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Venture Centre Update: Sugar smart at Venture

Over the summer holidays, 115 children enjoyed a healthy lunch at the Venture Centre every day as part of the Healthy Meals programme funded by Catalyst.

The programme will continue year round; now that the new term has started, there are still lots of children and young people eating a healthy hot meal at the Venture Centre each day.

We have over 600 children registered to use our playground: our daily capacity is 115, which we sometimes reach within the hour of opening. The children associate the playground with fun activities – and fun food! We identified that consumption of sugar on the playground was around 85%. At the end of any session the playground was littered with sweet wrappers, cans and food bags.

This exciting partnership between Catalyst, Go Golborne, the Childhood Trust and The Fit for Kids project has helped us create a healthy eating policy. This has removed the consumption of sugar on the playground and is enabling children to make sensible choices.

The project consists of the following:

Sugar Smart Play Workers who are fun, motivated and provide activities that raise awareness about making sugar smart choices. They encourage children at the playground to make sensible food and drink choices, participate in sporting activities and lead on the implementation of our healthy eating policy and sugar smart campaign.

Healthy Meals Programme sponsored by Catalyst – Every child that attends the playground after school and during school holidays receives a hot healthy lunch or tea along with fresh fruit and veg. The programme was designed by the children and verified by the Healthy Schools Partnership. We are also able to provide two cooking workshops per week where children and young people learn new skills, try new dishes and make healthier food choices.

Children’s Community Carnival Arts Programme sponsored by Catalyst – In association with Candy Mas, we launched our Community Carnival Arts Project. This included Carnival Family Fun days, steel pan classes, costume design and Soca Aerobics. Children involved also performed at Portobello’s Park Party, Golborne festivals, and Notting Hill, Hackney and Nurseries Carnival. They also had the opportunity to gain Children’s Leadership Award Qualifications. We won an award for Best Soca on the Move at Children’s Notting Hill Carnival.

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