6 months. Some of the ingredients of breast milk, which help protect your baby against disease, can only be made by your body. Formula milk does not contain these ingredients as they cannot be replicated. The mix of ingredients in breast milk also changes between feeds to respond to your baby’s needs.

If you choose to breastfeed, your baby does not require anything else in their first 6 months. Around this time you will begin weaning them on to solid food. There are lots of benefits to continuing breastfeeding after 6 months as well at the same time as introducing solid foods. The longer you are able to breastfeed your baby the more they will benefit.

There are lots of benefits to breastfeeding both for your baby and for you as a mum. It helps your baby to fight illness and infection. Your risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer is reduced if you can breastfeed. It burns around 500 calories a day too! Plus breast milk is free. Importantly, breastfeeding can help to strengthen the bond between you and your baby.  

Getting Support with Breastfeeding

It can take some time before you comfortable and confident to breastfeed. You may need some extra support, don’t worry about asking for help lots of mums do. Speak to your Midwife or Health Visitor.

You can also access more information on the Start4Life website, such as advice on positioning your baby, ensuring that they are feeding well and other practical tips. Breastfeeding helplines can answer any questions you may have. 

Breastfeeding Peer Supporters are volunteer mums in your community who have breastfed themselves. They are trained to listen and supply information to support you around breastfeeding; they will also recognise when to direct you to a professional. Find out more from the Peterborough breastfeeding support facebook page.

Baby Cafes are another way of accessing support locally. These are drop-ins to help breastfeeding mums and are run by women trained in offering support in this area.

  • Mondays 1pm-2.30pm, Brewster Avenue Children's Centre. PE2 9PN
  • Tuesdays 1pm-2.30pm East Children's Centre, Durham Road, PE1 5JU
  • Wednesdays 10am-11.30am Honeyhill Children's Centre, Paston, PE4 7DH
  • Thursdays 11.45am-1.45pm Community Room, Serpentine Green Shopping Centre, PE7 8BD

The support of your partner, family and friends can also be really helpful. Start4Life has tips on how partners can help with breastfeeding too.

Healthy Mum

It is important to look after yourself as well as your baby. Try to stay healthy by eating a balanced diet and doing regular physical activity.

The Eatwell Guide gives you more information about which are the right foods to eat and in what amounts for a balanced diet. It is also recommended that all pregnant and breastfeeding mums take a daily supplement of 10mcg of vitamin D.

Adult guidelines are to achieve 150 minutes of physical activity each week to keep heathy. We should all try to reduce the time we spend sitting (being sedentary) for long periods of time as well. 

Children’s Healthy Weight

A healthy weight is important to prevent poor health in childhood and as we become adults.  More children and adults than ever before are overweight or obese. An unhealthy weight can seriously affect children’s physical health and their mental wellbeing.

Whatever your child’s current weight there are lots of small changes you can make which will help the whole family to reach and stay a healthy weight. Eating a range of different foods in the right amounts and doing enough physical activity each day will have huge benefits. 

Why is unhealthy weight an issue?

Being overweight or very overweight harms children and has increased risks as they become adults. These include:

  • Low self esteem
  • Bullying
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Pre-diabetes
  • Bone and joint problems
  • Breathing difficulties
  • More likely to be absent from school due to illness
  • More likely to be overweight as adults

Helping children to reach and stay a healthy weight will reduce their risk of poor health, such as those risks listed above. It will increase their self confidence as well as improving their concentration and behaviour.  Children are fitter and healthier if they are a healthy weight.

How do I tell if my child is a healthy weight?

It can be difficult to tell if a child is a healthy weight or not just by looking at them. The number of children who are overweight or very overweight has been increasing. We are now more used to seeing bigger children which makes it hard to judge by sight or by comparing them with other children who may not be a healthy weight.

If your child is in Reception or Year 6 you will have the choice for them to be weighed and measured at school. The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) records the weight and height of 4-5 year olds and 10-11 year olds during their first and last primary school year.  If you have chosen for your child to take part in the NCMP then you will receive a letter home telling you your child’s weight and category; underweight, healthy weight, overweight or very overweight.

If your child is not in these school years you can use the NHS Healthy Weight Calculator to find out if they are a healthy weight. You will need to enter their gender, age, height and weight (make sure that these measurements are accurate) in to the online calculator and it will tell you their weight category.

If you are concerned about your child’s weight you speak to your school nurse or GP.

How can I help my child if they are not a healthy weight?

There are lots of small changes you can make to help your child reach a healthy weight.

Children learn from adults as their role models, so what we do they are likely to copy us. It is important that children see adults doing the same things we are asking them to do. By also changing our diet and exercise behaviour as adults we can enjoy the healthier benefits along with children.

Eating well is important to be a healthy weight. To find out more about the right foods to eat and in what amounts visit Change4Life . 

Daily physical activity is also essential in reaching and staying a healthy weight. Change4Life has lots of ideas to get children moving more.







What is a ‘Healthy Diet’?

Eating a balanced diet is an important part of being healthy. Knowing what a healthy, balanced diet should look like can be confusing though. The Eatwell Guide gives a clearer picture of what we need in order to eat well. Both children and adults should follow the guide.

What a healthy diet looks like

The Eatwell Guide help you eat a healthy, balanced diet. It shows an image of plate divided in to sections which display a variety of different foods. These different types of foods are shown as five main groups:

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Potatoes, bread, rice pasta and other starchy carbohydrates
  • Beans, pulses fish, eggs, meat and other proteins
  • Dairy and alternatives
  • Oils and spreads

The size of the sections suggests how much of each food group you need to eat. The bigger the section the more you need. Fruit and vegetables are one of the largest sections which mean you should eat lots from this group – at least five portions a day. Some foods should only be eaten in small amounts as the section of the plate is much smaller, such as oils and spreads.

There is one section which is set outside of the main plate, which is the section for foods high in fat, salt and sugar. You do not need these foods in your diet, and by not including them as a section of the main plate it shows you should not eat these very often or in large amounts. Read more about a balanced diet.  

Who is the Eatwell Guide for?

The Guide is recommended for most people, regardless of their weight, ethnicity or preference as a meat eater or vegetarian. Children aged 2 to 5 years should start to follow the guide. Everyone aged 5 and older should eat a healthy, balanced diet shown by the Eatwell Guide. Some people may need to seek advice first, such as people with dietary requirements or medical needs.

When should you use the Eatwell Guide?

Try to follow the Eatwell Guide most of the time. Not every meal or snack you have will include a food from each of the five main sections but aim for a balance over the day and week. Imagine putting all the food you eat in a day or week in to the sections of the Eatwell Guide, would your sections be the same proportion as the guide? If not then consider what you would need to change in your diet, do you need to eat more of some foods and less of others?

Top Tips for a healthy diet

Here are just eight suggestions to help you and your child follow a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle; 

  1. Include starchy carbohydrates at meals, these include; potatoes, bread, rice pasta and other sources.
  2. Aim to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
  3. Eat more fish. It is recommended to eat one portion of oily fish a week, such as; sardines, mackerel, trout, herring, pilchards and salmon.
  4. Cut down on foods high in fat and sugar.
  5. Eat less salt.
  6. Eat well and exercise to reach and stay a heathy weight.
  7. Drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day. (Plain water and milk are the only tooth friendly drinks for children).
  8. Have breakfast.


Vivacity announces free swimming for all children under 5 in Peterborough

Vivacity has announced the expansion of their free swimming initiative to include all children under 5 years old across four pools in the city.

By offering free swimming to youngsters, Vivacity hopes to foster water confidence and a love of swimming from an early age, not to mention encourage parents to swim more often.

Already taking advantage of this at the Regional Pool is Katie Mundell and her son Sebastian (2). Mum of two Katie Mundell from Ryhall visits the pool regularly so free swimming for under 5s will save a few extra pounds in her monthly budget: “I’ve taken both my sons swimming every week from soon after birth – I think it’s so important to get them into the water as early as possible. Sebastian (2) in particular loves swimming and it’s good exercise for them and for me! To offer free swimming for little ones is a great idea. I run the Mum2Mum Markets in the area and I know how much mums appreciate little savings here and there.”

Jon Marsden, Director of Sport & Healthy Living at Vivacity commented: “We already offer free swimming outside of lessons to children enrolled in our Swim Academy but we are delighted to now widen this to all children under 5. According to the Amateur Swimming Association, 1 in 5 adults in the UK is unable to swim, and we are committed to supporting children learning to swim at an early age so that they can keep swimming into adult life and build healthy habits for the future. We also want to encourage all children to be safe in-and-around the water and enjoy the many water based activities available.

The free swimming offer is available at four of Vivacity’s pools including the Lido. To take advantage of this offer the accompanying adult simply needs to show their Vivacity card at the pool reception desk. Vivacity cards are completely free, and can be obtained at any Vivacity location. They offer discounts on many Vivacity activities including admission to Longthorpe Tower and Flag Fen, as well as discounted rates for sports activities across Vivacity facilities.

For more information about free swimming for the under 5’s or Vivacity’s wider services then please visit Vivacity-Peterborough.

Helping Young People to ‘Keep Their Head’

A new website has been launched to help children and young people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough tackle mental health issues.

The website, designed with input from children and young people, aims to promote better mental health by providing reliable information about support and advice. 

Half of all mental health problems start before the age of 14, and it is estimated that in an average class of 30 15-year-old pupils, three could have a mental disorder.  The ‘Keep Your Head’ website ( collates a range of reliable national and local information and resources that can help young people and their parents to look after their mental health.

Photography students from Cambridge Regional College have provided images for the site, and the site’s name was voted for via an online poll. The content of the website has been guided by young people, and includes information on how to look after your mental health, links to apps, and information on local services.

The website has been funded by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), with support from Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council.

Lee Miller, Head of Transformation and Commissioning (Children and Maternity), from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG said: “We’re really pleased with the website. The input we received from children and young people was invaluable in its development. This work is the first step of a wider programme for improving child and adolescent mental health services.”

Emma De Zoete, Consultant in Public Health covering Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “It is vitally important young people, parents and carers have access to reliable and accurate information regarding mental health issues and the support available locally. The Keep Your Head website provides this.”

Dominika Karpowicz, Mental Health Campaigns Officer for Mind in Cambridgeshire, who leads the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Stress LESS campaign, said: “The ‘Keep Your Head’ website is a truly fantastic resource, which pulls together a wide range of invaluable information around young people’s mental health. We hope it will become a central, go-to hub which young people, parents and carers feel they can rely on. We will be working young and people and partners to get the message out about the website as it is strongly linked to our Stress LESS and STOP Suicide campaigns.”

Although the website is primarily designed for young people, it also has information for GPs, schools and colleges and parents/carers and will be promoted among these groups. The content of the website will continue to evolve based on local discussions and feedback.


Your guide to childhood illnesses

There are many childhood illnesses that can be treated at home, by a pharmacist or by your GP.

This leaflet gives you some information on some of these illnesses, and lets you know when you should seek urgent medical treatment.

It also lets you know about local health services and it has links to other information you might find useful.

A&E Alternatives

This video describes the NHS services available as alternatives to A&E. A&E should only be used for serious and life-threatening conditions that need urgent medical attention.

To find your nearest NHS service, NHS Walk-in Cente or Minor Illness and Injury Unit visit NHS Choices
For further information about the alternate services available click on these links Self care111Pharmacy, GPMinor Illness and Injury Unit    

Action packed summer at Ferry Meadows

Imagine somewhere beautiful, safe and unspoilt where you can walk, cycle, play, horse-ride, ride a train, go fishing, exercise the dog, jog, push the buggy and explore endless meadows, lakes and woodland - all less than three miles from Peterborough's busy city centre.

You'll find all this and more at Ferry Meadows - including cafes, hard-surfaced routes for wheelchair users, a busy events and activity programme and endless opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Ferry Meadows and the wider Nene Park offer many miles of off-road traffic-free cycling, including a stretch of the National Cycle Network Route 63. A map is available from the Visitor Centre for £1.50 which shows the full network of cycle ways which make up the Peterborough Green Wheel.  Rutland Cycling Hire Centre offers a cycle hire service over the summer weekends and school holidays.

Hire kayaks, canoes, row boats and pedaloes. There are also group activities such as raft building, land games and orienteering and structured courses in sailing, windsurfing and kayaking.

Summer Trail
Saturday 23 July - Sunday 11 September
Collect a trail sheet from the Visitor Centre then hunt for clues as you walk around Ferry Meadows. Return to the Visitor Centre to claim your prize.
No need to book.

Going on Bear Hunt
Friday 29 th July
Bring your own teddy bear, listen to the Story and make bear related crafts. Then join us on a bear hunt around Ferry Meadows to find Barney the Bear. Includes a ride on the miniature railway and a goodie bag.
10:30am-12:00noon and 1:30pm-3:00pm
Meet at: Visitor Centre
Cost: £5
Accessibility: This event is on surfaced paths and suitable for all abilities including wheelchair users and buggies.
Booking: Essential.

Animal Olympics
Sunday 31 July
Discover who can run the fastest, jump the highest or longest in the animal kingdom.
10:30am-12:00noon and 1:30pm-3:00pm
Meet at Discovery Den
Cost: Free. Suggested donation £2
Accessibility: This event includes walking on uneven ground and/or crossing stiles and therefore may not be suitable for all abilities. 
Booking: Essential.

Meeting Magical Mammals
Friday 5 August
A short walk discovering small mammals that live in the park.
10:00am-11:30am 1:30pm-3:00pm
Cost: Free. Suggested donation £2
Accessibility: This event includes walking on uneven ground and/or crossing stiles and therefore may not be suitable for all abilities. 
Booking: Essential.

Kid Tree climbing
Monday 8 August
Kids come and have a try and tree climbing using a harness and rope. Rangers will be on hand to supervise and offer advice.
Meet at: Visitor Centre
Cost: Free. Suggested donation £2
Accessibility: This event may not be suitable for all abilities.  
Booking: Essential.

Bat Walk
Wednesday 10 August
Join park rangers and members of the Cambridgeshire bat group for an informative presentation on bats. Follow this with a walk in the park to try and spot the bats that call Ferry Meadows home
Times: 7:30pm-9:30pm
Cost: £10
Accessibility: This event includes walking on uneven ground and/or crossing stiles and therefore may not be suitable for all abilities. 
Booking: Essential.

Nature Kids
15-19 August and 22-26 August
Fun nature inspired activities for children in the summer holidays. Learn how to build a shelter, light a fire and use natural materials in woodland crafts. Different activities everyday.
Cost: £15 per day
Accessibility: This event includes walking on uneven ground and/or crossing stiles and therefore may not be suitable for all abilities. 
Booking: Essential.

For more information please call Nene Park Trust on 01733 234193 or e-mail

Ferry Meadows lies 3 miles west of Peterborough and just two miles east of the A1 off the Oundle Road (A605). Brown tourist signs for Nene Park are on all major routes in the city.

Inside Out Cycle Cinema - FREE

Saturday 6 August
Hampton Hargate Sports Field

Bring your kids and your picnic mat to this year's outdoor cycle cinema in Hampton for all the family. Showing the much-acclaimed film 'Inside Out' the event, with FREE popcorn and face painting, this event promises to be a great experience for the Hampton Community. Get your 10 minutes a day by providing the pedal power to generate energy to show the movie.

*Please note*
Parking at the site is limited so we would ask all attendees arriving by car, to avoid parking outside resident's houses on Beaumont Way and to park at Serpentine Green instead and walk to the event.







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