AN EAST Durham community group has honoured the services of a resident who has made a significant contribution to promoting healthy living.

East Durham Trust, who support hundreds of local organisations, presented the special certificate and gift to John Barnett, chairman of Horden Residents Association and an active member of the Trust.

One of the many projects East Durham Trust has been involved in since it was established two years ago has been the promotion of health messages through local groups.

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The technique, known as social marketing, often takes the form of small groups of local people discussing various issues in venues such as community centres and village halls.

Over 30 local people have been trained in using these pioneering word-of-mouth techniques that many marketing gurus recognise as more effective than traditional methods such as TV and Radio advertising or production of brochures and leaflets.

Mr Barnett has delivered a number of sessions to people covering a range of issues from the prevention of cardio-vascular disease to transport links with local hospitals.

Trust chief executive Malcolm Fallow said: "John has worked tirelessly in supporting his local community in this way and the PCT should also be applauded for their innovative approach."