St Helens Public Health achieves national recognition

St Helens Council has been nominated for a national award for their
“Pirates, Pop and Pupils” programme run by the Public Health and Wellbeing Department.

The programme, which encompasses the “Pirates in the Park” initiative,
“Swap the Pop” campaign and Health and Wellbeing Governors scheme, has been shortlisted in the Public Health category of the Local Government Chronicle Awards 2016.

The Pirates in the Park initiative, facilitated by community food workers
from the Healthy Living Team during the summer, saw over 330 family members taking part in events in St Helens parks. The families received healthy eating and physical activity messages in a fun and creative way and were visited by the characters Captain Tuck and his nemesis Captain Snack Barrel who were created by children and young people.

The Swap the Pop campaign, which ran in conjunction with the St Helens Star during the summer, saw over 1800 children, young people, families, schools and youth groups pledge to make a swap from unhealthy drinks such as high-sugar or caffeinated drinks, to healthier drinks such as sugar-free, non-caffeinated or water.

To make the link between health and schools, the Health and Wellbeing
Governor scheme was established and to date, around 90 per cent of St
Helens schools have a dedicated Health and Wellbeing Governor to champion health and wellbeing in their schools.

To be shortlisted, a programme must demonstrate that it is making a
positive impact and is helping to solve public health problems, which in
this instance is the rise in obesity amongst young people.

Councillor Jeanie Bell, the council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and
Wellbeing said: “This is a fantastic achievement and it’s great to see some
of our successful health initiatives being celebrated at a national level.
I would just like to thank all those involved, including the initiative
leaders, schools, children, young people and families who have taken part
in these projects and continue to champion health and wellbeing in St
Helens.”

The Healthy Living Team provides all sorts of physical activity classes and healthy eating and cooking sessions. Find out more by calling 0300 300 0103 or visit the website at http://www.healthysthelens.co.uk/