The Healthy Zones programme aims to tackle childhood obesity, in partnership with Impact on Urban Health, a part of Guy's and St Thomas’ Charity (GSTC).
This year we are moving into Phase Two of this important work. Over the next five years, we'll be working across 80 primary and secondary schools in Lambeth and Southwark, located in areas of high childhood obesity. The aim of the project is to create sustained changes to school food environments so that healthy food is prioritised throughout the school day.
Research conducted by GSTC and the local authorities has shown that many schools are not reaching the School Food Standards, which are designed to ensure children are provided with nutritious food throughout the entire school day. The programme will focus on providing a menu of support to schools for the development and implementation of school food policies that put children’s health first.
The programme will be also focus on improving the food provided at breakfast clubs and after-school clubs. We will provide training to the school staff running the clubs to give them the skills and confidence to offer healthy alternatives, developed considering the resources and budgets of the school.
Phase Two builds on our pilot programme. Phase One specifically targeted the Faraday ward of Southwark over a two year period where we worked closely with three schools to help them to develop a good food culture and become Healthy Zones. We worked with heads, teachers, caterers, children and their families to help us understand how the school’s delivery, and the children’s experience, of food at school affects their eating habits. We also learnt valuable lessons from our cooking and food growing sessions with teachers and pupils.
Healthy Zones is part of a wider ten year programme delivered by Impact on Urban Health and its partners taking a whole system, cross sector approach that focuses on creating environments that support and encourage healthy eating and everyday activity in places where children of all ages spend their time; home, school, high streets and green spaces.