Two of the initiators of “Samen Healthy Zoeterwoude”. (Photo: Robert Bourse).
The health of Zoeterwoude residents will receive additional attention in the near future. The municipality is working on a lifestyle agreement that provides the preconditions for a healthy life. Meanwhile, five social entrepreneurs recently started the health platform “Samen Gezond Zoeterwoude”. Both initiatives should ensure Zoeterwoude becomes the healthiest municipality in the south of the Netherlands.
Connie Van Der Post, Evelyn Kessels, Kitty Van Leeuwen, Marianne Kwik and Pieternet van der Paul came up with the idea for a health platform after an evening of brainstorming. “We all have a company at Zoeterwoude and we try to make people healthier. One evening we talked to each other about how to join forces,” says Kessel. After the session, the first plans appeared that eventually led to the creation of Samen Gezond Zoeterwoude: een Facebook page Where people from Zoeterwouden work together on their health.
Robbert Beurse in a conversation with Mayor Fred Van Treget about health in Zoeterwoude
Mayor Fred Van Treget is excited to start Samen Healthy Zoeterwoude. “I have a background in physical education. Health really appeals to me. I think this is a great initiative. On top of that, it aligns with our goals for a healthy lifestyle.
Van Trigt does not believe entrepreneurs are using their actions to fill a problem with the municipality’s welfare work. “Absolutely not. The social space is well organized in Zoeterwoude. But this is for residents who can use a helping hand. This initiative is much broader, and it is available to everyone.”
The mayor appreciates the fact that entrepreneurs are pursuing more than just a business goal with Together Healthy Zoeterwoude: “They are doing this not just to motivate their own companies. They are scaling up, they take volunteer activities with them and they know how to connect a lot of people. I think that’s very good.”
In accordance with the National Prevention Agreement which contains agreements to enhance the Dutch lifestyle, the municipality of Zoeterwoude is currently working on a lifestyle agreement. Ex-athlete Gurit Smit, who came to a sports deal at Zoeterwoude, was asked to draw the lifestyle rope. “In this regard, the different parties are coming together to ensure that the people of Zutrodeh live better, longer and healthier,” says Van Trigt. According to Zoeterwoudse’s mayor, an initiative like Samen Gezond Zoeterwoude should not be absent from this agreement. “It was the first talks now,” he reveals.
The entrepreneurs behind the Healthy Together Zoeterwoude program call themselves the Connectors. “We are connecting our networks so that we can improve the positive health of all residents of Zoeterwoude,” explains initiator and homeopathic therapist Van der Post.
The Facebook page of Healthy Together Zoeterwoude doesn’t just offer private services to entrepreneurs. In order to offer the widest possible range, cooperation has been sought with social and municipal welfare organizations, regular healthcare, education and sports in Zoeterwoude, among others.