Evolve Health Mentors are leading Healthy Heart sessions in schools after being chosen by national charity Heart Research UK to deliver the interactive and fun workshops.
Our nation’s school children are facing a future of poor heart health, with many five to 18-year-olds failing to achieve the Government’s recommended 60 minutes of physical activity of moderate intensity a day.
Childhood obesity is one of the biggest health challenges of the 21st century, with one in three youngsters overweight or obese by the time that they leave primary school.
Evolve Health Mentors are delivering Heart Research UK’s unique health education programme at schools in England and Wales.
The programme is free to schools and adopts an active learning approach, including an interactive gameshow format to teach pupils about heart health and encourage them to make healthier lifestyle choices.
Evolve Director Graham Morgan said: “To be selected by Heart Research UK to deliver this excellent programme of Healthy Heart talks is a real boost for Evolve and reflects our reputation for supporting both the health and education of children in schools.
“We have been pioneering a health and wellbeing approach to improve pupils’ progress in schools for 10 years – something that is now being followed by other organisations.”
Heart Research UK has been promoting the Healthy Heart message in schools for over a decade. Its schools programme uses knowledge and expertise about heart health and education to enhance and support the school curriculum, while Evolve Health Mentors have a wealth of experience engaging with school staff and children to deliver important health messages in a fun, interactive way that maximises local reach and impact.
Barbara Dinsdale, Head of Lifestyle at Heart Research UK, said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with Evolve to deliver this important work in schools.
“We consistently receive positive feedback from teaching staff praising both the content and quality of delivery of the programme by Evolve staff in schools.”
Evolve Health Mentor Abi Antcliff has delivered 25 Healthy Heart sessions in 18 different English schools so far. One school in Bradford saw 720 children reached in sessions over four days.
Abi has introduced active learning components and says the sessions are not so much talks as workshops. “Key Stage 1 pupils engage with a pirate story and there’s team-working and physical activity through a ships and sailors theme,” Abi says.
“The KS2 pupils take part in a game show and learn about healthy eating choices, keeping fit and keeping away from smoking. It’s all great fun and I have had some brilliant feedback.”
Abi has signed up to run the London Marathon in April and swim the length of the English Channel (1200 lengths of her local pool) to raise money for Heart Research UK. Evolve National Impact Sales Manager Damon Fox will also run the marathon for the charity.
Commentating on Abi’s session at Ackworth Howard Primary School in Pontefract, teacher Katie Major said: “The session had activities for the children to take part in and understand how to get their hearts beating. Children loved learning key facts.”
The programme has also been delivered to eight schools in Wales, reaching 934 children, mainly in Cardiff, but also in Caerphilly, Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taf. There are another three school talks lined up for the New Year.
Evolve’s Regional Manager for Wales and the South West, Joe Powton, said: “The delivery has been taken extremely well and the schools have loved what we have done. Most of them cannot believe it is free. Some schools have tweeted after the event to share their satisfaction with their followers.”
The Heart Research school education programme is provided to schools free of charge thanks to the generosity of corporate supporters. To find out more about Heart Research UK’s school education programme, contact their Lifestyle team on 0113 234 7474.