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Health project in Islington could see GPs referring people for exercise in parks

PUBLISHED: 17:40 21 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:40 21 June 2019

Islington and Camden councils have won a £667,000 grant to make their parks and green spaces focal points for improving people’s health. The launch took place in Caledonian Park. Picture: Islington Council

Islington and Camden councils have won a £667,000 grant to make their parks and green spaces focal points for improving people's health. The launch took place in Caledonian Park. Picture: Islington Council

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GPs could soon be referring people for exercise in Islington's parks under a project designed to get more people active.

Islington and Camden councils will split a £667,000 grant from the National Trust and National Lottery Heritage Fund's Future Parks Initiative to make parks a focal point for improving people's health.

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The councils will work with the NHS over the next two years to get people in less affluent areas using parks.

The most affluent people in each borough live healthily for more than a decade longer than their more deprived neighbours. Parks will be re-imagined and early ideas for the project include people taking exercise on referral from doctors or under a "social prescribing" model. They could also be offered help on how to link up with park exercise groups and gardening clubs.

Islington's health chief Cllr Janet Burgess said: "Many of us don't take full advantage and reap the rewards of getting active in the wonderful spaces on our doorstep. This aims to change that."

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