The Healthy Zones programme, in partnership with Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity, aims to tackle childhood obesity.
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.
Want to get involved? We'll be building a team to delivery the programme. Keep an eye on job opportunities here.
About Healthy Zones
Focusing on the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, where obesity rates are among the highest in the country, Healthy Zones specifically targeted the Faraday ward of Southwark over a two year period. We have worked closely with three schools - two primary schools and one secondary school - to help them to develop a good food culture and become Healthy Zones.
Year One of the project began with a fact-finding visit to the school, where 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 visited the school dining rooms to deepen our understanding of a child's experience of school meals and conducted in-depth group sessions with children at each school.
Our resident gardener Cath Baynton and food teacher Michaela Bowles led teachers through tailored gardening and cooking sessions to help increase their skills and confidence. We also took our Young Marketeers programme to Faraday. Students learnt how to grow veg from seed and how to cook with their home-grown produce. To further extend the food culture of the school, we invited parents to join their children for a cooking session. The Young Marketeers programme culminated in July with a Market Day at East Street Market where children from our three schools celebrated their hard work, shared stories with their local community and raised some money for their schools’ food education programmes by selling their fresh veg.
In Year Two, after consultation with the schools, we broadened the programme to run more sessions for parents and pupils. Our three schools continued with the Young Marketeers programme for a second year and parents were able to get involved with both the school cooking and school food growing activities. We also worked with a group of young people to see if we could find alternatives to the takeaway culture that is so strong in London now.
Healthy Zones is part of a wider ten year programme delivered by Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity 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.
As part of the Faraday Neighbourhood programme, Alexandra Rose Charity launched its Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg scheme at East Street Market for families with young children on a low income to help them get a healthy start in life.
Blog piece - Creating a good food culture at school