Our Phase V involvement builds on a long history of links with the World Health Organisation (WHO).  This started in 1995 when Newcastle Healthy City, a former local community development organisation, began to get involved with the World Health Organisation and represent the city at WHO meetings. 

    We first became a designated member city in 2004 as part of Phase IV which lasted until 2008.  The core developmental themes of Phase IV were physical activity/active living; healthy urban planning; health impact assessment and healthy ageing.

    Newcastle Healthy City coordinated our involvement and developed model projects which demonstrated an innovative approach to addressing the key elements that make up a healthy city.  With statutory partners, the organisation attended international and national events, presented and shared experiences on an international stage and received recognition and accolade for the work undertaken.

    Some of the most notable achievements in Phase IV included:

    • Older people’s participation at the Elderly Gathering in Copenhagen in 1992 which led to:
      • the formation of Action for Health – Senior Citizens in Newcastle (a Newcastle Healthy City programme)
      • involvement in the Senior Games in Copenhagen in 1996
      • formation of the Old Spice drama group, which has been a significant asset to Newcastle over many years
    • Newcastle has been a member of the WHO Healthy Ageing sub-network. This work was led by the Quality of Life Partnership and included presentations to WHO meetings in Rennes, Zagreb and Rijeka, and attendance at meetings in Stockholm and Vienna
    • As a contribution to this work, Newcastle hosted the European Senior Games during the Year of Exercise and Sport in 2006 and welcomed groups from five different countries, most notably the Sword and Shield Dance Group from Turkey
    • In 2008, a group of older people from Newcastle attended the Senior Games in Horsens, Denmark
    • Newcastle Leisure Services contributed the learning from the Year of Exercise and Sport and the Fusion Card at WHO meetings in Turku and Zagreb
    • In 2007/08, Health Impact Assessment (HIA) training was jointly organised by Newcastle City Council Planning and Regeneration Department and Newcastle Healthy City. The programme was delivered by Erica Ison who is internationally recognised as a specialist in this area
    • Newcastle Deaflink, working in co-operation with the Community Food Initiative, researched and developed an accessible healthy eating/exercise information pack and DVD for the deaf and deafblind community. This Eatwell Pack is nationally unique.  It has been widely circulated throughout the UK Healthy City Network, to libraries, universities, and local authorities across the UK and has received very positive support through deaf communities

    As, the WHO European Healthy City network moved into Phase V - with an overarching theme of Health and Health Equity in all Policies - it was decided to move the coordination for our involvement with the network into the council and integrate the work into partnership working for wellbeing and health.