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Awards ceremony for Healthy Schools Programme

MELKSHAM area schools which have gone above and beyond to improve the health and wellbeing of their pupils will be recognised at a special event this month.

Eleven schools in the Melksham area recently completed the Wiltshire Healthy Schools programme and will be attending a celebration event on 15th November at the Manor School, to collect a special plaque marking their achievements. Their participation in the programme was supported by funding from the Melksham Area Board, enabling school staff to access local training and support each other. People are being invited to attend the event which starts at 5.30pm.

  The programme accredits schools that have provided evidence to show how their provision effectively supports the health and wellbeing of their pupils. Schools can work towards bronze, silver or gold levels to achieve Wiltshire Healthy Schools status. To be accredited, schools need to meet certain standards based on local and national priorities.

Each Melksham Healthy School has been working on projects encouraging a healthy lifestyle, with a focus on promoting healthy weight. Working as part of a local cluster has encouraged collaborative working between local schools, sharing of resources and best practice. This model is now being used by other area boards, to encourage more schools to address local health priorities by becoming Healthy Schools.

Wiltshire Council cabinet member for children’s services, Laura Mayes said, “I’m pleased to see so many schools are involved in this important programme which promotes the health and wellbeing of our pupils in exciting ways which inspire the children to be involved.

“I’d like to congratulate all the schools for achieving these awards, for their commitment and innovation which has made their programmes a success.”

Melksham Area Board provided £4,488  towards the project. Chairman of the board, Jon Hubbard said, “As an area board we thought it was important to help fund this important work and the schools have used innovative ways to implement this and inspire the children. I’m very pleased so many have achieved this level and  congratulations to all involved.”

Currently 73 schools have Wiltshire Healthy Schools at bronze, silver or gold level. A total of 116 schools are taking part to achieve the programme, with more signed up to join later this month.

The multiagency group granting the awards includes police, school health nurses, school representatives, Wiltshire & Swindon Sports Partnership and others. The council and agencies support the schools as they work towards the standards.

The local programme supports schools and provides information on key actions that can be taken as well as providing training. The progress of schools is monitored, including the positive impact on the health behaviours of young people.

Further information about the Healthy Schools programme can be found at www.wiltshirehealthy schools.org/about/

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