Nationally the People’s Health Alliance (PHA) was established in February 2022 with a vision to return health choices back to the individual, whilst supporting a return of power to communities, allowing them to meet the needs of those around them. The People’s Food and Farming Alliance is a sister organisation championing food sovereignty and food security. The People’s Alliance’s vision has led to the creation of a number of local hubs across the UK which now includes Mid Wales.
2.0 Mid Wales People’s Health and Food Alliance (the Alliance)
The Mid Wales People’s Health and Food Alliance (the Alliance) was formed in March 2023 by a group of like-minded individuals who were inspired by both the People’s Health Alliance and the People’s Food and Farming Alliance. As a group we recognise the need for an integrated approach across Mid Wales both in terms of health & wellbeing and food & farming.
Members of the Alliance come from all walks of life with a wealth of knowledge and experience, having an understanding of the importance of an integrated approach to physical and mental health and the important roles that prevention, self-care, and personal choice all play. Recent decades have seen the development of the nanny state with an erosion of personal responsibility for health. As an Alliance we aim to provide a people-led healthcare initiative that facilitates personal responsibility for health and well-being through the provision of knowledge, thus empowering people to ensure individual choice and control. Embedded in this approach is facilitating access to locally grown food, after all, Food is Medicine and Medicine is Food.
3.0 How will this be achieved?
The Alliance proposes to focus on three key areas that affect health and wellbeing: -
By far the biggest contributor to our health is what we eat, and as supermarkets and the fast-food industry has grown, we have seen a rapid decline in the health of western nations with a growing obesity problem, multiple health conditions (particularly in the elderly) and an increased reliance on pharmaceutical medication and health services. Many of us welcome a return to a more natural healthy lifestyle with a strong focus on prevention and healing and we see nutrition as being a key factor. The Alliance will support the growing number of people who are now growing their own food, whether that’s through sharing knowledge, skills, allotments, information, support networks, so that many more people will feel confident to start growing their own food.
Organic food does not have to be unaffordable if farmers and consumers can be brought together into a common market place, be it a physical location or a virtual market. On line tools offer an excellent mapping resource where you can locate local producers and shops to buy direct and local. The Alliance will work with farmers, growers and other providers to explore this aim and see how to make it a reality. The demand for organic Food Boxes is already being explored along with local food swapping and seed swapping.
Many people are unaware of the growing pressure on our farming communities to return land back to nature under the guise of climate change. This is a growing picture across western nations with food chains now under threat, alongside a growing pressure to eat less or no meat and to embrace eating bugs and insects. The UK government have given the green light to GMO for our food which means our food can be genetically modified without our knowledge as producers do not have to label produce. In the US they have already started injecting animals with MRNA, a practice sure to find its way to the UK in the not-too-distant future. If we want to be sure of supply and know what we’re eating then the establishment of local food networks has never been more imperative.
The over medicalisation of what should be a very natural process of giving birth is probably an excellent example of how the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry dominates health services in the west with any other approach being deemed as ‘alternative’ and therefore overshadowed. As more and more people wake up to the consequences of surrendering their bodily autonomy to the government, and the harms being done, more and more people are turning to holistic and natural practitioners. Our aim is to establish a Directory of Practitioners for the people of Mid Wales so that information is readily available for people, enabling them to make choices about their healthcare. The establishment of physical hubs in a number of towns will also provide a venue for Practitioners, if required, to improve accessibility for the people.
Education will underpin everything we do, from up-skilling the Alliance Team to increasing knowledge and skills within the community so that people can make informed choices about their health and lives. Ultimately the Alliance seeks to establish physical hubs in several of the main towns and to establish a rolling programme of webinars and workshops to include topics such as:
-The physiological process of birth
- Growing your own food
- Natural medicine
- Rights and autonomy
- Money matters
4.0 Physical hubs
The vision for the Alliance is to establish a number of physical hubs across Powys including:
Whilst the last few years have been incredibly difficult for everybody, the Alliance recognises that young people have been particularly affected and each hub will be asked to ensure a focus on the youth is included. Activities may include:-
Martial arts such as aikido
5.0 Status of the Alliance
For the time being the Alliance will be an Unincorporated Association, simply a meeting of people. The Alliance needs to ensure a continual reflection of what the people of Mid Wales want to see provided and there will be no better way for the business community to support the Alliance than through investments, sponsorship, donations, and partnership working with the local hubs supporting the health and well being of its local business partners. Partners or contributors to the Alliance and its hubs may include public services, the voluntary sector, private sector, and religious groups.
A network of volunteers is critical for the Alliance to succeed and for the community to embrace and take ownership of the hubs. The Alliance is open to anybody who wants to contribute.
Establishing the Alliance on a more formal setting may be required in the future to allow for consideration of other developments which may include: -
Development of primary care services - this may include more traditional health staff working at the hubs
Vaccine injured and long covid
Rapid Responder Units – currently under development by PHA but their ideas evolve around helping to source and provide Advanced First Aid training to communities the length and breadth of the UK.
The Alliance will need to ensure clear lines of communication and accessibility with its communities and anticipates this will be done through a range of methods including flyers, letters, in-person discussions, open days, a website, its own telephone number, facebook page, social media.