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Healthy communities

The aim of Healthy Communities was to research test and evaluate sustainable and commercially-viable healthy lifestyle interventions, created and led by the local community and local delivery partners.

The project has shown that it is possible to deliver health outcomes outside the formal health system, and has evidenced how big businesses, social enterprises and the voluntary sector can positively affect health. In only a short amount of time, the three local initiatives demonstrated the potential to reduce childhood obesity within their neighbourhoods and – should they scale – across London.

The three initiatives in the Healthy Communities project were:

  • Snack Stop – a healthy tuck shop utilising local restaurant owners to sell and create hot and cold snacks at the primary school gates at home time.
  • Make Kit – a healthy recipe pack business that sells pre-made meal kits from convenient places in the community at affordable prices.
  • Active Local Links – utilises community networks to actively encourage participation in local health and wellbeing activities.

All three initiatives were developed through prototyping (a process involving mocking things up in a small way). This process provided a means by which to test out ideas, identify errors without delay, and attract early feedback (and interest). It showed it is possible to progress from insight to idea to implementation and develop social ventures in a relatively short space of time, and that prototyping is an important way of drawing in energy and inspiring quick action.

This final report builds on phase one’s report which researched the underlying drivers of childhood obesity and worked with local communities to co-design ideas to tackle this problem. In phase two of the project, three of these ideas were then implemented and evaluated over a four month period, with the aim of becoming sustainable and scalable models.

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