Our project is focussing on improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people using our services. Funding from Children in Need has enabled us to engage a nutritionist and physical activity worker to run healthy eating and cookery workshops and a range of physical activity and sports sessions.
Children and young people attending our nursery, after school club, and youth group live in a rurally isolated area with some of the highest deprivation levels in Carmarthenshire and Neath Port Talbot. The area has the third worst health in Wales with issues around diet, low physical activity, obesity, illicit drugs, mental health and sexual health. 20% of adults in the area are overweight. Research shows “two distinct child obesity epidemics”, one among infants, the other among adolescents. 11-24 year olds form 18% of the population. Obesity is linked to the influence of parents for young children and general peer group factors for teenagers. Many of our parents/grandparents are unaware of the importance of weight management, physical activity and good hydration, including the need to replace fizzy drinks with water and they actively promote the consumption of high energy drinks.
The differences we want to make through our project are to:
- Enable children and young people to make better decisions by helping them to increase the take-up of healthy food choices and engaging young people and children to participate in healthy cooking workshops
- Increase the participation by young people and children in physical activity which will be shown by often they participate and the quality of their participation
- Enable children and young people to have more fun, feel happier and take part more often in activities.