NHS Greater Huddersfield and NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) alongside Kirklees Council have invested in local schemes to develop new community-based food activities to promote and increase wellbeing in Kirklees – ‘Kirklees Eats Well’.
Voluntary and community organisations were invited to submit ideas on how they could support the CCGs and Kirklees Council in improving the health and wellbeing of the local population. A number of organisations including community groups, schools and residents associations have all benefitted from funding made available through the ‘Kirklees Eats Well’ project – part of the Community Partnerships grants.
One of them is Thornhill Community Pre-School who have created an opportunity for children to grow their own fruit and vegetables. The scheme has enabled them to purchase a polytunnel, seeds and tools to help them with this.
Dianne Graham, Thornhill Community Pre-School Managing Director, said: “With the ‘Kirklees Eats Well’ funding we’ve been able to purchase a polytunnel and seeds, along with wheelbarrows, spades, gloves and other equipment specifically for the two to four year-olds we work with – which has really helped us plant and grow the fruit and vegetables.”
Dianne added: “The children have been learning about the different types of plants and have been going out to tend them with their new tools and when the fruit and vegetables are ready, they will be able to pick them. There are already bright red strawberries, apples, pears, plums, gooseberries, pea pods, lettuces, pumpkin flowers and herbs growing in our allotments.”
Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG, said: “This initiative provides an opportunity for organisations to enhance the lives of people living in Kirklees through encouraging people to improve their health by eating more fruit and vegetables.”
These projects have been developed in collaboration with the CCGs and Kirklees Council and the aims of this project include:
- People eating more home cooked and fresh food
- People understanding what it means to eat healthily and the difference it can make to their health
- People knowing how to cook healthy food on a budget
- Individuals are able to pass on their new skills and knowledge to friends and family
- People are able to share a meal with others or regularly eat a meal together as a family.
Cllr Viv Kendrick, Kirklees Council Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said: “This project is an excellent example of community support at its best. We believe that everyone should be able to grow, buy, cook and enjoy good food and people of all ages should be able to get safe, nutritious food that reduces diet-related conditions and minimises health inequality and food poverty. This is the aim of the Kirklees Food Charter.”