A FREE online course to improve understanding of pre-pregnancy as well as mental health and well being issues is being offered to Oldham residents.

The organisation A Better Life (ABL) is encouraging parents, teachers, grandparents or anyone involved with children to enrol on the Solihull Approach course any time from now until May 31, 2021.

A Better Life, which is working with Oldham Opportunity Area, the town Clinical Commissioning Group and Oldham Council as part of the response to the Covid-19 crisis, has struck a deal with course leaders for unlimited access to local people following its success in the neighbouring borough of Tameside.

ABL project manager Sarah lever said: "In the run up to putting this in place, we heard nothing but really good stories about its positive effect by people running the mental health and well-being provision.

"The offer isa full NHS antenatal online course, featuring NHS midwives. It includes emotional and brain development from birth to 19 years of age.

"Parents are dealing with anxiety among young people and whatever can be done to improve relationships can only be a good thing.

"The online course is simple to follow and has a really good mix of parent input with examples and the science behind their development.

"It's aimed at parents, guardians, grandparents and anyone in the teaching profession who may want to understand children better. I also think this would be really relevant for anyone thinking of going into the childcare industry.

"We want as many Oldham residents to benefit as possible."

The website for creating a learning account is www.inourplace.co.uk. Learners just need an Oldham postcode and the code Daisy to access the training for free.

Meanwhile, ABL is also delivering a free weight management service to residents in the wake of widely reported concerns over obesity in the UK population.

This includes a personal consultation to assess the individual's needs followed by six months of fortnightly support sessions and back-up from a wide range of specialists in weight management.

There will be a further six months of follow-up sessions in a supportive and caring environment.

Sarah said: "This will be done in a friendly and non-judgemental way, where realistic, sustainable weight lose and maintenance advice will be delivered.

"There will be a review of eating habits, and no diets."

More details are available on the ABL website at https://www.ablhealth.co.uk/