A report by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has found that not enough is being done in England to combat childhood health problems.
Despite the government stating “world-leading plans” are in place, including the introduction of sugar tax, England is falling behind most other European countries when it comes to child health.
The report showed that funds spent on the problem had actually dropped by £8 million in the last year. England was also the only country to make a negative impact in one of the recommendations set out by the RCPCH in its State of Child Health report last year.
Labour’s shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, told the BBC: “This report is a stark reminder that there are over two million children with health-related vulnerabilities being let down by an underfunded and overstretched health system.”
Izzi Seccombe, from the Local Government Association, has concerns about the future of the country in light of these problems: “Public health services play a vital role in improving the health of children, young people and adults, reducing the need for treatment later down the line and easing the pressure on the NHS.”
Professor Neena Modi, president of the RCPCH, suggested: “There must be far better investment in prevention, which will reap immeasurable long-term benefits.”
This is where Evolve’s XLR8 holiday courses are looking to help. During half-term, children are invited to attend their local secondary school and take part in a range of activities whilst making new friends.
Sessions are led by specially trained Health Mentors who take children through a variety of different opportunities based on arts, crafts, drama, team-building and sports, all of which have a physical element. Each day includes designated health discussions where children consider the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle. In many cases, local supermarkets provide healthy lunches and snacks to maintain that thought process.
Evolve’s mission continues into term-time through the implementation of the award-winning Project HERO initiative. Health Mentors are deployed in schools and tasked with improving the physical and mental health and wellbeing of pupils. Their progress is recorded through a unique health and wellbeing toolkit that generates realistic statistics to track the positive impact of their interventions.
Currently, over 3,000 pupils are benefiting from Health Mentor support as we continue our ambition to make a change for the better when it comes to children’s health and wellbeing.