With regards to physical activity for children and young people in Hackney, universal provision is funded by the local authority and includes a number of programmes delivered through schools, Young Hackney 3 and the wider council. Get Hackney Healthy is the overarching borough-wide work programme which aims to improve the health of children and young people by reducing obesity (and increasing physical activity), with a particular focus on families. The programme is based on evidence of the role of wider social influences on health, and the need to engage with these in order to prevent the intergenerational cycle of health inequalities. 4

Get Hackney Healthy includes a training programme for key professionals working with children and young people, a communications campaign, and a grants scheme (the Get Hackney Healthy Challenge Fund) which funds community and voluntary sector projects that increase physical activity (and/or improve access to, or the knowledge of, healthy food).  One of the main programmes is Health Heroes in primary schools (Box 4).

Box 4: Case study – Health Heroes project in Hackney schools

Hackney Council’s Public Health Team has been piloting the Health Heroes project in seven Hackney primary schools since 2013/14.

The programme works with pupils, teachers and parents to plan healthy lifestyle interventions, from food growing, gardening, and catering, to playground zoning, and lunch-time school sports competitions. Health Heroes seeks to change the culture in a school to ensure sustainability.

In 2016/17, a new grants programme was launched where schools can bid for match funding to run projects to help create healthy weight environments within schools, by either increasing physical activity or improving access to and/or knowledge of healthy food.  The fund has been divided into two parts: a larger whole school Health Heroes fund and a smaller healthy lifestyles fund for smaller start-up projects.

Other relevant Hackney programmes include:

  • Play Streets, in which children take part in safe play on roads temporarily closed to traffic
  • Hackney Wild Walks, which involved the distribution of maps of fun walking routes for families with young children to all local residents.

Fusion, who run the local Golden Lane leisure centre in the City of London, run various activities for children – such as swimming, boxing, tennis, gymnastics and cheerleading. There are no City of London Corporation commissioned programmes for physical activity at the one local primary school (Sir John Cass Foundation Primary School).

References

  1. I. Lee, E. J. Shiroma, F. Lobelo, P. Puska, S. N. Blair and P. T. Katzmarzyk, “Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy,” The Lancet, vol. 380, no. 9838, pp. 219-229, 2012.
  2. “Fair Society, Healthy Lives,” UCL Institute of Health Equity, 2010.
  3. I. Lee, E. J. Shiroma, F. Lobelo, P. Puska, S. N. Blair and P. T. Katzmarzyk, “Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy,” The Lancet, vol. 380, no. 9838, pp. 219-229, 2012.
  4. “Fair Society, Healthy Lives,” UCL Institute of Health Equity, 2010.