School leads the way on health mission in borough

A THURROCK school has led the way in a new health project that is set to be rolled out across the borough.

The North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT), which is contracted to provide community health services for people living in parts of Thurrock, has been working in partnership with Dilkes Primary Academy in South Ockendon.

Its The Brighter Futures, Healthy Families 0-19 service has worked with the school to develop a universal healthy lifestyle programme for primary school aged children.

Through the programme, children learn about healthy living through a variety of missions earning a point for their class on each day they achieve the mission.

Children completed a number of activities at the start of the school day and competition between classes has encouraged participation in reducing sugar, increasing water consumption, increasing fruits and vegetables eating, choosing a healthy school meal and being more active.

That included children taking part in a ‘Mount Everest’ challenge – pictures below.

From left: Katie Corbett – School Effectiveness, Amanda Burgess – Healthy Families team lead, Kerrie Willis – health improvement practitioner, Lorraine Barnes – Dilkes Academy Pupil Welfare Officer, Dave Henderson – Dilkes Academy Sport Coach, Mr Thompson & Miss Stephens – Dilkes Academy Graduate Sports Coach, Joanne Guerin – NELFT assistant director, children’s services Essex & Kent, Beth Capps – Senior Public Health Programme Manager, Tracey LeMay – health improvement specialist, Healthy Families.

The successful pilot at Dilkes Academy means that the programme is being rolled out across Thurrock and Tracey LeMay, health improvement specialist, Brighter Futures, Healthy Families service said:“I am extremely proud of what NELFT and Dilkes Academy have achieved.

“It was a privilege to witness the laughter from children, families, teachers and special guests, as they took park in activities on the school field. What a great way to start the day!”.

Gill Burns, children’s director, also shared her thoughts on the event saying:”Well done everyone. Being able to work with the schools and our commissioner to develop such an innovative programme has been a real inspiration for children and their families”.

For more information about the Brighter Futures, Healthy Families Service visit www.nelft.nhs.uk/services-thurrock-brighter-futures-healthy-families.