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					Evaluation of
Claudy Children's Healthy Living Initiative


Funded by Awards for All




                                              JM Consulting
                                               January 2010
Contents



    1.       Introduction………………………………………………………………………….3


    2.       Methodology…………………………………………………………………………7


    3.       Findings…………………………………………………………………………………8


         3.1 Literature Review…………………………………………………………….…….8
         3.2 Outputs Record……………………………………………………………….……12
         3.3 Interviews with key Personnel…………………………………….……….18
         3.4 Questionnaires for Parents………………………………………….……….24
         3.5 Focus Groups with Pupils………………………………………….………… 30


    4.       Conclusions…………………………………………………………………………..32


    5.       Recommendations………………………………………………………………..33




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative         2
      1. Introduction



1.1       Background to RAPID


The Rural Area Partnership in Derry Ltd (RAPID Ltd) was formed in 1994 as a
partnership between Derry City Council, local community and other stakeholders
and was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in August 1996.


RAPID’s mission statement aims


          “To halt the social and economic decline of the rural communities within the
          Derry City Council area and to enable these communities in partnership with
          all interested parties to devise locally led strategies to facilitate sustainable
          social, economic and cultural development.”


RAPID’s remit targets eight rural wards of the Derry City Council area, five of which
are in the top 50%, two in the top 25% and one in the top 10% in terms of multiple
deprivation and most disadvantaged areas in Northern Ireland. All these wards lie
within what can be defined as the Faughan and Foyle basins and subsequently
represents a geographical contiguous area.


         RAPID have extensive experience in the management and administration of
          funded programmes e.g. delivered LEADER II, LEADER+ and other EU
          Programmes.


         RAPID have extensive experience of working with the rural community and
          have specific experience of working with farming groups, community
          organisations, private sector and statutory agencies.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                                     3
        RAPID work closely with Derry City Council, Department of Agriculture and
         Rural Development (DARD) and other partners to deliver rural development
         programmes and environmental initiatives which work within well defined
         strategies.


The purpose of this evaluation is to measure the impact of the programme on the
key target outputs, which goes above and beyond the standard lottery monitoring
requirements. The report will assess whether the programme was a success or not
and make recommendations as to any possible direction it may take, or if it is a
completed piece of work.


This work was in two pieces, the press coverage and leaflet production, copies of
which are in the appendices and the subsequent evaluation report.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                            4
1.2 Background to Claudy Children's Healthy Living Initiative


Claudy Children's Healthy Living Initiative was a pilot project, funded by the Awards
for All in June 2008.


There were several key aims and objectives identified for the project;


    o The project involved creating a partnership between RAPID Ltd, North West
         Organic Co-op Society Ltd, Cumber Primary School Claudy and St Colmcille's
         Primary School Claudy, in order to promote healthy living and in particular,
         good nutrition practices amongst local children.


    o The project focused on educating children on nutrition and healthy eating
         and involved a series of workshops on seed planting and cooking and
         nutrition, as well as site visits to local organic farms in order to give children a
         clear outline of the process of the 'field to fork' model, developed by the
         Public Health Agency’s Western Investing for Health and the benefits of
         healthy eating and local food procurement.


    o The project aimed to engage children from both primary schools in Claudy as
         well as teachers and parents. The project also aimed to have a strong Good
         Relations element, bringing both sides of the community together to address
         mutually beneficially issues and common interests.


    o The project sought to create a partnership between RAPID Ltd, local primary
         schools and North West Organic Co-Op Society Ltd, whilst creating a number
         of new activities for local children and parents.


    o The project hoped to teach local children new skills in relation to planting
         vegetables and nutrition, which aimed to encourage children and parents to




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                                   5
         get involved in developing these new talents to promote a healthier lifestyle
         in the home.


As the Claudy Ward is currently ranked 241 out of 582 wards in Northern Ireland in
terms of deprivation, the project aimed to improve opportunities for and the health
of people in this deprived ward through providing new skills and facilities and
therefore building capacity amongst the community.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                                6
2.       Methodology



Several types of methodology were used in the evaluation of the programme,
including;


Literature Review
An overview of relevant literature available relating to the targeted outcomes,
primarily around healthy eating and nutrition, local food production and physical
activity.


Outputs record by Project Co-Ordinator
A record of proposed targets and actual outputs, as relayed by the Project Co-
Ordinator at RAPID.


Interviews with key personnel
Interviews on the benefits and added value to key personnel involved in the
programme, such as addition to teaching and child development and enhancement
of local food production and procurement.


Questionnaires for parents
Measuring the cascading effect on parents and family which the children may or may
not have by being involved in such a programme.


Focus Groups with pupils at each of the schools involved
Visits to each school with an age appropriate method of evaluation for the children
to assess their change in knowledge, attitude and behaviour towards the key
messages.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                             7
3.       Findings



Through the methodology employed, the following findings have been determined.


3.1      Literature Review


The project was initiated through consultation with local schools and community
groups who have representation on RAPID's board and also through meeting various
government strategies, including;


Investing for Health Strategy (2002)


Health and well-being is largely determined by the social, economic, physical and
cultural environment. Health policy until 2002, tended to concentrate on the
treatment of ill health rather than on its prevention. This strategy seeks to shift that
emphasis by taking action to tackle the factors which adversely affect health and
perpetuate health inequalities.


Investing for Health has been shaped by the considered views of the many
respondents from across a wide range of sectors and interests. It contains a
framework for action to improve health and well-being and reduce health
inequalities which is based on partnership working amongst Government
Departments, public bodies, local communities, voluntary bodies, District Councils,
private sector and social partners.


The Western Investing for Health partnership, has been involved in several sustained
joined up programmes relating specifically to this project, including;




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                                  8
                 RAPHAEL (2005) – Promoting public sector procurement of locally
                  produced food
                 Health Promoting Homes (2006) - A programme encompassing
                  healthy messages, promoted within peoples homes as family activity
                 Field to Fork (2007) - A teaching tool for Key Stages 1 and 2 focusing
                  food production, distribution and preparation




Northern Ireland Physical Activity Strategy (2002)


Physical education is about influencing the future behaviour of young people so that
they adopt lifelong habits of physical activity.
Research indicates that young people may drop out of physical activity at school if
there is an over-emphasis on competitive sport and they are unable to reach the
standards expected. Young people should therefore be introduced to a variety of
activities including competitive sport with the opportunity to enjoy participation at
the level most appropriate to them.


In addition young people should be taught to understand the value of regular
physical activity and should be able to access the opportunities in the community.
Health related physical education (HRPE) is now an important element of the revised
physical education programme of study.


This project seeks to promote physical activity as a school, family and wider
community activity.




Northern Ireland Oral Health Strategy (2001)


Dental decay (caries) in children is a significant public health problem in Northern
Ireland. It is also completely preventable. Compared to the UK average, our 12-year
old children have more than double the level of decay for this age group.


Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                                  9
A 2002 survey showed that by the time they begin primary school most children
in Northern Ireland will have experienced dental decay.


Tooth decay occurs when bacteria within plaque convert dietary sugars into acid.
This acid then attacks the surface of the tooth and begins to dissolve it. If this
process continues unchecked, a hole or cavity will eventually develop in the tooth.


This project seeks to introduce children to the ideology of food production and
therefore work towards reducing their consumption of highly processed and
nutritionally poor food and drink, which contributes to poor oral health.




Healthy Future: Food and sustainable development by the Sustainable
Development Commission (2004)


How food is served, prepared, purchased and produced can have a huge impact on
the health of individuals, communities and the environment. The NHS has the power
to speed patient recovery, build a healthy workforce, strengthen local communities,
bring jobs to poor neighbourhoods, cut road traffic and promote sustainable
farming. But, by taking the wrong decisions, the NHS can undermine patient and
staff health, waste natural resources and damage the environment. Promoting
sustainable development through decisions about food will help the NHS to be a
good corporate citizen and a health-enhancing organisation with a viable financial
future.


This project is linked to local food production which in turn will hopefully serve to re-
enforce amongst families, communities and the statutory sectors they are involved
with, the importance of local food procurement.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                               10
Invest NI - Fit For Market. Report of Food Strategy Group (2004)


It was acknowledged that there were significant opportunities to improve local food
promotion. There is now annual funding towards such initiatives, aimed at
encouraging the building of links with other businesses and community players to
develop an integrated approach to creating a key driver in this area in the coming
years.


Again, this project aims to have a cascading effect on local food promotion
throughout local schools, children, their families and wider communities, leading to
an increase in local food consumption.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                              11
3.2 Outputs Record by Project Co-Ordinator


An Outputs Record template was developed and sent to Philip O’Kane, Project Co-
Ordinator to record the key outputs achieved during the programme.


Project Aims & Objectives:


   To promote the health and well being of people living in the rural area.


   To address the nutritional and healthy eating needs of people living in the rural
    area.


   To improve the involvement and engagement of marginalised people in the
    community and those at risk from ill health.


   To deliver a valuable service locally, within schools and community centres.


Quantative outputs:


Number of direct beneficiaries                Target                 Actual
                                              100                    100
Ages of Beneficiaries                         50 (under 24’s)        50 (pupils)
                                              50 (25-64 year olds)   50 -100 (parents)
Nutrition & Cooking Workshops                 Not specified          See timeline of
Site Visits                                                          events below




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                               12
Qualitative Outputs:


Engagement from local            Primary 5 class from Cumber Primary School Claudy and St
children                         Colmcille's Primary School Claudy, participated, a total of
                                 50 children aged 8 and 9
Engagement from local            Children relayed the key messages, to re-enforce to their
parents                          parents and families.
Engagement from                  The teachers from both schools incorporated the healthy
Teachers                         eating project into their daily classroom curriculum as it
                                 complemented The Northern Ireland Curriculum for Key
                                 Stage 2 pupils. Specifically under Theme 3.4 “The World
                                 Around Us” and Theme 3.5 “Personal Development and
                                 Mutual Understanding” (Strand 1 : Personal Understanding
                                 & Health).



Good Relations                   The project involved working with schools from both
element                          sections of the community. This was in keeping with
                                 RAPID Ltd’s Good Relations policy.


                                 It is a well established fact that children learn societal
                                 values and norms as they interact with others they
                                 encounter as part of their daily lives. Early socialising
                                 experiences are critical therefore in the formation of
                                 ethnic attitudes. Once prejudices are formed they tend to
                                 increase. Even the most brief encounters in an integrated
                                 setting have proven to have reduced hostility and had a
                                 positive effect on children’s attitudes.


                                 Children’s families experience of the conflict will have
                                 shaped the attitudes and thinking of many children. Today
                                 children and young people in Northern Ireland are living in


Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                                     13
                                 a society emerging from a long period of conflict, a society
                                 which is still in many ways divided and only beginning to
                                 take steps towards peace building, reconciliation and
                                 inclusion. Children and young people are therefore key to
                                 securing a more peaceful future and a society which is
                                 inclusive and respectful of diversity and difference.




                                 Relevant Reports:


                                 “Children and the Conflict in Northern Ireland : The
                                 Experiences and Perspectives of 3-11 Year Old (2004)” –
                                 Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.


                                 This report presents the findings of a detailed study of the
                                 experiences and perspectives of children aged 3-11 years
                                 in Northern Ireland. Based upon in-depth interviews it
                                 outlines and explains the differing ways in which the
                                 conflict impacts upon their lives and comes to influence
                                 and shape their attitudes and identities. The implications
                                 of the findings of this study are considered in relation to
                                 the development of future community relations work with
                                 children of this age range. The study highlights that
                                 children learn societal values and norms as they interact
                                 with others they encounter as part of their daily lives and
                                 that even the most brief encounters in an integrated
                                 setting reduced hostility and had a positive effect on
                                 attitudinal modification.




New activities for local                  Visit to a working farm




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                                      14
children                                  Organic Farming talk
                                          Nutritional Talks in the classroom
                                          Taster sessions
                                          Healthy Food Event
                                          Free samples of Organic produce


New skills developed                      Interest in healthy eating
with local children                       Interest in organic farming
                                          The project encouraged the children to continue
                                           with their “Eco-Kidz” initiative which involves
                                           growing vegetables & environmental projects etc.




Timeline of events:


Date                  Activity
19th May              Classroom talk – Organic Farming (Cumber PS)


29th May              Classroom talk – Organic Farming (St Colmcille PS)


10th June             Site Visit – Organic farm (Both Schools)


14th October          Classroom talk – Nutrition & healthy Eating (Cumber PS)


21st October          Classroom talk – Nutrition & healthy Eating (St Colmcille PS)


26th October          Halloween Event – Nutrition talk, healthy Halloween food
                      preparation and sample, storytelling and poems (Both Schools)


6th November          Organic Lunches/vegetable and fruit bags distribution (Cumber PS)



Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                                    15
13th November         Organic Lunches/vegetable and fruit bags distribution (St Colmcille
                      PS)


4th December          Claudy Community Food Event – Tied in with Xmas light switch on
                      (Both Schools).




Project Added Value:


Public Health Agency’s Western Investing for Health partnership


The project was funded by Big Lottery Awards for All (£9,568) and the success of the
project in engaging with the children and parents from both schools gave an
excellent return on this investment.


The focus of the project in promoting healthy eating amongst children as well as
giving them a grasp of food production was based on the ‘field to fork’ educational
resource produced by Western Investing for Health. During the course of the project
officials from Investing for Health were invited out to view the farm visits and
classroom workshops in action. As a result of this the project gained added value as
Investing for Health expressed an interest to get involved in the project.


RAPID therefore received a Service and Budgeting Agreement with Investing for
Health, securing an additional £1,000 to carry out a community food event in Claudy,
the aims of which were,


   To create awareness of healthy eating
   To promote the Claudy Healthy Eating Initiative




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                              16
   A promotion/celebration of local food – to show local people the food that is
    produced locally


RAPID worked closely with Claudy Rural Development Ltd in order to deliver the
event which took place on Friday 4th December 2009.


The event was incorporated into the Christmas Lights switch on in Claudy which is
organised annually by Claudy Rural Development. Prior to the Christmas Lights
switch on RAPID organised for a number of local food suppliers to erect stalls in the
car park where local food was distributed to the children in attendance. The children
at the local schools were all given vouchers in the lead up to the event, which were
then re-deemed on the night.


The event promoted local produce as well as healthy eating and acted as a
celebration of the Claudy Healthy Eating Initiative. The added value for Claudy
Healthy Eating Initiative thanks to the buy in from Investing for Health was very
encouraging.


Future Plans:


Thanks to the success of the Awards for All funded pilot project and the additional
funding from Investing for Health RAPID Ltd & the partners are keen to run a more
substantial follow on project.


The proposed follow on project will be able to service all the wards in the rural Derry
City Council area. The project will involve the provision of a service to local schools
and community groups where nutritional talks, healthy eating workshops and
cooking demonstrations will take place in the schools and community centres. The
project will target all sections of the community but in particular children and older
people.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                             17
3.3 Interviews with key personnel


Several interviews were held with key personnel, namely;


                 Principals / teachers involved in the programme
                 Project Co-ordinator at RAPID
                 Manager of North West Organics
                 Local producer




Mrs Briege O’Neill, Principal                   St Colmcilles Primary School, Claudy


Mrs O’Neill stated the main reason for her school becoming involved as to promote
healthy options and as part of their ongoing Health Promoting Schools Initiative, as
well as continued promotion of good cross community relationships.


She felt that the children had gained a greater knowledge, understanding and
behavioural change towards each of the key messages of the project – healthy eating
local food production and a healthy lifestyle.


The project added value to the current teaching within the school, as it was deemed
useful in meeting aspects of the revised curriculum, at Key Stage 2. Mrs O’Neill
particularly pointed to the following aspects;


                 Personal Development and Mutual Understanding
                 The World Around Us
                 Physical Education


The Principal was keen to engage in such a project again, particularly as it provided
the opportunity to look beyond the classroom walls and bring education into
everyday real experiences.



Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                               18
Mrs Maureen Smyth, Principal                    Cumber Claudy Primary School


Mrs Smyth detailed the reason for initially becoming involved in the project as,
reflecting the work being done in school which places a strong emphasis on eating
healthily, through adherence to the nutritional standards in the canteen, to healthy
breaks, Health Promoting Schools Award, Healthy Munchbox Challenge, cookery and
gardening clubs. It also supports the work of our Ecokidz, a primary 5 class working
closely with a P6 class from St Colmcille’s Primary school on a comprehensive eco-
friendly 2 year project.


Like St Colmcilles, Mrs Smyth also felt that the children had gained a greater
knowledge, understanding and behavioural change towards each of the key
messages of the project – healthy eating local food production and a healthy
lifestyle.


The project was deemed useful in having met certain aspects of the curriculum,
particularly;
             Language & Literacy
             Mathematics & Numeracy
             Personal Development & Mutual Understanding
             The World Around Us


The school would be keen to participate in this type of project again and felt the
added value as a teacher, has having added an extra dimension to the work normally
done in class. The pupils have benefited greatly from visits, practical
activities/workshops and additional resources that the project facilitated.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                            19
Kevin Hickey, Manager, North West Organics


Whilst discussing local food production strategies, Kevin explained all strategies
regarding local food production are produced by DARD and INVEST NI, as they
administer financial support. They use these reports to influence how they direct the
funding, and most of this is taken from DEFRA.


When asked why they got involved in the programme, Kevin explained, they sought
to build awareness between local farmers and the local community and educate
children of the variety of local food that is available. The impact of buying local helps
to reduce food miles and support an ever decreasing local food range.


Kevin explained some of the benefits of being involved for NW Organics as mainly
aiming to educate the children firstly on the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables as
part of their diet, and build on previous education initiatives at the schools.


A second benefit is to be able to show the people behind local food and the impact
on buying food from a local source. Indirectly, NW Organics sought to increase the
awareness of the business and our supporting role as an organization, becoming
more prominent in the local community.


When thinking of any suggested improvements to the programme, Kevin explained
that during the programme there was a health scare at an open farm in England, and
as a consequence both schools became reluctant to pursue this element (farm site
visits) of the programme.


NW Orgaincs would suggest in a wider development of the project to plan for
alternative visits to local food premises. The key message is hygiene and good
manufacturing practice. Children need to see this in action, and this food safety
message can be taken home.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                              20
The schools do not appear to have the resources to teach children rudimentary
cooking skills and NW Organics would support a second pilot project to bring about
creating the facilities to allow this to happen on a mobile basis, to maximise the
return on expenditure.


Kevin felt the children loved the visit to the farm, the healthy eating talks and being
able to take vegetables home certainly took the message to each home of the
participating pupil. It has created a buzz around growing, identifying, eating and
cooking vegetables in a safe and friendly manner. This was highlighted as worked
well during the programme.


Recommendations for a follow up to this project included;


                 Extend it to other schools
                 Involvement of other local food premises
                 Highlight the importance of food safety and hygiene
                 Assist in removing fears of food preparation and cooking by building a
                  flexible facility and cooking programme to support this


Additional comments included how there was an attempt to encourage the children
to grow vegetables at home and may be a good idea to support this by providing
seeds during the programme, for the children to take home.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                             21
George McDonald,
Sperrin Organic Wholefoods, Organic Farm and box delivery scheme


George explained the company got involved in the programme as they were asked to
by North West Organic, but also saw the importance of the project, ie promoting the
benefits of organic food to school children.


Sperrin Organic Wholefoods felt the main benefit of being involved in the project
was direct income, not a lot but some paid towards the talks at the schools and the
open day at the farm.


The visit to the farm took place in early summer, crops had been planted but few
were ready for harvesting. Crops in the poly tunnels were ready for harvesting and
so the school children got a better idea of what was involved. An improvement is the
timing of visits to coincide with harvesting.


Farm animals were very popular with the school children, hens and sheep and lambs.
Ideally an area would be fenced off in a field so that children could see livestock up
close whilst being safe. Questions from the children helped focus information talks
on areas of most interest to them.


Recommendations for future developments of the programme include;
             Providing the Farmer with clear aims about what the programme is
              seeking to achieve, which ensures the correct insurance is in place, for
              the farm and school.
             Animal disease can be spread easily from farm to farm, so disinfecting
              wellie wash should be considered if the programme was expanded.
             Fact sheet about a farm should be drawn up for a farm to be handed out
              to visitors.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                                22
             A clear structure to the visit, ie start with introduction from the farmer,
              visit to different parts of the farm, break for food/drink, visit to last part
              of the farm, farmer ends visits with thanks to visitors.


George felt it was an interesting project. A lot of work preparation for the farm, but
a second visit this year would be much easier to manage, since we have the
experience now. I would liked to have given the children food harvest on the farm
eg carrot sticks.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                                  23
3.4 Questionnaires for Parents


Prior to carrying out an evaluation exercise with the children who participated, a
questionnaire was developed for their parents and guardians. This was then sent
out to both classes in the childrens schoolbags and returned to school in time for the
classroom based evaluation. There were 25 pupils in each class.


Cumber Claudy


7 questionnaires were returned at Cumber Claudy Primary School. A return rate of
28%.


86% (6 out of 7) said they were aware of the project their child was involved in, with
14% (1 out of 7) stating they were not.


When asked had they noted any change in attitude or behaviour to each of the key
messages of the project, they answered as follows;


Healthy Food - 86% (6 out of 7) stated yes, with the remaining 14% (1 out of 7)
stating no. Explanations given included;

              Health reasons
              We would normally eat quite healthily but Andrews raised awareness
                  has made me more conscious of healthy options
                 My child is more aware of what we are eating and passing on
                  information
                 Willing to experiment with new foods


Buying more locally produced food - 57% (4 out of 7) stated yes, with 43% (3 out of
7) stating no. Explanations given included;

                 Check labels before we buy




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                            24
                 Mainly dictated by quality and cost, but Andrew will look at the
                  country of origin. We now buy more locally produced foods
                 Try to buy fresh and local
                 Not at present


Becoming more active as a family - 86% (6 out of 7) stated yes, with the remaining
14% (1 out of 7) stating no. Explanations given included;
                 Walks, bike rides
                 Want to grow our own veg in a greenhouse
                 Had great plans but unfortunately the weather and work
                  commitments have thwarted progress. Hope to walk at least 3-4
                  times a week
                 Doing more activities together
                 Going for walks and cycling


When asked whether they would like to see more of this type of project at school,
86% said yes, with the other 14% not answering.
Other comments parents and guardians added included;
                 Thank you to RAPID and North West Organics for all their input and
                  very generous contributions
                 My child really enjoyed learning about this. It has made it easier for
                  me as he wouldn’t try most of the things he will now eat before
                  tasting them through this project. Brilliant project, very worth while
                 The project was very enjoyable for Anna




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                                  25
St Colmcilles


19 questionnaires were returned at St Colmcilles Primary School, Claudy. A return
rate of 76%.


100% (19 out of 19) said they were aware of the project their child was involved in,
with one respondent selecting both yes and no. It appears from some of the
answers, the pupils completed the questionnaires, rather than their parents or
guardians.


When asked had they noted any change in attitude or behaviour to each of the key
messages of the project, they answered as follows;


Healthy Food - 68% (13 out of 19) stated yes, with the remaining 32% (6 out of 19)
stating no. Explanations given included;
                 I feel healthier
                 Asks more questions about different foods, wanting to know what is
                  healthy
                 Interested in smoothies
                 I am aware of what I put in my childs lunchbox, therefore I buy more
                  healthy food, eg fruit and yoghurt
                 Healthy food is good for you and your childrens and for your heart
                 I send a healthy lunch to school and encourage healthy eating at
                  home
                 More aware of eating extra fruit and vegetables
                 Making an effort to eat more fruit and vegetables
                 Corey now always looks for something healthy in his lunchbox
                 We try to eat more healthy meals as a family
                 More fruit and veg in our diet
                 We look for healthy alternatives. Eating less sweet stuff
                 Adam is more aware of the things he eats



Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                              26
                 I have noticed I feel better each day than I used to


Buying more locally produced food - 47% (9 out of 19) stated yes, with 53% (10 out
of 19) stating no. Explanations given included;

                 More fruit and veg etc
                 We always look for quality and value
                 Because the food has not travelled so far
                 We try to buy local produce
                 Already do
                 When possible, I try to buy local produce
                 Yes, I do buy more locally produced like fruit and fish and drink more
                  water
                 Fool doesn’t travel as far is better for the environment


Becoming more active as a family - 58% (11 out of 19) stated yes, with the remaining
42% (8 out of 19) stating no. Explanations given included;
             Walking
             We have always been fairly active as a family
             Going for family walks in Cumber
             We all walk the dog
             We now walk to the shop, rather than taking the car
             Walking and visiting swimming pool
             More exercise
             Already do
             In the summer, we try to do more active things as a family like walking,
              swimming and play football with kids
             Yes, we have become more active we walk some times
             We go swimming every Friday/Saturday
             Being active is healthy and doing it as a family can be fun
             No because my sister does eat healthy




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                                27
When asked whether they would like to see more of this type of project at school,
95% said yes, with the other 5% said no.


Other comments parents and guardians added included;
                 Very useful
                 I think this project is important from a young age so children are
                  aware and therefore accept this concept


There was a better return rate from family members in St Colmcilles (76%) than
Cumber (28%), which may indicate Primary 6 is a more appropriate age to deliver the
programme to than Primary 5.


There was an excellent level of awareness in involvement, again indicating the
positive cascading effect Primary School based projects have on the whole family.


The positive change in attitude, knowledge and behaviour towards healthy food was
significantly higher amongst Cumber families (86%) than St Colmcilles (68%),
although this appears to be contradicted in the explanations provided, which where
very positive for St Comcilles.


There appears to be a lot of work still needed in the area of locally produced food, as
both schools answered positively at significantly lower levels. This is particularly
important, given the role of RAPID and North West Organics in rural development
and the impact on rural communities of not selecting local produce, in terms of
employment and social fabric.


Again, the positive change to becoming more active as a family was significantly
higher in Cumber (86%) than St Colmcilles (58%), although this was again
contradicted in St Colmcilles extensive list of positive explanations.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                              28
There was overwhelming support for further projects of this type to be delivered in
their childrens schools.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                             29
3.5      Focus Groups with Pupils


A visit to each of the schools was made with a flipchart pad with various headings as
follows;
                 Local Food
                 Healthy Food
                 Unhealthy Food
                 Physical Activity


Copies of pictures of food were made, including potatoes, milk, water, wholemeal
bread, pineapple, bananas, kiwis, chocolate, burger, chips and soft drink


Each child in the class was then given a picture and asked to come up to the front
and place within the heading they felt it belonged. The class as a group was invited
to contribute to the decision.


The session then ended with pupils being invited to give examples of physical
activity, particularly what they regularly participate in and this was recorded under
the final heading.




St Colmcilles


St Colmcilles class was Primary 6. The children at St Colmcilles got every answer
correct They were also aware that food which was not local could be healthy and
that local food could also come under the healthy heading.


Examples of physical activity they gave included their daily school programme of
running round the playground 8 times.




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St Colmcilles appears to take healthy living very seriously as within the 15 minutes
we were there, we passed 2 different classes engaging in physical activity in the
sports hall.




Cumber


Cumber’s class was Primary 5. The children had a good grasp of the key messages of
the project, with a little confusion at the beginning over the messages of healthy and
local food, but were soon clear, once explained to them a lot of sun is required to
produce food such as bananas and pineapple.


One pupil was also slightly concerned as unhealthy food tastes ‘good’, but generally
the children understood the concept of limiting unhealthy food in their diet.


When identifying forms of physical activity, the children responded well to types of
physical activity they can engage in, such as running, bike riding, sports and
trampoleening. They were also clear as to the recommended amount of daily
physical activity being 60 minutes.




The learning of the children is apparent, with all children having a good grasp of good
nutrition, local food types and the requirements of physical activity for good health.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                              31
4. Conclusions


From all involved in the programme, it appears to have been a resounding success,
far exceeding the original targets and outcomes and helping meet each organisations
targets and/ or adding value to existing provision.


The project fits well with five key regional strategies, including three Department of
Health strategies and one DETI (administered by Invest NI) strategy.


Whilst the key messages are clear of good nutrition and local food production and
procurement, the Good Relations element assists in the co-operation of local schools
in continuous development of bringing their pupils together.


Evidence of the success of the messages include a positive reporting in knowledge,
attitude and behaviour amongst the children, their families and schools in purchase
and consumption of both local and nutritionally sound foods.


It appears to be a model of good practice, in terms of multi-agency delivery, with the
private, statutory and community and voluntary sector working well together,
playing to each of their strengths to create a sustainable programme.


Building on the strength of the pilot, it is clear the programme could be easily
replicated in other areas.


The WIFH funded Christmas food fair served as a positive family activity which tied
the programme up and provided an opportunity for the whole family to view local
and nutritionally sound foodstuffs.




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                             32
    6. Recommendations


    The project should continue to develop, particularly to schools and community
    groups within the remainder of the rural Derry City Council area.


    RAPID are well placed to deliver the continuation of such a project, maintaining
    partners including WELB and North West Organic Co-Op Society Ltd and linking in
    with wider statutory provision where possible, such as was done with Western
    Investing for Health.


    It may be useful to target the same class in both schools, Primary 6 being the
    optimum stage.


    The Good Relations element should be maintained, with two local schools
    targeted for each programme, one Catholic Controlled and one Maintained.


    The ‘new activities for children’ are key to the success of the programme and
    should be incorporated, including;
        Visit to a working farm
        Organic Farming talk
        Nutritional Talks in the classroom
        Taster sessions
        Healthy Food Event
        Free samples of Organic produce


Additional aspects to a follow on programme, which would be beneficial include;
                 Involvement of other local food premises, eg shops
                 Highlight the importance of food safety and hygiene
                 Include livestock farm visits




Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative                            33
                 Assist in removing fears of food preparation and cooking by building a
                  flexible facility and cooking programme to support this
                 Provide easy care organic seeds for the children to plant and take
                  home to cultivate and harvest as a means of actioning their learning


The Farmers (Producers) role should be integral to the development of a more
widespread programme, with Sperrin Organics recommendations considered, given
their experience of delivery of the programme;
             Providing the Farmer with clear aims about what the programme is
              seeking to achieve, which ensures the correct insurance is in place, for
              the farm and school.
             Animal disease can be spread easily from farm to farm, so disinfecting
              wellie wash should be considered if the programme was expanded.
             Fact sheet about a farm should be drawn up for a farm to be handed out
              to visitors.
             A clear structure to the visit, ie start with introduction from the farmer,
              visit to different parts of the farm, break for food/drink, visit to last part
              of the farm, farmer ends visits with thanks to visitors.
A curriculum advisor or specialist organization in developing teaching materials, such
as the Field to Fork model may be necessary.


An end of programme event should be incorporated to link the key messages with all
stakeholders, including the children, their families, schools and the local rural
community.


The leaflets produced as part of this project can be used for future programmes and
events.




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Evaluation of Claudy Children’s Healthy Eating Initiative   35