What is WellAhead?

WellAhead is a holistic wellness program, co – designed with consumers, to support and empower those living with and beyond cancer.

Activities include yoga, meditation, volunteer programs such as Old Blokes Shed and Knitting/Craft Support, Northern Health Community Choir and classes and activities for seniors from Whittlesea U3A.

As the name suggests, it is a wellness program designed to encourage progress and positive living, in spite of the challenges of living with and beyond cancer. The WellAhead program begins in March 2024.

WellAhead aligns with Northern Health’s Trusted Care Commitment of ‘Staying Well’. This involves the delivery of services outside the conventional hospital setting, with a greater focus on health and wellbeing in the community.

Programs on offer

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga is a gentle but effective way of increasing physical strength and flexibility while also calming our minds and emotions.

Join Praseetha Chatoth for half an hour of chair yoga, at 12. pm, every Wednesday in the courtyard of Ward 3 and 4 at Northern Hospital Epping.

Chair yoga is a gentle, low-impact way to engage in yoga without getting onto the floor. It’s particularly beneficial for those undergoing cancer treatment, as it helps increase mobility and promotes relaxation.

Praseetha has worked as a wellness consultant using yoga as a therapy in chronic conditions. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences from Bangalore, India. She currently works as a Clinical Pharmacy Technician at Northern Health.

Praseetha will also conduct a one-hour meditation session, at 9 am commencing this Saturday, 6 April 2024, at the same venue.

There is limited capacity for both sessions, so enrol early by emailing: wellahead@nh.org.au

Volunteer Program

Volunteers assist in a variety of roles including administrative support within our health service, fundraising initiatives and visiting patients. Knitting and crocheting is another volunteer activity, both to create gifts for patients and for fundraising. Our volunteers also assist patients in woodworking activities at the Old Blokes Shed at Bundoora Centre.

For more information or queries, please email volunteer@nh.org.au.

Northern Health Community Choir

Research suggests that singing results in a range of positive physical, mental health, emotional, and wellbeing outcomes and leads to greater cognitive reserves as we age.

The Northern Health Community Choir is an inclusive forum, that welcomes membership not only from our staff but also members of the local community.

There is no prerequisite to join the choir. It includes a range of singers from people who sing in the shower to those who have performed in their church choirs. They perform an eclectic mix of music, building on the Northern Health values of Safe, Kind, Together and look for opportunities to support significant days and events, such as Harmony Day, Reconciliation Day, RUOK Day, Northern Health’s memorial services and ANZAC Day. Their repertoire for Christmas and the festive season is fun and inclusive.

Currently, Northern Health Community Choir rehearses at Northern Health, Epping, every Wednesday at lunchtime (12.30 until 1.30) and Friday morning (8.30 until 9.30). However, in 2024, additional times and venues may be added if there is sufficient interest.

To register your interest or to find out more, contact Alison Davies at Alison.Davies@nh.org.au

Whittlesea U3A

U3A stands for University of the Third Age. Whittlesea U3A offer more than 130 classes and activities across a wide range of interest areas for those 50 years plus. Only for the months of March to May 2024, exclusively for senior participants of the WellAhead program, enrolment in the following classes is being offered at 50 per cent discount:

Drawing for Beginners

This beginner drawing class will teach participants, aspects of drawing from still life to natural scenes.

Required: A3 sketch book; lead pencils – 2B, HB, 4B, eraser and sharpener and a love of drawing.
Dates: 31 January 1st 2024 to 26 June 2024, Held weekly on Wednesday from 10:00 – 12:00
Location: Peter Lalor Campus, 34 Robert Street, Lalor 3075

Line Dancing for Exercise 1

This is a class which combines line dancing techniques with exercise. It is for all levels, however is focused on beginners to those with some knowledge of line dancing.

Required: Comfortable non slippery shoes.
Dates: 2nd February 2024 to 6th December 2024, Held weekly on Friday from 9:30 – 10:15
Location: Epping Memorial Hall, 827 High Street, Epping 3076

Walk and Talk

Walking is for all abilities. Participants meet at the designated venue at 9.10 am and walk around the area for approximately one hour and return afterwards for morning tea.

Required: Walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen and water.
Dates: 5th February 2024 to 25th November 2024, Held weekly on Monday from 9:15 – 10:15
Location: Plenty Valley Westfield, 415 McDonalds Road, South Morang 3752

Eating for Healthy Living

This program is conducted by a qualified Dietitian from DPV Health. During the sessions participants will learn how to develop menus that will promote a healthy lifestyle. Medical issues relating to diets and healthy eating will also be a focus of these sessions.

Dates: 2nd February 2024 to 1st November 2024, Held on the third Friday of every month from 10:00 – 12:30
Location: Mernda Social Support Centre, 70 Mernda Village Road, Mernda 3754

Chess and other Board Games

Play the noblest board game in the world. Beginners as well as experienced players welcome. The aim is to help you play chess well enough to enjoy it. Other board games will also be played during this session.

Dates: 31st January 2024 to 27th November 2024, Held weekly on Wednesday 13:00 – 14:45
Location: Peter Lalor Campus, 34 Robert Street, Lalor 3075

What is Anxiety?

‘What is Anxiety?’ is a discussion series where, under the guidance of a trained professional, participants discuss the various issues leading up to the feeling of anxiety, to recognise the initial signs in both yourself, family and friends.

Dates: 12th February 2024, 25th March 2024, 22nd July 2024, 26th August 2024
Location: Peter Lalor Campus, 34 Robert Street, Lalor 3075

Click here for the complete list of discounted classes on offer and how to enroll.

For more information on the WellAhead program, please email Mike Masilamani, Project Officer, Cancer Survivorship Program: mike.masilamani@nh.org.au