Love Hartlepool – love a healthier life

Published Wednesday, 29th May 2019

The foundations are being laid for a major new town-wide push to tackle obesity in Hartlepool.

Representatives of Hartlepool Borough Council, health services, primary schools and private sector employers have held the first of several meetings to look at adopting a ‘whole system’ approach to the problem.

This means working in a completely co-ordinated way across a variety of sectors including health, social care, planning, business and leisure to identify opportunities to support individuals at key points throughout their lives to help reduce the occurrence and impact of obesity.

The ultimate aim is to spark a social movement under the banner of the town’s current ‘Love Hartlepool’ campaign, inspiring local people to help and encourage each other to lead healthier, more active lives.

Despite a lot of good work which has been done in recent years, obesity remains a major challenge in Hartlepool.

Obesity workshop at the CIL

Director of Public Health Pat Riordan addresses the first meeting

Pat Riordan, the Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Tackling obesity in Hartlepool remains a top priority.

“Being overweight and obese can have a very bad impact on your health and is linked to a string of serious health conditions – for example, over half of all diabetes patients in Hartlepool are also obese.

“The causes of obesity are wide and complex, ranging from biological and individual lifestyle factors to social and community factors and living and working conditions.

“We have all had some good successes, such as the increasing numbers of employers signing up for the Better Health at Work Award, but moving forward we need a new way of tackling this challenge and working together in a completely co-ordinated way is the best option.

“Over the next few months, we will be broadening the scope of our discussions to involve more organisations, businesses and groups across the town so that working together under the ‘Love Hartlepool’ banner we can make a bigger difference and support and inspire people of all ages to enjoy healthier lives.”

Neil McAvoy, Deputy Head Teacher of Clavering Primary School, which was among the schools taking part in the first meeting at the town’s Centre for Independent Living, said: “There’s a lot of great work being done already but what we are looking to do now is to bring everyone together to tackle this issue.

“Obesity can have a negative impact on every aspect of people’s lives – physical, social and mental – but there is the potential for us all to do something great here and now is the time under the Love Hartlepool banner.”

Any organisations and groups interested in getting involved in the initiative should contact the Council on 01429 523733 or email