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Unique reward scheme begins search for projects which help kids stay healthy

19-11-2008


Imaginative projects which seek to educate or improve the health of children and young people


The awards, which are launching today the 17 November, are open to any voluntary organisation, school, or community group which aims to help children live healthier lives. Initiatives that tackle tough issues including obesity; emotional health; drug and alcohol misuse; safety; or helping young people get wise about sex and relationships are all eligible to enter.


Entries can be made in one of five categories: Healthy Eating; Physical Activity; Personal & Social Health; Emotional Health & Wellbeing; and Safety & Citizenship. The winning initiatives will be presented with their award at a prestigious event in London where they will also receive a share of £10,000 for their project.


Last year's winners included inspiring initiatives such as a unique physical activity project by a school for visually impaired children in London, a life skills initiative by a school in Scotland that encourages pupils to become responsible citizens, and a conservation volunteer group in Northern Ireland which encouraged children to be more active by taking part in environmental activities. Also amongst the winners was a healthy eating initiative by a retired grandmother who taught children to grow and cook their own fruit and vegetables. So successful was the project that it expanded from 25 to over 200 children.


Terri Woodhams, Director at Health for Kids, said: "The Health for Kids awards aims to celebrate and reward individuals, teams and groups who have made a real difference to child health. Helping our kids get and stay healthy isn't always easy. Getting them away from the television and computer screens and encouraging them to
play and exercise can sometimes be tough. Fortunately, there are some fantastic programmes running throughout the UK to help children to live happier, healthier lives".


The 2009 programme is being run in partnership with the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Debbie Allen, Heart Health manager for Young People at the BHF said: "There are many wonderfully creative projects across the UK helping children and young people make healthier choices. The British Heart Foundation wants to recognise this inspiring work as it challenges the popular perception that children choose unhealthier lives."


Entries are invited from schools, colleges, clubs, associations, youth groups, sports teams, community groups, voluntary organisations, health specialists, leisure centres and individuals who have initiatives or programmes in operation now.


The winners are selected by an independent panel of judges from various key organisations including the Food Standards Agency, the National Healthy Schools Programme, the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes; Health Promoting Schools Scotland , The Royal Society for Public Health, Clubs for Young People, and the Youth Sport Trust.


Visit www.hfkawards.co.uk and complete the on-line entry form. The closing date for applications is the 13th February 2009.

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