Huge pot of cash to improve kids’ health

East Sussex County Council kids' health initiative SUS-170613-133054001
East Sussex County Council kids' health initiative SUS-170613-133054001

Schools in East Sussex will receive extra funding to develop an ambitious scheme aimed at improving children’s physical and mental health.

Last year, 183 schools and colleges across the county received a share of £1.8 million from East Sussex County Council to develop and implement school health improvement plans.

Schools were able to access a £10,000 grant to introduce initiatives to help increase physical activity and improve healthy eating.

Now, all schools and colleges in the county will be entitled to an additional £7,000 to further develop activities to boost health thanks to an extra £1.2 million of council funding.

In East Sussex, more than a fifth of four to five-year-olds and almost a third of 10 to 11-year-olds are overweight or obese, while nearly one in 10 youngsters aged five to 16 is believed to have a mental health disorder.

Cynthia Lyons, East Sussex acting director of public health, said: “The feedback we’ve received from schools on the outcome of the schemes they’ve developed has been extremely positive.

“The benefits include not only improved physical and mental health but children also report they are able to sleep better and perform better in the classroom.

“The latest round of funding will allow schools to build on the fantastic work they’ve already done and continue to deliver positive long-term health benefits for their children.”

Schemes to have been delivered with the funding have included installation of new play equipment and introduction of regular physical activity such as enabling children to run a ‘Daily Mile’. Other schools have used their funding to redesign their lunchtime menu, run activities in food growing or cooking or introduce techniques such as mindfulness to improve children’s resilience and emotional wellbeing.

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