Six Bexley libraries will pilot a pre-school obesity programme

PUBLISHED: 16:02 12 October 2017

The Teddy Bears Picnic scheme will launch in six libraries across Bexley

The Teddy Bears Picnic scheme will launch in six libraries across Bexley


The £12,500 project aims to encourage healthy eating choices

Toddlers will be taught how to choose healthy foods with a new project piloting at libraries across the borough.

The Teddy Bears Picnic project will take place at six libraries, with a focus on teaching pre-school children about healthy eating in a fun and imaginative way.

The project is one 14 to receive a share of a £200,000 grant from Carnegie UK Trust and the health trust, Wellcome.

Bexley’s project has received a £12,500 share of the grant, which was set up to create engagement between libraries and residents.

Peter Craske, cabinet member for community safety, environment and leisure, said: “his funding means we now have an opportunity engage with pre-school children to get them thinking and talking about healthy food choices.

“As well as inspiring conversation, we hope to improve outcomes for our residents.

“Obesity is an increasing cause of concern - even among children. We hope by broaching the issue at a young age and in a creative way, we will improve their life chances of the longer term.”

Central Library, Crayford Library, Erith Library, Sidcup Library, Welling Library and Thamesmead Library will all be taking part in the pilot scheme, which will last one year.

Martyn Evans, Chief Executive, Carnegie UK Trust said: “Public libraries are unique, trusted places at the heart of local communities. The Engaging Libraries programme gives libraries the opportunity to engage with the public on a range of complex health and wellbeing issues, providing a safe space for debate, discussion, interaction and learning.

“We were delighted to receive 120 thought provoking applications to the programme and we are very excited about the range and quality of the winning entries. We’re looking forward to seeing these projects come to fruition and we hope that they will be a source of inspiration and learning for the public library sector.”

Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture and Society, Wellcome said: “Public libraries are a place where people can connect with and create ideas as well as discover information. This funding will help libraries discover how they can help their communities explore ideas related to health. As an organisation dedicated to improving health Wellcome is delighted to be supporting these projects.”

The winning projects were selected with the input of an expert advisory group which included representatives from the Society of Chief Librarians, CILIP The Library and Information Association, Arts Council England, Scottish Library and Information Council, Welsh Government, the Local Government Management Agency in the Republic of Ireland and Libraries NI.

A start date for the scheme has not been established.

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