When Ashford’s One You shop opened in Park Mall in 2017 it was initially set up as a six month pilot.

Lose weight, get active, quit smoking

The shop helps people to lose weight, get active, quit smoking and feel better about life. The concept was designed so that visitors could simply drop in to chat and get advice about their health and wellbeing. It is now used by a whole host of agencies to provide vital wellbeing support.  

It proved so popular that the shop moved to a larger unit within the mall and has since gone from strength the strength. Before the pandemic the shop was seeing between 400 and 500 visitors a month, with nearly a third of people visiting coming from the six most deprived wards in Ashford. Clients can either refer themselves for support or health or social care professionals can refer on their behalf.

Three clinic rooms

Set over two storeys the shop includes three clinic rooms and a larger space with cooking facilities. Exercise and cookery classes can be provided on site alongside the health MOTs, smoking cessation support and blood pressure checks that are offered.

A smoke free clinic offers free support and advice for anyone aged 12 and above. The clinic also provides support during pregnancy. A lifestyle advisor is available on Wednesdays and a health check clinic runs once a month. One You Kent work with a variety of partners including mental health charities, a drug and alcohol support charity and Fareshare who provide food boxes for those in need. 

There are also three pilot programmes for weight loss being funded for one year, focussing on post-natal, BME and Learning Disability.

Current opening times are from 10am to 2pm from Tuesday to Friday (although this will be expanded over the coming months).

Councillor Peter Feacey, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Wellbeing said: “The One You shop is a flagship response to improving health and wellbeing within our borough. Given the success of the initial pilot I am pleased that we were able to facilitate a move to a larger premises and fit it out, with wonderful support from local companies, to provide the fantastic facilities visitors can access today.

“The past two years have seen a huge impact on our national healthcare system and I believe that delivering this scheme within our town centre is making a difference. Ashford’s One You shop enables our residents to easily access the support and advice they need to live healthier lives.”

By Ed

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