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Govt Picks 13 Local Councils to Receive Funding for Anti-Obesity Schemes

School Kids in School Uniform Running in Front of Their Teachers

We're delighted to see the government taking big strides forward in its fight against child obesity. With so many children starting school overweight, drastic action is required to ensure a generation of young people can grow up healthy and happy.

The latest move is part of the government's Trailblazer programme: a partnership supported by Public Health England and designed to address inequalities among local councils and communities. It will give specialised funding and support to a total of thirteen handpicked council districts.

Click to view a statement from the Department of Health and Social Care

The thirteen councils due to receive funding are:

Bath and North East Somerset

Birmingham City Council

Blackburn with Darwen Council

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

London Borough of Lewisham

London Borough of Havering

Middlesbrough Council

North Tyneside Council

Walsall Council

North Yorkshire County Council

Nottinghamshire County Council

Peterborough City Council

Rochdale Borough Council

These thirteen communities have been chosen because they face some of the toughest challenges when it comes to reversing child obesity trends. They've also devised some promising strategies and schemes - in collaboration with the government - which have a good chance of success given extra funding.

Initially, all thirteen councils will get £100,000 of funding. After a year, the government will choose five of the anti-obesity schemes for further development. These councils will receive an additional £100,000 (over three years) to help expand and enhance their health and wellbeing programmes.

The long term hope is one or several of these councils will experience enough success to make their anti-obesity strategy viable for a wider rollout. In some ways, the Trailblazer programme is a testing ground for the government. It wants to know what educators, businesses and health organisations can achieve when power is returned to local communities.

It's refreshing to see 'deprived' regions being empowered, rather than being held up as examples of what not to do. There are some truly pioneering people, with some remarkable ideas, in the selected councils. However, it must be asked whether a year is enough time for some of these ideas to be fully realised.

The fact only five communities will be chosen for further funding means the initial thirteen councils must invest in schemes, activities and resources that promote long term attitudes to physical activity, nutrition and sports participation. The overarching goal should be to radically change the value young people, parents, educators and local businesses place on health and wellbeing.

Click to learn more about how the Healthy Schools Programme boosts fitness levels, improves movement skills and promotes the importance of exercise, nutrition and good mental health. Join for free today

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