13 Sep Everton in the Community’s NCS cohorts set Healthy Goals
Almost 200 young people from Everton in the Community’s NCS programme were enrolled on Healthy Goals, Better Lives during the summer months, receiving healthy lifestyle education and also learning how to set short- and long-term goals.
During the often difficult transition to adulthood, young people are faced with a number of challenges including exams and social expectations, the prospect of further or higher education, vocational training and / or finding their first job – unfortunately this means that their health is not of the utmost concern.
This exposes them to a number of risky behaviours including tobacco and alcohol use, but also cannabis and other illegal substances. Research also suggests that once young people have left school, their physical activity levels have a tendency to decrease.
Healthy Goals has been designed specifically to plug this knowledge and skills gap in young people.
The programme, which has been kindly been funded for three years by Liverpool CCG’s Healthy Liverpool Community Grant programme, addresses a number of issues that teenagers are likely to face as they leave school, such as physical inactivity, the contents of junk food, tobacco use and the risks associated with binge drinking.
The young people also learn about the availability of cannabis and other drugs in their area, the physical and psychological effects they can have and the risks associated with their use in a non-judgmental environment. Feedback from EITC coaches suggests that developing a constructive dialogue is vital for engaging with young people.
All of the healthy lifestyle education is underpinned by a goal-setting framework, a theme that runs throughout Healthy Goals, which provides young people with a way to make small changes to their lives and form new positive habits than can have a big impact. This has a big impact on their levels of confidence and resilience.
This year’s programme has yielded an exceptional set of results which include:
- The average number of minutes participants were physically active per week rose from 128 minutes at the start of the programme to 139 minutes at the end of the programme
- 47% of participants reduced the amount of time they spend sitting
- 28% reported they slept longer as a results of the programme
- 54% increased their fruit and vegetable intake
- 42% reduced the number of unhealthy snacks they consume
- 32% reduced the number of sugary drinks they have each week
The programme culminated with a special graduation event at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on Wednesday 6th September for both participants and their families, celebrating the achievements of young people involved in both Healthy Goals and National Citizenship Service.
Matthew Philpott, Executive Director of Healthy Stadia commented:
“Congratulations to EITC for delivering another exceptional programme. National Citizen Service presented us with the perfect opportunity to engage young people about their lifestyle and some of the challenging situations they find themselves in at this age.
“The knowledge they have received as a result of completing Healthy Goals has already allowed them to make more informed decisions, but the goal-setting skills they have gained will allow them to continue making positive changes to their lives for years to come.”
Healthy Goals is available to all community trusts and foundations delivering NCS in the UK and can also be adapted to other social inclusion programmes to meet your local priorities.
To find out more about the Healthy Goals programme please contact Michael Viggars.