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National award for Middlesbrough's Live Well Centre

A pioneering Middlesbrough health hub has landed a prestigious national award.

The Live Well Centre beat off strong competition from across the UK to win the Public Health Improvement category at this year's MJ Local Government Achievement Awards.

The judges described The Live Well Centre as ‘a fantastic example of transforming the way health improvement and well-being services are delivered'.

They also paid tribute to the ‘innovative use of a local building to catalyse the regeneration of an area, on the community's terms'.

Centre manager Kerry Melling said: "This award is for everybody who has worked so hard to make The Live Well Centre such a success.

"Middlesbrough Council, the Dundas Centre, all the local organisations who provide services at the centre - and above all the people of Middlesbrough - have joined together with just one aim: to improve lives."

Lisa Jones, Middlesbrough Council's Public Health Business and Programme Manager, added: "This fantastic achievement is a shining example of what can be achieved through strong collaborative working and a shared passion and commitment to make Middlesbrough a healthier and happier town."

The Live Well Centre opened in Dundas House in July, 2017 as a one-stop focal point for healthy living advice and support, from healthy meals and help to stop smoking to advice on employment, housing and welfare rights.

More than 60,000 residents visited in the first year, with a 400% increase in the number of those actively trying to quit smoking.

The centre also has a community gym and fitness studio, a training kitchen, eight clinics, ten private consultation rooms and a self-contained family unit enabling parents and children to access services together.

Edward Kunonga, Director of Public Health for South Tees, accepted the award from BBC presenter and Teessider Steph McGovern.

He said: "We were up against tough competition for the Public Health Improvement award with some innovative services and programmes.

"It was great to be announced as the winners for The Live Well Centre and to be recognised nationally for the excellent services we deliver locally.

"This award recognises the innovative approach we have taken to bring services together at the centre and provide a holistic approaches to working with our local population.

"It is also an excellent example of the hard work and team effort, not just from Public Health, but from various Council departments and partners across South Tees and beyond.

"It's a perfect example of how we live our values through the work we do, by being innovative, passionate, creative, focused and collaborative."

Councillor Dorothy Davison, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Adult Services & Health, said: "Congratulations to everyone involved in securing such a prestigious award for Middlesbrough.

"The Live Well Centre was the first of its kind in the UK, and this is much deserved recognition for a ground-breaking approach that others will undoubtedly follow."

Pictured: MJ Awards host Steph McGovern at London's Hilton Hotel with Live Well Centre team members Beth Taylor, Emily Henderson, Bethany Thomas, Lisa Jones, Edward Kunonga, Kerry Melling, Emma McInnes, Katrina Jackson, Danielle Hall