As a result of attending the Darlington Children & Young Peoples Overview and Scrutiny Committee earlier this year, and hearing about the rise in young people consuming unhealthy food and drink and increasing screen time, our young volunteers were inspired to deliver a campaign to raise awareness and promote positive lifestyle choices, in relation to eating and exercising, with families and young people in Darlington.
They created a suite of resources which we shared on our Healthwatch Darlington website, encouraging young people and families to attend innovative activities and provide them with healthy eating ideas. This was a popular page for visitors.
They also ran a competition encouraging young people and families to share their healthy food creations, helping to raise awareness along the way. Well done to all who took part.
They created engaging graphics to inspire their peers to keep fit and engage in active hobbies.
They developed the Fruit & Vegetable Gang - a fantastic idea to encourage young people to eat healthier food. Thank you to Kelly Rose, Public Health Portfolio Lead for Children & Young People for your support and involvement. Thank you also to all of the shops and community venues who helped promote ‘The Gang’.
The Rotary Club of Darlington showed their support to this initiative by giving Youthwatch Darlington a grant of £250 which enabled our young volunteers to create Seed & Wellbeing Boxes. The boxes went to over 50 children in Darlington who could grow their own herbs, with recipe cards and wellbeing tips included too. There was a great response from the families involved. Thank you, Rotary Club of Darlington, for your support.
The many strands of the campaign successfully raised the profile of healthy eating and exercise in a fun, appealing and interactive way with young people and their families in Darlington. Feedback and numbers accessing resources were positive and showed there is a desire from young people to make healthy choices where there is encouragement to do so.
We look forward to working on other initiatives with our Youthwatch volunteers and Public Health to ensure the importance of healthy eating and exercise is kept at the forefront of positive messages to our young people.