Can Clevedon become a healthy town?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 April 2011

Archant

AN INNOVATIVE project to get the whole of Clevedon thinking about healthy living has been launched by the town's secondary school.

Clevedon School started the Healthy Town of Clevedon initiative last week with hundreds of residents, business owners, children and parents invited to hear a speech from an internationally-acclaimed research fellow, about healthy food and a healthy lifestyle.

Dr Alex Richardson specialises in food, health and behaviour, and has agreed to return to the school to see how the project progresses.

The idea of the scheme was thought up by Clevedon School’s deputy headteacher James Bowkett, who wanted to get the healthy living message across to students before expanding his idea to the whole town in the hope the scheme could become one of the first of its kind.

He said: “We are hopeful that with nearly 2,000 students, many hundreds of parents, businesses, clubs and shopkeepers all working together, we can have a real impact on making Clevedon a nationally-recognised ‘healthy town’.

“This is a rallying call to the whole town to see if we can do something quite special here.

“We have started the ball rolling and have lots of ideas to look into.”

Mr Bowkett will work with businesses in Clevedon to encourage them to give more prominence to healthy food rather than junk items and is also planning to produce a sticker with a ‘healthy Clevedon’ logo for those who are part of the scheme to display to customers.

To get primary schools involved, children will each be asked to design a logo for a competition and primary school teachers were invited to hear the launch speech so they can pass on the message to their pupils and parents.

At Clevedon School and also St John’s Primary School, School Nutrition Action Groups (SNAGs) have already been created and it is hoped these can now be set up in the rest of the town’s primary schools.

To encourage more people to get active, Clevedon School is also working with sport groups in the town.

He added: “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 the town offers and consumes and persuade more people to engage in an active, healthy lifestyle.”

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