A very inspiring project began in Clevedon earlier this year, following a small idea that was hatched among the pupils and staff of Clevedon School to devise a strategy to improve the health of each individual pupil and member of staff. However, they soon realised that this project had the potential to make a huge impact on their community outside of school, as well as within.
In September 2010, the Clevedon School SNAG (School Nutrition Action Group) group was formed, and included a cohort of pupils and staff who were given the challenge of researching what knowledge individuals had with regard to their own health. Pupils were asked to define what a healthy diet consisted of, and to describe their present dietary intake. In some areas, the results were very pleasing, whilst an analysis in some other areas signalled alarming results. It became strikingly clear that pupils had a very mixed opinion as to what a healthy diet consisted of and what types of food they should be consuming.
“It is vitally important that all children are made aware of the foods they should be eating and the effects on their bodies. This way they can make a choice in the future as to what they consume and in what quantities”.
This became the start of the Healthy Town of Clevedon project in which the aim is purely to see if the school can make a difference throughout the whole town of Clevedon with regard to their health and wellbeing. Meetings were held and staff members from surrounding schools became very interested in the project, and from this a plan was put into action.
The launch took place Wednesday 23rd March 2011 at Clevedon School, with Dr Alex Richardson of Food and Behaviour Research, and Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford, invited to give several talks throughout the day to organised groups of pupils and staff from the local schools (secondary and primary). Dr Richardson also presented at a special evening session, catering for parents, residents and local businesses.
The evening event sparked much interest within the community, and as a result many businesses, parents and staff have expressed their desire to be a part of the project.
"This is what will make the difference in the town of Clevedon; the more people and organisations that decide they can in some way be a part of the challenge, the bigger and better the long term result will be".
James Bowkett, Deputy Head teacher at the school stated, “The real impact for our community will come if we can harness the enthusiasm of the children together with the resources of the community. We can then make a real difference to the kind of food that the town offers and consumes, and persuade more people to engage in an active healthy lifestyle”.
A ‘Healthy Town of Clevedon’ logo design competition is underway, and again many local businesses have agreed to sport this logo in their outlets to ensure the project is seen across the community and raise further awareness.
Clevedon School is currently in the organisational stages of running a Jump Rope event to support the British Heart Foundation which will involve pupils taking it in turn to keep 30 students at one time skipping for a whole school day (7.5 hours).
The big question for The Clevedon Challenge is “where do we go from here?”
The Healthy Town of Clevedon committee will be meeting on a regular basis and have invited anyone from the community who feels they would like to be part of the project to come along. Their next step will be to see what projects they can run within different areas of the community. Future aspirations include, free taster session for locals classes in various activities, meet and greet morning with others in the community, book club, healthy eating drop in advice days, and events to raise awareness of health and raise money for charity.
The project is community-based and will only be able to maintain its good work if the residents of Clevedon continue to support it and come on board. Individuals, groups and businesses can be involved in many ways, good ideas are always welcome and if anyone would like to run an event then the school will assist and help in any way possible. They are appealing to Clevedon businesses with an interest in the Healthy Town of Clevedon logo to please feel free to contact them at the school.
For further information about the Clevedon Challenge, please contact: