This three year programme asks councils to lead innovative action in their local community to tackle childhood obesity. After 13 councils completed a discovery phase, five council led projects have now been selected as Trailblazer Authorities.
More than one in five children are already overweight or obese on entering Reception. This rises to one in three in Year 6. There is a ‘deprivation gap’ with children from the most deprived areas more than twice as likely to be obese and more than four times as likely to be severely obese than children from the least deprived areas.
The Government published the second chapter of the Childhood Obesity: Plan for action a year ago in June 2018, setting out the ambition to halve childhood obesity and significantly reduce the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030.
Councils have a vital role to play to tackle childhood obesity but there can be significant obstacles. To address this, Government committed to a three year trailblazer programme to work with council-led projects in England to tackle childhood obesity at a local level, with a particular focus on inequalities.
Councils across England showed significant interest in the Trailblazer Programme, with 102 Expressions of Interest submitted between October and November 2018. 13 councils were selected to undertake the funded 12-week discovery phase which took place from early February to the end of April 2019. In June 2019 it was announced that five council led projects will be funded to develop and deliver their plans over the next three years through a test and learn approach.
We will be sharing the learning from these projects and others on these webpages, please see the “Sharing the Learning” tab for more information.
The Childhood Obesity Trailblazer Programme aims to:
- test the limits of existing powers through innovative and determined action to tackle childhood obesity
- share learning and best practice to encourage wider local action
- develop solutions to local obstacles and consider further actions government can take to enable ambitious local action and achieve change at scale
Over the next three years, the five Trailblazer Authorities will develop, deliver, review and expand their ambitious plans to tackle childhood obesity. Each Trailblazer Authority will receive £100,000 worth of funding and project support each year to progress their project. Support will include:
- government expert support – to help find solutions to local challenges and consider implications for future policy development
- subject matter expertise – to provide relevant commercial/technical expertise and constructive challenge
- delivery support – to support Trailblazer Authorities to further explore, develop and deliver their plans
- evaluation support - to provide advice to Trailblazer Authorities on their local evaluation plans to ensure that the impact of the Trailblazer activities are measured
The programme is funded by the Department and Health and Social Care and administered by the Local Government Association. Public Health England also providing expert support and advice.
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