WALKERBURN is the latest community to sign up to a campaign which aims to see individuals, community groups and local businesses pledging small changes that will make a big difference to their health and wellbeing.

The longer term aim of the Small Changes, Big Difference initiative is to encourage people to change their behaviour and lifestyles which will contribute to improved health and wellbeing across the Borders.

It has already seen a number of staff at NHS Borders publicly pledging their support and now community groups are being invited to do the same.

One of the first groups to make their pledge is the Walkerburn community. Volunteers and agencies who have worked in partnership for ten years, to reduce health inequalities by co-producing a community health programme, are pledging to ‘continue building our healthy living network community’.

Molly McIntosh, from the Walkerburn Healthy Living Network, said: “The Small Changes, Big Difference campaign is a refreshing approach to encouraging people to enjoy health improving activities. I am a keen advocate for all ages to get involved; everyone has the capacity to make some kind of positive change and to support others. “Walkerburn is a small village and we hope to continue our positive experience of partnership work and grow our Healthy Living Network community.” She added: “I will be committing to continue to be as active in my community as I possibly can. I am now in my 90’s and I strongly believe that doing what you enjoy is the secret to good health in later life.” In addition to the community pledge, the NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council’s very own Healthy Living Network Team has committed to sharing the Small Changes, Big Difference message across all border communities.

Nichola Sewell, Health Improvement Lead, Healthy Living Network, said: “The Healthy Living Network team is committed to the Small Changes, Big Difference campaign because it starts from the perspective of the person and recognises that health is also about wellness. The campaign encourages and supports local people to make changes that are important to them. This is very much in keeping with the approach taken by Healthy Living Network across communities which has been successful in enabling people to take control of their own health. In the coming weeks, we expect there to be more pledges from other communities across the Borders.” And she added: “On a personal level, I will be making a small change this year by committing to include some relaxation in my day.” The Small Changes, Big Difference campaign continues to invite individuals, communities and local businesses from across the Borders to share their own stories and photos of how small changes in their lives have made a big difference to their health and wellbeing. It’s never too late to make a small change.

You can share your stories and ’small change selfies’ on the ‘Small Changes, Big Difference’ Facebook and Twitter pages or send them to SCBD@borders.scot.nhs.uk. You can even write your pledge on our website: www.SmallChangesBigDifference.org