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‘Make a difference’ as Wiltshire’s Big Pledge returns

People across the county are being asked to ‘make a difference’ as Wiltshire’s Big Pledge returns for a second year.

The campaign, run by Wiltshire Council, commenced on Monday 11th May, and continues until  30th September.

It challenges people to get healthy, volunteer or make a positive change in 2015. Its aim is to help people to make positive changes to their health and wellbeing and to their communities throughout Wiltshire.

This year everyone taking part can commit to any of 12 pledges which cover an individual’s health or wellbeing or making a difference in the community.

The community pledges are: • volunteer at least once a month from May to September • do charity fundraising for a local cause • do acts of kindness by helping someone in your neighbourhood during May to September • get their community active by encouraging people they know to do more physical activity • be dementia friendly and become a dementia friend

The health and wellbeing pledges are: • take the sugar swap challenge and reduce sugar intake for 21 days • be sun aware and protect skin during May to September • ‘eat a rainbow’ by increasing fruit and vegetable intake to at least five a day for 30 days or more • get active by increasing physical activity for 30 days or more or by taking part in the Big Pledge Activity Challenge • stop smoking for 30 days • be alcohol aware by having at least two or three alcohol-free days a week • improve wellbeing by taking time out to do something enjoyable at least three times a week.

The Big Pledge Activity Challenge runs from 1st June to 19th July. It is for people of all ages looking to set themselves sporting challenges and an ideal way to achieve a Big Pledge. Registration for the challenge is now open.

Wiltshire Council corporate director Maggie Rae said, “This year’s campaign is bigger and better than ever. It’s all about making a difference, whether that’s for yourself and your own health or wellbeing or doing something that will benefit your community.

“I’d like to wish everyone good luck with their pledges and I look forward to hearing how people are getting on. I am sure those taking part will have lots of fun.”

Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health, Keith Humphries said, “In our experience, communities respond really positively to a challenge and welcome the opportunity to do something fun together. The more pledges that are made, the more it will inspire others to get involved. I’m sure the results will be fantastic, for individuals & communities.”

The council is asking people to spread the word about Wiltshire’s Big Pledge and encourage friends, families and colleagues to get involved. People can also send pictures, join in the conversation and tell others how their pledge, or pledges, are progressing by visiting the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WiltshireBigPledge or using the hashtag #BigPledge on Twitter.

Wiltshire’s Big Pledge website can be found at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/big pledge. It contains a host of information and support and allows people to make their pledge.