Healthy new town celebrations

A family-friendly festival celebrating three years since Ebbsfleet Garden City became a Healthy New Town was held at the end of last month (March).

The Gathering, held on 23 March, celebrated the region’s talent in arts and culture, as well as offering a range of fun activities for visitors at the free occasion.

The event at Manor Community Primary School, in Swanscombe, featured keep-fit bhangra dancing, dhol drumming, and locally-sourced food served up by both professional and amateur chefs.

There was also a display of aerial acrobatics, an open mic event and drawing workshops for children.

The Healthy New Towns programme in Ebbsfleet Garden City was a project set up by NHS England with Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, and Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group.

The programme includes 10 new communities across England, with Ebbsfleet Garden City the largest of the schemes, where personal health and wellbeing is being promoted.

Since its launch in 2016, the Healthy New Town team has worked with volunteers from the area to create a series of community gardens where residents can learn how to grow vegetables and fruit, which they can take away for free.

They have also launched the Get Active in Ebbsfleet programme through the Better Points app, which rewards users for outdoor activities such as walking, running, cycling and playing sports.

The aim is to encourage the prevention of illness and to engage residents to learn about food and the health-related effects on their body of what they eat and drink.