Encouraging results for schools health programme

Health for Life in secondary schools celebrates second successful year.

A programme aimed at achieving healthy lifestyles across South Birmingham is continuing to succeed. Health for Life is a £3.1million five year programme taking place in primary schools, secondary schools and across the community. It supports fun activities that engage people in growing food, healthy eating and cookery and physical activity.

The Health for Life in secondary schools programme, which is funded by the Mondelēz International Foundation and delivered by the Health Education Service, was launched in October 2012 and has since achieved extremely encouraging results.

Over the two years, six secondary schools across South Birmingham participated, reaching a total of 5,099 pupils.

Dr Sandra Passmore, education adviser at the Health Education Service, said: “A survey of the students who took part has shown a 20% increase in the number of children growing their own fruit and vegetables at home and a 17% increase in pupil’s cooking at school.

“Pupils have also demonstrated a greater knowledge of correct portion sizes, higher levels of physical activity in and outside of school and more interest in becoming involved with extra-curricular activities. We already have another six schools signed up for cohort two which we hope will be just as rewarding for the pupils.”

Participating schools were visited by HES advisers and progress assessed against a wide range of agreed measures. 100% of the schools taking part have made changes which will have already contributed to improvements in pupils’ knowledge about healthy living.

Kelly Farrell, community affairs manager at Mondelēz International, said: “The results from our first cohort of schools have been extremely impressive and the evidence suggests that this programme has been a huge success so far.

“Schools have held cooking competitions and participated in a horticultural show, having grown a range of healthy foods within schools. Pupils have also been able to get involved in a range of activities including table tennis, boxercise and outdoors gyms. The Health for Life programme also engaged pupil’s families in a variety of workshops and healthy lifestyles so that activity can continue at home.

“Our employees have also supported the schools throughout with over 300 hours of their time.”

For more information please contact Dr Sandra Passmore at [email protected].