FOREST of Dean Health Forum members discussed the initiatives in place to help people struggling with a range of food-related issues at their May meeting. 

Group Chair Albert Weager also gave an update on a survey carried out by the group earlier this year, which asked how people of Lydney and the south Forest will access healthcare once Lydney Hospital closes.

He said the results were  being prepared for publication and will be released soon. 

Health Forum members welcomed three speakers to the meeting whose talks were all food focused.

Stephanie Fry, dietician in local primary care circles, led the way with an interactive presentation offering the healthcare benefits of a balanced diet, linked to “rainbow choices, within a framework of the perpetual dining dilemma, ‘eat to live or live to eat’”. 

This was food for thought: “If your platter has served you too well, do something about your weight before it does something about you.”

Stephanie was ably supported by Leisha Roberts and her team, from BeeZee Bodies, who explained about its new contract with Gloucestershire County Council to run a community weight management scheme for young children, in conjunction with the Forest Voluntary Action Forum (FVAF).

A range of opportunities are in place to promote lasting lifestyle changes. Families burdened with complex social and medical needs benefit from a supplementary scheme.

Linda Bailey, also working with FVAF, introduced the emerging ‘Food Pantry’ to members. This unique local venture will set up shop in June in the former Dockham Road medical centre working alongside food banks. 

It will accept donations of, principally non-perishable goods and some frozen items.

Payment details for Pantry purchases are being worked out.