Working at neighbourhood level, Healthspace is designing and running activities that will work together to help reduce levels of child obesity within a small geography. Led by Oasis Hub Waterloo and involving over 800 children and their families, our neighbourhood scheme plans to test new approaches to tackling obesity in Waterloo – a deprived area in Lambeth with high rates of child obesity.
If this pilot proves successful, over the following three years Healthspace will work to bring local rates of overweight children down from 39% to 25%, which is below some of the lowest rates in London.
Design: Scoping, designing and co-producing an agreed list of projects informed by behavioural insight to deliver during the pilot (Phase 1).
Test: The agreed projects for Phase 1 are underway and data is being collected for evaluation.
January 2019: Pilot activity will begin.
Evaluate: Projects are evaluated to inform the next phase. Lessons are shared and iterations of projects proposed for Phase 2.
Refine (second round of funding): Phase 2 projects are underway and data is being collected for evaluation.
Final evaluation: (Phase 2) projects are evaluated and lessons from ongoing evaluation shared.
Our scheme plans to untap the potential of the large communities served by Oasis Hub Waterloo to find lasting solutions for the high rates of child obesity locally, by co-producing innovative and scalable activities with children and their families.
Healthspace’s work comes under two main strands:
Lambeth and Southwark have some of the highest rates of child obesity in the country. Local areas with the highest obesity rates correlate with higher levels of deprivation.
Within the footprint of the Oasis Waterloo Hub, around 17% children in reception and 39% in year 6 have excess weight (this equates to around 5 to 12 pupils per school year in Oasis Johanna primary school in each year group). Assuming rates remain at least stable throughout secondary school, a further 47 students are likely to have excess weight in Oasis Academy Southbank in any given school year.
Insights from behavioural sciences show that our food and exercise choices are heavily influenced by our environment.
Families who live in urban, diverse and deprived areas are exposed more often and intensely to many of the drivers of childhood obesity – including high prevalence of advertising and density of food outlets. By changing environments, we can discourage unhealthy habits and support better choices.
Schemes like Healthspace are testing how changing environments through small shifts designed with those who use them can help people to lead healthier lives.
Oasis Hub Waterloo offers a unique opportunity to engage a large community of young people and families. Its multiple sites and well-established network provides a prime footprint to test solutions to tackle child obesity.
Other partners linked to the project will be early years settings, primary and secondary schools, as well as other organisations running projects and youth work.
During the lifecycle of the scheme, Healthspace plans to benefit the whole community at both Oasis primary and secondary schools in Waterloo (around 800 children and their families) through its environmental shifts. In addition, a group of children and young people struggling with their weight will receive targeted mentoring.
Oasis’ footprint of 35 hubs and 50 schools, which serves around 25,000 children across the UK, offers an extraordinary opportunity to scale up successful approaches that come out of Healthspace.
The long-term ambition of Healthspace, if the scheme proves successful, is to bring local rates of child excess weight down from 39% to 25%, which is below some of the lowest rates in London.
We will share learnings here when available.
Programme Manager: Becka Sunter
29 October, 2018
A report looking at opportunities for market-based solutions to childhood obesity, focusing on the growing number of ‘challenger brands’ and products and how they can address the unmet need for healthy, affordable food options for families on low incomes.
19 October, 2018
A programme involving local businesses in solutions to child obesity.
17 October, 2018
Working with schools to improve their food environment, tailoring the national Food for Life framework to meet local need and help tackle child obesity.