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Healthy bid for extra funding.

Health chiefs in the region are bidding for pounds 20m of lottery funding.

The bid ( called Passionate about Health and Wellbeing ( aims to reverse the North-East's reputation as the most unhealthy region in the country.

It has been submitted to the Big Lottery Fund after a consultation with more than 100 organisations in the region.

Newly-appointed regional director of public health Dr Stephen Singleton said yesterday: "Although we're making good progress in a number of areas ( particularly with the treatment of heart problems and cancer ( we have the worst health of any region in England.

"People living in the North-East experience high levels of preventable disease and premature death. In this region, people still die earlier than elsewhere from heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and other causes.

"We could benefit more than any other region from improvements in mental health and prevention of disease associated with poor diet and physical inactivity."

Proposals include initiatives to increase levels of physical activity for children and families, the provision of healthy cooking activities within communities and the improvement of mental health through better employment opportunities.

Some of the initiatives ( which would be delivered by the voluntary, statutory and independent sectors ( are aimed at improving the health and well-being of the whole population.

Other initiatives focus on reducing health inequalities and target those who are most disadvantaged, including children and young people, the older community, obese and overweight people, those out of work, the mentally ill, and black and minority ethnic groups.

Results of the bidding process ( which involves a pot of pounds 165m ( are expected to be announced by the Big Lottery Fund in November.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 8, 2006
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