The Board received a report and presentation from Stephanie Dagger, and Joanne McCarrick, Alive ‘N’ Kicking Halton & St Helens on a teenage healthy weight management programme for all young people aged 14 – 19 years of age. Two young people, Callum Clarke and Jessica Jones also attended the Board to talk about their experiences of the service.
The Board was advised that the programme had been in operation since March 2012 and was designed and delivered by the Weight Management Centre, whose aim was to improve the health of the whole Borough.
The Board was further advised that it provided families with the information, skills and services needed to make healthier food choices and increase physical activity levels. The experienced team offered support and advice to maintain a healthy weight as well as encouragement to try out new activities.
It was reported that the service was based at the Stobart Stadium. The free 6 week programme, had been designed to provide the young people with the information to make healthier food choices and increase physical activity levels to lead a healthier lifestyle. In addition, it was also reported that the programme was run across venues within Halton.
· Explained the Alive ‘N’ Kicking Programme and outlined the weekly topics;
· Explained the venues and programmes;
· Highlighted the increase in the number of referrals that had been received in year two (746) in comparison to year one (378);
· Detailed the referral routes to access the programmes and highlighted that over the two years St Helens had received 557 referrals and Halton had received 567 referrals;
· Outlined that over the two years, 362 overweight and obese young people had started a programme, with 293 completing, which represented 81% of young people completing a course;
· Detailed the anthropometric results and follow up actions;
· Outlined the behaviour change results and detailed the feedback and satisfaction; i.e. out of 72% of 857 young people, 98% scored the service as 5*.
Callum Clarke reported that he was 14 years of age and a carer and sometimes he would eat unhealthy meals. However, since learning all about food on the programme, he had been shocked to find out how unhealthy some foods were. He added, that the programme had helped him to eat healthier and he had lost a stone in weight. Since starting the programme he had also started to cycle to school, play football, walk the dog and exercise at home. Initially he had been worried that he would not fit in and had very little confidence because of his size. Callum reported that the programme had also enabled him to be more confident and he was much happier. He attended the drop in sessions and acted as a mentor to other young people. In conclusion, he reported that he had made lots of new friends and worked hard with his personal trainer.
Jessica Jones reported that she was 14 years of age and had started the programme six months ago. She added that she had been referred via her GP because of health problems. Initially, she wasn’t very enthusiastic about the programme as she thought that she would get bullied and her self esteem had been very low. However, the programme had taught her all about food and nutrition and she had managed to lose a lot of weight and her self esteem had improved. Jessica reported that she had made lots of new friends and that she also mentored young people who were new to the programme. In conclusion, she reported that she goes every week to maintain the exercise and would continue to do so as it was helping her to maintain her weight and she felt better as a result of the weight loss. She reported that she would stay at Alive N Kicking until she wasn’t allowed to go anymore as she loved it.
The Board congratulated the young people on their excellent presentations and thanked them for taking the time to come to speak to the Members about their experiences of the programme. The Members commented that the two young people were amazing and highlighted that their experiences represented a powerful message to other young people.
The following comments arose from the presentation:-
· It was noted that information on the service was via flyers, leaflets in public places, schools colleges and word of mouth. Visits were also undertaken to GP surgeries and youth clubs and the service worked closely with the youth service;
· It was suggested that as the funding for the service would cease in March 2013, discussions could take place with representatives from the Clinical Commissioning Group and The Director of Public Health who were present at the meeting;
· Clarity was sought on what information was passed to the parents. In response, it was reported that when the young people had their consultation parents were given information packs of the full six week programme. They were able to ask questions and sometimes a friend or a parent would attend the programme for support;
· Clarity was sought on whether the programme could be extended to younger people. In response, it was reported that Fit for Life covered young people up to the age of thirteen. However, the two programmes crossed over in Year 9. The programme delivered an holistic approach and young people could be taken out of class and given the opportunity to raise issues with them. In addition, it was reported that if necessary some young people would be referred to other agencies i.e. CAMMS;
· It was noted that the service did not undertake any work with teenage mums. However, it was an area that could be looked into and some young mums attended the college and could access the programme via that route; and
· It was reported that if the Programme Manager emailed information on the service to the Director of Children and Enterprise, this would be circulated to all schools in Halton.
(1) The presentation be received and the report and comments raised noted; and
(2) Stephanie Dagger, Joanne McCarrick, Callum Clarke and Jessica Jones be thanked for their informative presentation.