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Funding secured to add alcohol tracking feature to wellbeing app

Funding has been secured to add an alcohol tracking feature to an app designed to help Cannock Chase residents boost their health and wellbeing.

The Cannock Chase Can App on a phone

Councillors backed plans to add the function to the Cannock Chase Can app last year, to help users monitor how much alcohol they were consuming, as well as including contact details for national and local charities and support networks able to support residents battling alcohol or drug addiction.

At Wednesday’s full meeting Councillor Charlie Frew asked for an update on work that has taken place since he previously highlighted the alcohol dependency issues faced by an estimated 8,449 people in Staffordshire according to Public Health England. Measures proposed last year included the authority taking part in the annual Alcoholism Awareness week organised by Alcohol Change UK.

Councillor Frew said: “Back in July 2023 I proposed a motion at the full council meeting relating to alcoholism awareness. The motion was ultimately unanimously backed by all members of this council who were present at the meeting.

“I would be most grateful if Councillor Jo Elson, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, could please provide an update on the progress of the objectives and recommendations agreed by this council back in July 2023?”

Councillor Elson thanked Councillor Frew for raising the issue at Wednesday’s meeting. She added: “I would like to reassure him work is underway in implementing the commitments made by this administration.

“I can confirm the council has signed up to the annual campaign, which will be in July. We will have access to free digital resources from May to prepare for this awareness week.

“Officers have worked with the community wellbeing team at Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles to secure additional funding to build in functionality on the app. It will be co-created with those with lived experience to ensure it is fit for purpose.

“Alcohol was identified as a priority at the last Cannock Chase Can task and finish group. Significant progress has been made on this very important area and hopefully that will have a positive impact on individuals living in our district.”

The Cannock Chase Can app is available to download from Google Play and the iPhone App Store to smartphones in the district and beyond. The free app offers support and advice to users on topics including healthy eating, physical activity, money management, sleep and mental wellbeing.

To get started users are invited to answer a series of “wellness statements” and register to complete their own “wellness wheel”, which shows their current strengths and where they can take steps to improve other aspects of their lives. They can take on challenges such walking and cooking recipes, spin a “reward wheel” when they complete a task, monitor their success, collect virtual trophies and share their progress online to inspire others.

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